Hinske’s Hidden Value

The star of spring training thus far has to be Jason Heyward. Before the exhibition season begins there’s only so many actions that can create hype. Going on a fastball-crunching, executive car-battering frenzy during batting practice is one of those actions. Media and fans are like are swooning over this guy, which makes it time for the Braves to think about their future and Heyward’s role in that future by glancing at Evan Longoria’s situation from 2008.

No, not the demotion to the minors, but by making sure Heyward buddies up with Eric Hinske and discusses the finer points of ballplayer finances. Generally, having the stud rookie talk with a former stud rookie whose most notable accomplishment in the last 12 months includes a $5,000 tattoo seems like a recipe for disaster, but remember what Hinske did for Longoria? If not, a refresher:

“He told me don’t pass up the chance to make your first fortune,” Longoria recalled with a smile. “I trust everything he says and I definitely took that advice.”

Longoria, of course, signed a six-year, $17.5M extension that could reach nine-years and more than $30M if things stay on course. That deal is the Heyward of contracts and a large reason why Longoria has been named the most valuable asset in baseball two years running by this site. Obviously Hinske’s words may not capture Heyward’s (or his agent’s) heart quite like they caught Longoria, but Heyward has the makings of a special career. With such, the Braves should pull out the big guns and have Hinske attached to Heyward’s hip all spring.

If nothing else, maybe the snake on Hinske’s back can intimidate the youngster into doing some inking of his own.

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17 Responses to “Hinske’s Hidden Value”

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  1. Steve says:

    Longoria, of course, signed a six-year, $17.5M extension that could reach nine-years and more than $30M if things stay on course.

    isn’t this number more like $45M?

    also, that tattoo is just awful.

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  2. DavidCEisen says:

    So next year Hinske goes to Washington to talk to Strasburg.

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    • Steven Ellingson says:

      Strasburg is past the “first fortune” phase as far as I’m concerned. He’s in a position to take a little risk in order to maximize his earnings.

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    • desert says:

      Well, if the whole ‘his team makes the World Series every year’ thing holds up, don’t except to see him on South Capitol Street anytime in the next few years.

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  3. Rich in NJ says:

    When I was a kid, you could only see those kind of tattoos at a circus carnival.

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    • Sandy Kazmir says:

      Did you ride your dinosaur to the corner spot to find out if a dime bag still cost a dime?

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      • Rich in NJ says:

        No, I had a driver.

        So you like that tattoo?

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      • Sandy Kazmir says:

        I’m not really a tattoo guy, but it seems more creative than the Chinese symbol for barbed wire. You think you know somebody and then they show you that their awesome t-shirt is really just painted skin.

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  4. Joe says:

    Longoria’s contract is a worse deal then Wakefield’s perpetual option ever was.In a couple years as he sees his peers pass him in salary he will be pissed.

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    • Chad says:

      Except he’s been making 7 figures while they’ve been making $400k.

      If the average player makes $1.2MM in his first 3 years in the league ($400k/year), he’s got to make around $15MM in his next 3 years to catch up with Longoria. Granted, some guys will do that, but lots won’t, and lots will get injured or flame out.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Longoria’s payouts: 08:$0.5M, 09:$0.55M, 10:$0.95M, 11:$2M, 12:$4.5M, 13:$6M, 14:$7.5M club option ($3M buyout), 15:$11M club option, 16:$11.5M club option. He hasn’t been making seven figures, and won’t until next year, when he’d have made much, much more in arbitration.

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    • Cooper S says:

      If only there were more to life than money…. oh, wait…

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  5. Rick says:

    a former stud rookie whose most notable accomplishment in the last 12 months includes a $5,000 tattoo

    I guess winning the World Series aint what it used to be. Or R.J. really likes tattoos.

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  6. Steve says:

    Rick… come on now. Guess what Eric Hinske and Adrian Gonzalez have in common? Neither got a postseason hit! LOL

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  7. db says:

    Longoria easily signed the most below market deal in history. He got no guarantees and he would have made at least the same through his six controlled years. Instead of making >$20 million per year when he is a free agent he gave up those years for team options with low buyouts. He should fire his agent for malpractice.

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    • Sandy Kazmir says:

      You’re assuming that he doesn’t get hurt. Rocco Baldelli might wish he had signed for a longer term deal than he got. That money will still be out there if/when he gets that far.

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  8. redsox says:

    I thought all mlb contracts were guaranteed. Under your scenario, Should Longoria go the way of Hinske (less than stellar performance) or Baldelli, (Illness) he would not make a fraction of his guaranteed contract. If Longoria gets a career ending injury in 2010 do you hire the agent back as a genius?

    As it stands, as a multi-millionaire he hits FA 2 years later but at the ripe old age of 29. Certainly an age where he will command 6-8 years and billions of dollars if his performance goes as expected.

    Could he have done better year to year, yes, will he lose out and have to go to a bread line, not likley.

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