Dodgers Close on Kemp Deal

The Dodgers, in the midst of a difficult transition period and sale, may have trouble getting approval to sign a big-ticket free agent. That doesn’t mean they can’t affect change in the free agent market place. As the team engages their 27-year-old once-maligned center fielder in extension discussions, they might be preparing do just that. Will the rumored numbers that will keep Matt Kemp off the market — eight years, $160 million — count as an asset for the team in the future?

It does seem like new sabermetrician and Dodgers’ General Manager Ned Colletti has his hands tied with the ongoing bankruptcy sale of the team, but outgoing owner Frank McCourt told his GM that he can bid on any free agent he sees fit — even Prince Fielder. Either way, though, the team payroll has been hovering around $100 million since 2006. Once 2012 arbitration numbers are added in to the combined ten million dollars the team will pay Andruw Jones and Manny Ramirez in 2012, they’d be at $92 million already. That probably doesn’t leave room for Fielder.

One of the years in this deal will replace Kemp’s final year of arbitration. Using that year as a guidepost, the deal might be considered neutral. Matt Swartz’s arbitration predictor has Kemp being awarded $16.3 million in 2012. The arb system sort of rewards players at about 80% of their ‘market value’ in their last year of arbitration. That would be $20.3 million, or the average annual rate that seems to be in the cards.

But we don’t all have the same ideas about market value, and the arbitration system would be a flawed guidepost at best. By the value metrics on this site, Kemp’s 2011 breakout season may have been ‘worth’ twice as much as the AAV on his new deal. By those same metrics, his 2010 season was worth only about $2 million in all.

The difference between those two seasons was not all defense.

Sure, Kemp’s defense is a big part of the discussion. His 2010 season in center field was really bad on many levels. Ultimate Zone Rating rated him as the worst defender in the league relative to his position (-27.5 UZR/150) that year, but that stat wasn’t lone. Every defensive metric — from DRS (-15) to the fans (-3) — agreed that he was bad in 2010. Finally, his team’s management made public statements about how bad his glove was.

“If this is the last day of the season and people are voting for the Gold Glove, his name is not even on the ballot. It’s a shame that he would go from where he was a year ago to revert back to when the ball goes up in the air and you’re not sure where it’s going, or if it’s going to get caught.” — Ned Colletti

But hidden in that 2010 famous comment from Colletti is an uncovering of a further truth. Not only was Kemp terrible in the field in 2010, but he was better in 2009. In that year, his second year as an every day center fielder, Kemp was actually above-average by UZR (+3.8 UZR/150), the fans (+7), and DRS (+2). Total Zone didn’t like him so much (-8.3) but there’s a reason for this disagreement. Just look at his career UZR components and you’ll see that some parts of his defensive game are more impressive than others.

Kemp, seen as a defender in total, has below-average range, catches what he gets to the most part, and has an excellent arm. Add it all up and it’s a slightly-below-average center fielder who would likely be an above-average corner outfielder considering his arm and ability to make the catches he’s supposed to.

But what happened to his bat in 2010? He was only worth 3.7 batting runs that year and no matter what his defensive stats say, if he reverts to that version, his contract extension would be a bane not a boon.

It really looks like two scary statistics were at the heart of his disappearance that season: batting average on balls in play and strikeout rate. Kemp has had a .352 BABIP over his career — most likely the product of his fleet feet, and 1.10 GB/FB career rate. In 2010, his BABIP was a mere .295. Kemp has also struck out 23.4% of his career plate appearances — a slightly below-average rate that is in large part the product of his career 12.7% swinging strike rate (8.5% is average). In 2010, his strikeout rate spiked to 25.4%.

Pitches missed his bat more often, and his balls in play found gloves more often. That combination will tank most players’ offensive value, but they’re still scary. For one, his swinging strike rate was the same in 2010 (12.6%) as is has been over his career, so the potential to strike out more will always be there. And Kemp’s .380 BABIP last year led baseball. The highest BABIP by any player with more than 2000 PAs since 2000 is Joey Votto‘s .352. That number should look familiar.

Couldn’t Kemp fall into his old ways once again? There’s at least one universe in which Kemp turns into an average right fielder on defense while striking out in a quarter of his at-bats and blaming his aging wheels for lower BABIPs and disappointing batting averages. If the gains he made in power (.262 isolated slugging last year, .201 ISO career) and walk rate (10.7% last year, 7.9% career) were more noise than signal, this deal could turn into a pumpkin quickly.

Of course, there’s another universe in which all of those gains were real. In that universe, Kemp continues to return more than $20 million in yearly value as a decent center fielder and a plus right fielder when he moves over. If you treat his 8.7 WAR this past season as a true-talent peak, he would be worth more than his contract even with a half-win drop every year for the next eight years.

Given the unique circumstance the Dodgers are in right now, the deal makes sense in all universes. The team has added a long-term asset without adding any 2012 payroll in all likelihood. The player now has long-term job security in a town that he enjoys. And the next ownership and management group can reap the rewards if it works out, and blame the former group if it doesn’t. Everyone has their reasons to like this deal.




Print This Post



Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


84 Responses to “Dodgers Close on Kemp Deal”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Yirmiyahu says:

    That deal would be ridiculous.

    Assuming $5M per win this year, subtract the normal 0.5 WAR/year because of regression and attrition, 3% annual salary inflation, and keeping in mind that he only makes $16M in 2012 if he goes to arbitration…. The deal would be for market value if Kemp is a true-talent 5.71 WAR player at the moment.

    While his 2011 was awesome, over his career, he’s produced 3.65 WAR per 600 PA’s. He only produced 0.4 WAR in 2010.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • miffleball says:

      why would you assume decline at 27? (I know studies have shown that hitters peak between 25 and 26, but those all cover all major leaguers, not just the ones with extended careers, let alone above average/allstar/mvp type careers)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • antonio bananas says:

        Studies I saw had a peak at 27. Either way, if you sign a guy for an 8 year deal after or when he’s 27, you’re pretty much guaranteed that they’re going to decline for most of the contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu says:

        I’m not assuming he’ll decline at 27. For any player, it’s smart to assume a .5 WAR/season regression over a long-term contract to account for the risk of injury or unexpected decline.

        This is why a player occasionally has to make the decision of choosing between the higher annual salary offered by Team A or the higher years offered by Team B.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. mister_rob says:

    I dont see this as such a no-brainer

    This is a guy the organization (and fans) called out for dogging it for an entire year just 12 months ago

    Even with his great year, his career OBP is 350, and tracks like a roller coaster

    Once he hits 30 his speed probably wont be what it is. He will be a corner OFer. So how much is a blah obp corner OFer with power worth? I dont think 20+MM

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ray says:

      so you think the LAD, with dwindling attendance, should let their only superstar hitter walk?
      How does this contract compare to the contract Tulo rec’d?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mister_rob says:

        I think they could have waited for a bit, to actually…you know…have an owner. And also to see if 2012 Kemp is more like 2011 kemp or 2010 kemp

        They are paying him off what he did in 2011. not off what he will most likely be in 2013 and beyond. His 2014 has a good shot at looking more Corey Hart-ish than 20+Million-ish

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Look at his 2007-09…..does he look more like 2010 (replacement level) or 2011 (MVP level)? The answer at the very least is in between which is an allstar level. You just don’t have replacement level players randomly put up MVP seasons…that 2010 was a fluke, it makes no sense to predict a 2010 like season from Kemp any time soon. Perhaps a bunch of years into the deal….and perhaps with injuries playing the part you might see Kemp put up a 2-3 WAR season ala Beltran’s later years. However a reasonable person should not find it hard to project 5-7 WAR seasons for Kemp throughout the res of his prime which is a huge chunk of this contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Also…the owner bit doesn’t matter does it? A new owner is coming, there is zero% chance that McCourt owns the team for another season….and any new owner is going to have the cash to afford this deal..and is going to want to do this deal.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • HodgyBeats says:

        “Look at his 2007-09…..does he look more like 2010 (replacement level) or 2011 (MVP level)? The answer at the very least is in between which is an allstar level.”

        That’s the entire point Chair. Players who don’t perform at a consistent near MVP level don’t deserve 160m guaranteed. This isn’t hard to understand. Kemp is also the type of guy who you worry about staying motivated and putting in his work after locking up such sercurity, he’s had lapses in the past.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        No. The point is at the LEAST Kemp is an allstar caliber player for the next 4 years and will earn his 20 mill per. At most he is MVP caliber and worth far more than 20 mill per. There is no case to be made that Kemp is going to play like 2010 over the course of this contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        2010 was a fluke, it does not fit in with the rest of his career.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ValueArb says:

        I love this logic, or attempt at logic. Attendance is dwindling, so they should lock up Kemp to an enormous contract to keep fans coming to games.

        How strong will attendance be if Kemp reverts and plays on a bad team hamstrung by his contract? Answer: terrible, obviously.

        No one will come to see Kemp if he or the team is bad.

        So the correct answer is to make the best decision for the future of the team. That might include signing Kemp to a mega deal, but his status as “sole team superstar” should have nothing to do with it. It should be because it’s the best use of team resources in assuring future team wins.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ivdown says:

        People need to realize it’s not all about 2011 and 2010. 2009 was a great year, 2008 was a good year. He could very well be in the middle of 2008-2009, which stands to reason he will, just with more home run power than those years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Chair says:

      since when does speed fall off a cliff at 30? I also think people are underestimating how hard Kemp hits the ball which plays a large role in his high BABIP. Also, his power has been growing and growing:

      2008 ISO .168
      2009 ISO .193
      2010 ISO .201
      2011 ISO .262

      I expect Kemp to play at a similar level to his 2011 over the first 4 years of the deal, during which he would be a relative bargain for 20 mill per. The later 4 years of the deal pose a risk….but that risk exists for any and all contracts of this length, there is no way for us to judge it at this point.

      Bottom line, this was a risky contract the Dodgers had to sign.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mister_rob says:

        Im not saying speed falls off a cliff at 30. But it usually starts rolling downhill at the very least

        And again, why’d they have to sign it?

        Let 2012 play out to see if he can sustain it. If he truly loves LA so much, he’d re-up with them

        Again, the Dodgers dont have an owner. Not sure its right for them to make 160M committments

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Well, Kemp has said he would not negotiate a deal during the season, so not signing him now probably means he tests free agency. At that point his price is going to naturally shoot up due to competitive bidding that may have involved the Yanks/Soxs/New Cubbies. Imagine how much higher his price would be if he DID repeat his 2011 numbers. We might be talking about an 8 year 25 mill deal. Say he failed to repeat, say he produced “just” 5 WAR for 2012, signing him long term would still cost something like 6-8 years 17-20 mill per. So to me this 8 year 20 mill deal is welcome. It is not a huge discount nor is it a scary overpay. It’s a risky long term contract for a rare Dodger superstar, and it could pay off big time. Trust me, Dodger fans are looking forward to Kemp knocking Erik Karros off the all time franchise homer lead.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Colin says:

    Vernon Wells II, this one is going to hurt in a few years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Chair says:

      It’s your opinion, we can’t deny you that. However there is no way to proove that Kemp is more Vernon Wells than Carlos Beltran

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Not a bad comparison actually. But then again, injuries to the legs of any player that relies on speed is detrimental.

      The thing with Wells is that he not only sucked in the field (much like Kemp) after 2006, but his bat also suffered. I personally don’t see Kemp going down that road, but with how he hit in 2010, it’s not out of the question.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Colin says:

        Finally some rational non-Dodgers biased opinion. Thank you.

        My comparison was mostly about getting huge money after what was obviously a peak season in terms of WAR, batting ect. in their prime which will likely not be duplicated.

        Also, I think there’s reason to believe Kemp’s bat will fall to the Wells level because his K% is well over 20 and his BABIP is a little high for a guy who K’s as much as he does.

        Also you’re right, the mediocre to bad defense comparison is part of it as well.

        Career WAR will probably be higher for Kemp but people are giving this season way too much credit going forward.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        “his BABIP is a little high for a guy who K’s as much as he does.” ….um high K%s lead to low BABIP???? WHAT???

        “Career WAR will probably be higher for Kemp but people are giving this season way too much credit going forward.”

        As of TODAY:

        Wells career WAR 26
        Kemp career WAR 19.2

        yeah…..pretty sure Kemp is going to out due his career WAR…he’s probably going to double it.

        If you value Kemp’s 2010 and 2011 equally…all you have to do is average them. During Kemp’s 2008-2011 (his full seasons) Kemp has averaged 4.5 WAR. That’s all you need to know.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Colin says:

        Go take a look at the BABIP leaders over the last few years and see how many hackers like Kemp you see over .300 let alone among the very best. I count two others neither of which has a very long track record. To answer your question, yes swinging at bad pitches could very easily have an effect on someone’s BABIP.

        Your answer as to why Kemp will not follow the Wells path is because he averaged a 4.5 WAR the last three years?

        Wells 04-06′, averaged a 4.33 WAR. His BABIP was also at or around .300 at the time with a much lower K rate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Wells was two years older than Kemp during that span. So it’s not a very accurate chunk of years to Compare to Kemp’s. The right ones would be 02-04 during which he averaged 3 WAR.

        As far as the BABIP K% thing, not all players are the same, Kemps skill set produces lots of strikeouts and a high BABIP.. it makes no sense to say that he can’t sustain the BABIP. It is proven that player’s BABIPs normalize over a few years. Kemp is more than a few years into a high BABIP. As a rule High K% does not equal low BABIP, that’s just false.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        THe only reason that might be true in a large number of cases is because high % guys are often large slow sluggers. Kemp is not that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Colin says:

        So now you’re assuming that all players age, peak and decline at the same times? Ok.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Says the guy assuming Kemp will decline the same as Vernon Wells, and that assumes all high K% players will hit for a low BABIP.

        It’s widely assumed that a players 25-28 years are their prime

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Colin says:

        I have not said anything about Kemp declining the same as Vernon Wells, only that they are similar players on many fronts and the Dodgers could regret giving him an 8 year deal.

        Also did not say all high K% players will hit for a low BABIP, just that it’s less likely they will hit for a high BABIP.

        I’m well aware when its assumed most players are in their prime. I’m also aware that no two players age the same and hence comparing their production at exact ages in two specific cases is not necessarily relevant.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Backing out now are you? You flat called him Vernon Wells 2, and don’t told me you didn’t mean they were going to decline the same, that’s pretty much what you were saying.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Colin says:

        So I’m backing out because I don’t agree with the words you put in my mouth? Interesting.

        Yeah I called him Wells II in the sense that I think living up to this contract will be impossible. He will not have to decline in exactly the same way as Wells for that to happen.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Vernon Wells is not simply a player whom is overpaid and won’t live up to his contract, he is one of the worst dollar for dollar value players in all of baseball, he is an albatross, a monstrous curse. By calling Kemp Vernon Wells 2 you can not simply be implying that “living up to this contract will be impossible”, you are implying (whether intentional or not) that Kemp at 8 years 160 mill will end up being one of the worst value players in all of baseball. In order for that to end up true, Kemp would have to plummet production wise to the same level as Vernon Wells.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AA says:

      50% of Kemp is more talented than 100% of Wells. Kemp is a better athlete (bigger, faster, stronger), a better contact hitter, has a better swing and is more patient.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Chair says:

    Kemp is going to be Carlos Beltran without the injuries

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • vivalajeter says:

      Well, Beltran’s 7th best season (5.4 WAR) is better than Kemp’s 2nd best season (5.2 WAR). Maybe Kemp will have a peak that’s as good as Beltran’s, but he has a long way to go before he’s on Beltran’s level.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        again…that first graph is not in any way relevant…only the first two. Kemp is way younger and thus can’t compare to Beltran in that sense. It’s pretty obvious man. Think about it..Kemp only has 4 full seasons to draw from.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BurleighGrimes says:

      Beltran was a superlative if not spectacular defender and — by stolen base percentage — the most reliable base stealer of all time. Kemp can’t blast either, especially the first. I can accept that Beltran is a closer comp for Kemp at this point than Wells is, but I don’t think CB’s case is perfectly analogous to MK’s because of Kemp’s D, and because Kemp will likely have to move to a corner earlier in his contract than Beltran did. Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that Kemp won’t suffer from the same wear and tear related injury that Beltran did. That’s the nature of playing a prime defensive position.

      That said, I like Matt Kemp and I hope he doesn’t revert to 2010 form. 2011 Kemp was exciting to watch.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Phrozen says:

        Beltran was an excellent base stealer, but what limits are you using to establish him as the “most reliable base stealer of all time?”

        For reference, Beltran stole 293 bases, and was caught 41 times, for a percentage of 87.7%. Chase Utley, by contrast, has stolen 110 and been caught only 13 times, for a percentage of 89.4%.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AA says:

        Kemp was incredibly unhappy in 2010 and it showed.

        His base stealing numbers are skewed by 2010 and his defensive issues have nothing to do with ability. Kemp has as strong an arm as anyone, is among the fastest players in baseball and can dunk a basketball. His defense would likely be the same in RF as in CF, because he is brought down more by his ability to judge flyballs, and has done better at that. It is entirely possible that his results are negatively influenced by Andre Ethier’s issues with range toward RCF.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Busta Olney says:

    deal is done, pending physical

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Gross. Matt Kemp isn’t one of the 5-10 best players in baseball, year-in year-out. Thus, this is an awful deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ray says:

        Yirmi-he most certainly is one of the top 5-10 in baseball. This is a great deal for the Dodgers.

        Was Carlos Gonzalez one of the top 5-10 in baseball year in and year out when he signed his contract?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mr wOBAto says:

        Carlos Gonzalez signed a 7/80 deal that started his age 25 season, Kemp signed a 8/160 deal that starts his age 27 year quite a bit different. Maybe Ryan Braun is a better analogy, although Braun is a more complete hitter

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu says:

        ray, you ignored the part where I said year-in-year out. He was 2nd in WAR this year, 333rd last year, 22nd in 2009, 65th in 2008, and 153rd in 2007.

        And, no, Carlos Gonzalez is nowhere near one of the top 5-10 players in baseball. Also, he’ll be paid half as much as Kemp and yet his deal is still controversial for being an overpay.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Chair says:

    For those that don’t like this deal, what do you think would be a good price for Kemp?
    I just don’t think you can honestly say that a more reasonable contract exists in this the real world. This is a world in which Prince Fielder is said to be looking for 25 mill annually for 6-8 years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Xeifrank says:

      Better question is to have them give you, how many wins above replacement is Kemp’s current true talent level. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, something else? What shall it be?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • grandbranyan says:

      I would have made Kemp do it again and let him hit FA if this is the going rate. 8/160 and you’re the only one bidding? If he puts up another year like last year, or even only a 7 or 8 WAR campaign, I’d feel much better giving him this deal.

      As for the Fielder comp, Fielder has been far more consistent with the bat over the course of his career than has Kemp. Sure, he is a terrible fielder and baserunner and people have concerns about how he’ll age but if I’m an AL team I have no problem giving him 6-8 years because he has been consistently healthy and productive which make his projections moving forward far less volatile than someone like Kemp.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        um Kemp has been just as consistently healthy as Fielder. Since becoming a starter, Kemp has been in 155, 159, 162, and 161 games.

        While Fielder does not have a .4 WAR season in his past that teams should worry about, he does have a 1.7 WAR season. Overall for the past 4 seasons Kemp has averaged 4.5 WAR, Fielder….also 4.5

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chair says:

        Their last 4 seasons ranked from best WAR to worst
        Fielder 6.4, 5.5, 3.4, 1.7
        Kemp 8.7, 5.2, 3.5, .4

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ray says:

        so you would rather give an overweight guy who can’t run or play defense more money than someone who can run and play so-so defense?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ValueArb says:

      Fewer years would be better. Not sure it’s possible, the Dodgers are paying him on a peak year now, and as you’ve pointed out, won’t have much leverage if they try to wait a year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Max says:

    On the one hand, I don’t see how this ends well for the Dodgers. On the other, it’s one heck of a lot better than the Mauer deal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Chair says:

    Kemp has 4 full seasons under his belt during which he has averaged 4.5 WAR. It’s heavily brought down by one .4 WAR season, and lifted by an 8.7 WAR season.

    Say you think Kemp has better days ahead of him, that his next 4 seasons will average 5.5 WAR rather than 4.5, not too unreasonable is it? If 1 WAR is worth 5 mill, those first 4 years would be worth 110 mill, and that is without projecting the future monetary value of WAR.

    At the end of the first 4 years Kemp would be 30 and entering his decline years. So his WAR per year might drop from 5.5 to 3.5 lets say, once again not too unreasonable is it? 3.5 WAR per for the latter 4 years at 5 mill per WAR would make Kemp worth 70 mill.

    In total Kemp would be producing an average of 4.5 WAR per season and be worth 180 mill.

    Kemp just signed for 160 mill. So even if I’m wrong and more serious decline/injuries get in the way…there is a good chance Kemp can be worth his contract.

    Keep in mind I factored in his .4 WAR season into the original average WAR..and thus in my projections for the future I’m projecting a few similarly low WAR seasons.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Bip says:

    First of all, there’s a bunch of places in the article where you say “2009” instead of “2010,” starting with where you say “But what happened to his bat in 2009?” I thought “there’s no way Kemp’s 2009 was only worth 3.7 batting runs in 2009.”

    Secondly, Kemp’s problems with the Dodger’s management in 2010 are well documented, and there is reason to believe he suffered from a bad work ethic that year. Because Kemp’s problems in 2010 are not solely due to random variation, I think that repeating his 2010 performance is less likely than repeating his 2011 performance.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. mister_rob says:

    and now nearly 9M for 2 yrs of mark ellis??

    That makes me think Darwin Barney at 400K has tremendous trade value

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. rageon says:

    Back when $20M was the going rate for elite players (ARod, Manny), it was at least a little bit easier to rationalize the utter inability for half the teams in baseball to afford a deal like that, given it was take up fully half of some teams’ payroll. After all, these were *elite* players, true difference makers, and that was the price to pay for talent on the extremes. But now $20M is the rate for simply pretty darn good players (Kemp, Ryan Howard), who in Kemp’s case probably just had a career year and is going to be paid as if he can do that a half-dozen more times.

    As a fan of the Dodgers, I’ve got no problem with this deal. Should it be closer to $17M? Probably. But it doesn’t really matter, it’s not going to make a difference to them. So sure, go for it if you’re the Dodgers. But I also want the A’s, Twins and Rays (and others) to field good teams that can be kept together for something more than a 2-year period where everything goes right and you hope to get lucky in the playoffs.

    I love baseball. But it’s just getting harder and harder to love Major League Baseball.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • antonio bananas says:

      Why? Because players are getting paid more? That’s what makes it hard to like baseball? Most players don’t get paid their Marginal Revenue Product, which is how most of us SHOULD be paid. the money has to go somewhere. Would you rather the billionaire/corporation owners get it? Pay their family members 10M a year to sit at a desk and look at the computer? Or would you rather it go to the guys working hard and actually bringing in the revenue?

      It’s not a player pay problem, it’s that Bud Selig is a jerkoff and doesn’t think baseball needs a cap and minimum and more revenue sharing. So I guess in a way it is player pay, but that’s not the direct problem.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu says:

        antonio, I totally agree with you about most players being underpaid and would rather see money go to the players rather than billionaire owners.

        But I read the comment as complaining about payroll inequality between teams, and its effects on competitive parity. It’s hard to create a solution to that problem that doesn’t involve artificially suppressing player salaries. But imposing a minimum salary on teams would be one way. Or a CBA that guaranteed the players a certain percentage of team revenue (if a team doesn’t reach their ‘cap’ number, they would have to pay the difference to the MLBPA to distribute among the players). Or many other iterations.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. byosti says:

    out of curiosity, how did you come up with the 3.7 batting runs in 2010 found? i’m assuming this is held against league average as well

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Phantom Stranger says:

    Kemp was the best position player I saw play in 2011. I would not worry about his hitting, he has perfected his swing and it is one of the best in the game now. Combined with his natural athletic talent makes him an elite hitter for the coming years.

    What I would worry about is his defense. He gets lazy at times and loses focus on defense, which is likely to get worse as he ages. Is this contract acceptable if he is playing right field in 3 years?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. MDB says:

    The Dodgers may have been better off waiting till next year to sign him. I don’t know that they are taking much of a discount by signing him a year early and without him on the market. Not a bad deal though really.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Robbie G. says:

    If I am a GM with a player coming off an out-of-nowhere career year like this, who I don’t trust to stay properly motivated for the next 6-8 years, whose value is to a pretty significant extent derived from a position that I don’t even think he’s going to be playing in 2-3 years, then I am in a very tough predicament. But I think the smart thing to do would be to make him available and see what sorts of bids come in. If the bids are not particularly strong then I am getting a pretty good indication of what the market for the guy is going to look like when he hits free agency. And if the bids are strong then I for sure auction the guy off to the highest bidder. I certainly feel no pressure from ownership to retain a player with these sorts of question marks when I am going to be dealing with a new ownership group in the relatively near future!

    I would never want to make my big money, centerpiece player a guy whose motivation and work ethic I have questioned in the past, in any sport. There is no way that it doesn’t send the wrong message to your other players when your highest-paid player has a questionable work ethic and could fairly easily devolve into an Alfonso Soriano-caliber malcontent. There is no way that the Cubs’ W-L record is not greatly impacted by the fact that their two highest paid players (Soriano and Carlos Zambrano) are not even beginning to earn their paychecks, for example. Ideally, in any organization, sports or otherwise, I want my best performer to be the highest paid employee, my second-best performer to be my second-highest paid employee, and so on.

    Say what you want about Ryan Howard’s contract–and it is deplorable–but the guy works hard, has a great attitude, brings all of the intangibles to the table, and is a huge reason why folks like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are willing to leave tens of millions of dollars on the table to be a part of that clubhouse.

    Big mistake here, in my mind.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Robbie G. says:

      And why give Mark Ellis two years, $8.75 mil? Can you seriously not get Mark Ellis-caliber production from a journeyman who would be willing to settle for a one-year deal for $1-$2 mil? Why are so many pro sports GMs so bad at their jobs? Instead of “What Would Jesus Do?”, maybe pro sports GMs should ask themselves before making a move, “What would Tampa Bay do?”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bawfuls says:

      If you are NedCo, what makes you think you will retain your GM position once the new ownership is settled in?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. kushernova says:

    This has Alfonso Soriano Part 2 written all over it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. cdawg says:

    All I’ve got to say jose batista 4 years 50 mill.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. B N says:

    Well, this simply explains why the Dodgers should have locked him up long term LAST year. They could have thrown 100m or less for 8 years then and saved a big chunk of change. Instead, they decide to buy high rather than buy low. Not quite sure why teams do that…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>