Restructuring Andruw

Earlier this offseason, Roy Oswalt expressed interest in restructuring his contract in order to allow GM Ed Wade to effectively explore the free agent market. Owner Drayton McClane did not allow this to happen but it presented an interesting scenario nonetheless. The MLBPA does not allow players to take paycuts, per se, but restructuring deals are still fair game. Then again, the restructuring needs to be done carefully so as to avoid any type of “wrongdoing” to the player.

For instance, if a player is owed $10 mil/yr for four seasons, he may be able to restructure his contract so that he makes just $6 mil in years three and four. In exchange for earning lesser money in those contracted seasons, the player could receive another year on the deal, an option built in, or even the “lost” money deferred after the original contract normally would have expired.

I bring this up only because, while Oswalt did not get to restructure his deal with the Astros, Ned Colletti was able to restructure the ugly contract given to Andruw Jones. Jones signed a 2-yr/$36.2 mil deal prior to last season and proceeded to put up sub-Michael Bourn numbers in limited action.

With Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier guaranteed starting spots, Juan Pierre realistically staying put, and the club’s desire to re-sign Manny Ramirez, Jones has no spot on the team. He asked the Dodgers to trade him this offseason, but being owed ~$22 mil in salary and bonuses is anything but appetizing for teams. Why would they want to pay Manny Ramirez money for someone who just put up 1/8 of that caliber of production?

According to Cot’s Contracts, an absolutely invaluable website for anything and everything contract-related, the restructured contract will see up to $12 mil of his remaining money deferred over the next six seasons, without interest. Jones’ original deal was backloaded to begin with, and the new contract will save the Dodgers plenty of money this season. It also turns Jones from a high-risk/medium-reward player into a low or medium-risk/medium-reward player, given that he will be owed so little money. And, assuming the team releases Jones, allowing another to sign him for a $1 mil or less deal, he is very low risk with the potential for very high reward.

The Braves have reportedly expressed interest, but it will be extremely interesting to see what happens with a very cheap Andruw Jones given the circumstances of the current outfield market. Does Andruw Jones at $600K after being released make someone like Abreu seem less worthy than the $9-10 mil he may have to settle for? Does it make no difference? Regardless, Andruw Jones will no longer play for the Dodgers, but the situation looks like it was handled well, as his production in no may merited the original fee, but the contract will not be an albatross or deterrent to other teams.



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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.


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D Wrek
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D Wrek
7 years 7 months ago

I was on board last season with this contract b/c it was only 2 years. Not much risk in 2 years, right? I was not the only one saying this.

But it turns out, there was a lot of risk. He is absolutely horrible, 22 mil makes him untradeable (as well as hinders other signings). And they need that roster spot opened up. Pair that with another bad contract (Pierre) and the Dodgers have severly damaged their ability to adjust their short term plans..

Note to self. Even 2 year deals carry risk.

Kirk
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Kirk
7 years 7 months ago

I don’t get why this makes Andruw Jones any more attractive. That money is simply deferred. The Dodgers or any team that trades for him would need to pay him 6M this year and 3M for several additional seasons (that he wouldn’t be under contract for).

Of course they pay less this year but they still have to pay the money.

Steve
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Steve
7 years 7 months ago

andruw’s still obviously overpaid but the restructure definitely makes him easier to trade. a smaller hit on the 09 payroll means the dodgers can more easily trade him to another team with without hitting the other team’s payroll threshhold. in return, get back another bad contract that at least fills a need. for example, since there are some questions about the projected rotation’s youth/inexperience, colletti could trade for a bad contract like millwood or padilla. not that TX would do this, though.

themarksmith
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7 years 7 months ago

I can’t believe anyone gives him more than $400K. He won’t get $5-6M from anyone.

Xeifrank
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7 years 7 months ago

Nobody will trade for him. He will end up being released. The restructuring does not increase his trade value enough. It does help get the Dodgers payroll down, and perhaps free up enough money for the Dodgers to sign Manny + a starting pitcher.
vr, Xei

kensai
Guest
7 years 7 months ago

Andruw is overpaid at 1 million.

There is zero market for him in trades right now. The Dodgers will end up eating his contract anyway, the only benefit is that they have more money for this year so Frank McCheap can buy more houses.

ant
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ant
7 years 7 months ago

Wait I’m Kind of confused about this. I was under the assumption that if the Dodgers trade Andruw that the team receiving him would only be paying him the 5 million and that the Dodgers would still be paying the deferred money no matter what happens. If the team that gets Jones still has to pay him the 20+ million even if its differed over several years I do not see how he can be traded.

Kirk
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Kirk
7 years 7 months ago

The restructuring of Andruw’s contract makes no stipulations about who pays what if he is traded. Any team trading for him would negotiate how much of the contract that the Dodgers would pick up. And I would guess that they would want the dodgers to pick up nearly all of it.

christopher miller
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christopher miller
7 years 7 months ago

it’s “per se” not persay. While the analysis here is pretty good, the basic editing and grammar is mediocre at best, and sometimes outright horrid. Please bring this side of things up to par if you wish to be taken seriously!

Matt
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Matt
7 years 7 months ago

Are you kidding Miller? We come here for the baseball analysis, not for grammar lessons. I don’t think anybody has claimed to be english scholars here.

I read a lot of poker theory, and the first page is always, “I am a poker analyst, not a writer – so apologies first and foremost.”

Matt
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Matt
7 years 7 months ago

Among us ‘stat geeks’ I’d say nearly the MOST respected IMO…

themarksmith
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7 years 7 months ago

Says the guy who didn’t even capitalize his name.

Michael B.
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Michael B.
7 years 7 months ago

Has anyone noticed today’s CHONE projection for Jones? It has him hitting 28 homers and driving in 87 runs this year. (Bill James and Marcel project closer to 15 and 50). CHONE has an OBP of .329, SLG at .450, and ISO at .218. His career numbers are .339, .489, and .230.

If he reaches 28 and 87 and plays above average defense, he’d be a steal at $400K or even at $1M-$2M. But will he play enough to get close to those numbers?

obsessivegiantscompulsive
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7 years 7 months ago

The restructuring totally only helps the Dodgers in reducing their total paid for 2009. As noted above, it does not help his trade value, the Dodgers in any case would be paying almost the whole freight of his contract else the other team wouldn’t trade for him.

Like others above, I agree that he will probably not be traded. Why bother trying to negotiate with LA for Jones when they have already announced that he’s going to be released if no trade? He was already on a downslope when LA gave him that horrendous contract (which made me happy) and the downward hockeystick on his career graph just continued in 2008.

What I don’t understand is why the players association allowed this to go through. When A-Rod tried to re-do his contract, he was willing to take less money to make the deal work (else he’ll be in Boston the past many years) but the union nixed it because of what the precedence of taking less money would do. By deferring his money into the future, Andruw is ending up with less money when you take present value into account because he accepted no interest on the deferred money. And I know the union must know about such a concept because I’ve seen discussions about how one contract had a lower net present value than another.

It is not like Andruw will gain monetarily from becoming a free agent, though the potential certainly is there if he can have a decent offensive season, and by now becoming a free agent (assuming no trade is done), he at least now has a chance to find a team willing to give him a starting job for minimum pay. But given how poorly he has played in recent years, it certainly is not a money in the bank proposition, there is a lot of risk that he will not be able to get another contract after 2009.

Brandon
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Brandon
7 years 7 months ago

Assuming Andruw can play defensive to his 2002-2007 level this would be a great low risk high reward scenario for most teams. Andruw was worth +3.4 wins in 07 thanks to his godlike ability to play center. With him losing weight, getting his knees fixed, and maybe some motivation I can see him playing to his 07 level defensively again. Which would make him a plus player (especially for under 1 million). And this is not even factoring how much better he makes his corner outfielders defensively and the possibility of being decent with the bat.

Matt B.
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Matt B.
7 years 7 months ago

As long as he doesn’t look like CC Sabathia out there….

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