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  1. San Diego has become perhaps “SMAHTAH” in such situations than their low payroll buddies up the coast (BEANO-BALL). They have done quite well in every deal they have made since at least the Adrian Gonzalez deal.

    Comment by Shane — March 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  2. I agree that San Diego made out on this – but it seems like every time someone strikes a deal like this, the authors ignore the enormous security blanket of having life-changing money.

    Hundley has never caught more than 76 games in a season, he missed part of last season due to injury, and he was a ~710 OPS hitter coming into 2011 – solid for a catcher, but not nearly in line with his rate stats for last year. He’s made about $1.2MM in his career, with another $2MM coming this year. Maybe he was just happy with a minimum of $10MM career earnings, and that security was enough for him to give a discount.

    Can you imagine having Major League caliber skills, but getting injured right before you can cash in? Going out and getting another job? Well, Hundley won’t have to worry about that.

    Ideally, he’d have negotiated a buyout in the option year. But if his only options were to sign that deal or go year to year, I can’t really blame him for the choice.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 20, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

  3. that’s all true……. but did he have to give up the FA year so readily with no buyout? that’s the part that seems excessive to me.

    Comment by batpig — March 20, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  4. I don’t know. I wasn’t involved in the negotiations. But I can only assume that his agent tried to get some sort of buyout or tried to sign a similar deal without the FA year.

    If he had the same offer on the table but without the FA year, and he declined that offer, then he’s a moron.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 20, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  5. maybe he’s just not a really greedy person, ever think of that?

    Comment by jim — March 20, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  6. This may be a stretch, but do you think it’s possible that a player like Hundley on a team like the Padres could sign a team friendly deal KNOWING it will make him great trade bait? It seems to me if one was stuck on a bad team and wanted to contend that a decent strategy could be to sign for a little less than you should really be paid and make yourself an attractive option for a contending team. For example, the Red Sox would have to be interested in a player like him if Saltalamacchia underwhelms or something.

    That’s kind of a random theory but it came to mind when I read this.

    Either way, it’s a total win for the Padres. Even if it’s a total bust, and Hundley breaks a leg and never plays again it won’t set them too far back.

    Comment by David R — March 20, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

  7. Totally agree. These “team friendly” deals that we jump all over players for accepting are always millions of dollars which if invested wisely will set these guys up for life on one level or another. I mean these deals are worth considerably more than the majority of us will make in a lifetime. We all blog in this fantasy land of 5 million dollars/WAR and every time Longoria’s contract comes up we think idiot! Yet I think Evan longoria is gonna be just fine for life if he is smart. Boras and his year to year thing have worked out very well for many clients but some of them have gotten burned and left to dry after blowing out a knee or something. Remember that 4 year 60 million dollar deal Nomar Garciapparra turned down from the Red Sox? He looked at what AROD and Jeter got and said no thanks, I’l take my chances a year from now. I bet he wishes he would have. Not many things in life are guarunteed but MLB contracts are. Nick Hundley is not the next coming and he could fall off the planet this season as far as baseball goes. Totally a smart deal for young Mr. Hundley.

    Comment by Shane — March 20, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  8. pretty disappointed when I opened this post and found the words ‘trade bait’ at the end of the title.

    Comment by Resolution — March 21, 2012 @ 12:53 am

  9. Certainly we are talking about life changing money, but all he needs to do is bet that he will improve this year and will not get hurt and he could double his money. If life changing money is good, twice life changing money is better.

    Comment by Bill — March 21, 2012 @ 6:14 am

  10. But, there are much worse teams to be a part of than the Padres. He could get traded to Baltimore, Houston, or Chicago (either one).

    Comment by Bill — March 21, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  11. “he’s hit .259/.323/.435 in 904 plate appearances, which is even more impressive when you consider that he’s been playing half his games in San Diego.’

    You guys are getting lazy over here. Yeah that would be impressive except Hundley rakes at home and fizzles on the road. I know you never looked at his career splits or you never would of wrote about how impressive his stats are despite playing half his games in San Diego. Over the course of his 4 year career, all with the Padres, he has an .818 OPS in 540 plate appearances at home and a .657 OPS in 580 plate appearances on the road. Do your research guys. Don’t just assume.

    Comment by Shane — March 21, 2012 @ 8:41 am

  12. I agree with Shane, this is real world money. Every athelete is a knee injury away from being done in sports, so getting the money now may be more attractive to a player that is rasing a family.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 21, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  13. home/road splits are a lot less predictive than you seem to think

    Comment by juan pierres mustache — March 21, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  14. I know that, I’m not the one who wrote that Hudley’s stats were more impressive due to the fact that he plays in Petco.

    Comment by Shane — March 21, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  15. They are. That he’s hit poorly on the road does not make his performance at home any less impressive. San Diego is a very hard place to hit. Hundley has hit well there. That’s impressive.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 21, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  16. He’s never caught in more than 76 games in any season, and the Padres have two legitimate catching prospects in the pipeline that could steal playing time in the near future (Grandal) and long-term (Hedges). Between potentially getting hurt prior to free agency and the threat of not having a sizable amount of at bats (and therefore the counting statistics) to use at arbitration hearings, I am not remotely surprised he took guaranteed money.

    Comment by Marver — March 21, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  17. Perhaps Hundley is an advanced stat guy and realizes his BABIP of.362 last year may not exactly be sustainable and he can quickly regress back to a 1 WAR player.

    The Montero comparison is interesting until you look at how much Hundley’s #’s are dependent on what looks like a bit of an outlier season last year. Even in the minors he never topped .310 with the exception of 200AB’s in A+ ball. Even the arbitration analysis is questionable as it assumes he will be able to sustain his offensive #’s; if he regresses, the offensive output will match Montero’s in his pre Arb 2 and pre-Arb 3 years.

    Seems like a fair decision to take the money; even with the option year. If he regresses back to a 700-710 OPS, is he getting much more than 5mil on the FA market? Is he getting Montero’s Arb 2 and Arb 3 arbitration salaries?

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

  18. last part of the 2nd paragraph should read “will not match”

    Comment by Joe — March 21, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

  19. It is impressive the numbers he has put up at home yet nonetheless the road splits are somewhat concerning. I know large studies of many players have dispelled the notion that players perform signifcantly better in their home enviornent, at least to that degree. But I have to wonder lf Nick Hundley performs better in front of the home crowd. I wonder if they are able to provide him with a needed positive boost or perhaps he shrinks when being rooted against on the road. In any regard the numbers he has put up at home in roughly one full season for a full time catcher are excellent.

    Comment by Shane — March 21, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  20. If I’m the Sox Hundley is nowhere on my radar. I’d rather have Salty going forward.

    Comment by Shane — March 21, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  21. Miguel Montero will get way too expensive for the Dbacks this off-season and I still think Towers still has a man crush on him. It would surprise me if the Dbacks didn’t pick him up.

    Comment by Steven — March 22, 2012 @ 2:00 am

  22. I would not assume that Nick Hundley performs better in front of the home crowd it is because he needs the home crowd to provide him with a “positive boost” or because he “shrinks when being rooted against on the road.”

    Maybe he just feels more comfortable when he is in the city he spends most of the year…maybe he likes the home cooking…or maybe he just has a hot piece of San Diego ass that helps his performance.

    Definitely can’t assume he needs the home crowd or wilts at the visiting stadiums.

    Comment by Mack Daddy — March 22, 2012 @ 2:01 am

  23. I got to know Nick in Alexandria, MN. Great guy, and good for him to make 10M minimum for a career. He is an example of how guys probably should think and it’s okay to be satisfied.

    Comment by Ryan — March 22, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

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