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Thread: Another Free Agent?

  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    This doesn't happen. Ever. I've heard it thrown around a lot lately. It's a player driven thing, they won't negotiate that way.

    Let's just all take that off the table.
    on the contrary...
    JAN. 10:
    Feldman's deal is front-loaded, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The right-hander will earn $12MM in 2014, $10MM in 2015 and $8MM in 2016.


    The Cardinals' four-year, $53MM deal with Jhonny Peralta has an interesting twist: it's frontloaded. The shortstop will earn $15.5MM in 2014, $15MM in '15, $12.5MM in '16, and $10MM in '17, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Here's tonight's look around the majors..

    I mean, that's just this year... Even for a SS who will projectedly make more money. Hmph.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    This doesn't happen. Ever.

    Let's just all take that off the table.
    Completely inaccurate.

    Off the top of my head, Jhonny Peralta's recently signed contract was front loaded. The biggest contract ever signed was front-loaded as well. Alex Rodriguez's contract with the Yankees.

    I've heard it thrown around a lot lately. It's a player driven thing, they won't negotiate that way.
    It's not a player driven thing, it's a team driven thing. There are three reasons why teams would rather back-load a contract.

    • Inflation
    • Maximizing value of the player's peak years
    • There's a chance the team doesn't pay the entirety of the contract since you can usually trade a bad contract. (e.g., Vernon Wells)


    Players prefer a front-loaded contract. Who wouldn't want their money sooner rather than later? That's why players who sign large multi-year contracts generally receive signing bonuses.

  3. #203
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    =Off the top of my head, Jhonny Peralta's recently signed contract was front loaded. The biggest contract ever signed was front-loaded as well. Alex Rodriguez's contract with the Yankees.
    You noted two contracts in the last 10 years. That's pretty much all there is. It's even noted in this story how rare it is. It may not literally be "never". But, in practice, it's not far off. Exceptions, again, prove the rule.

    Players prefer a front-loaded contract. Who wouldn't want their money sooner rather than later? That's why players who sign large multi-year contracts generally receive signing bonuses.
    Rationally, yes it does make sense for them. But rationality rarely comes into play when ego and unions are involved. Players don't want to front-load because then by the back-end of their deal they no longer have the prestige of being a top-paid player. It also potentially alters the market for future player negotiations.

    Basically, it helps keep the "highest paid player" in baseball lofty so that teams can't negotiate relative to back-ended salaries. Say, if Sabathia or someone else had front-loaded. When Kershaw comes to the negotiating table....they have to argue with the team that the highest paid pitcher in the league is Sabathia at 14M and therefore they aren't going to more than double that in annual salary. It may seem silly (and it largely is) but that's how they operate. Guys back-load so they are "looking out" for the next generation of player salaries.

    So, yes, it is a player-driven phenomenon. Why Peralta accepted something otherwise is curious. (Though his PED issues may be a factor.)
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 01-25-2014 at 07:42 PM.

  4. #204
    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Mod hat: I think this has been a good debate, and I've enjoyed it. Hats off to all.

    Carry on.
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  5. #205
    Senior Member Triple-A InfraRen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Mod hat: I think this has been a good debate, and I've enjoyed it. Hats off to all.

    Carry on.
    Yay!
    Follow me on Twitter: @Infraren

    Till I Collapse

  6. #206
    One front loaded contract is an exception, but three could be the start of a trend, especially considering veteran's projected loss of production. I believe each person (A-Rod, Peralta, Scott Feldman) was in their 30's once they signed.

    More interesting insight on Drew and Peralta.

    Career
    .268/.330/.425, dWar of 4.6 ---- Peralta

    .264/.329/.435, dWar of 4.8 ---- Drew

    Now, I don't think the Peralta contract is a good one, but if it's the price to play poker then I believe the Twins would be getting a relative good deal for 3 years, ~$10MM. Not to mention Drew is a year younger, left handed, strikes out less and can steal a few bases.

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    You noted two contracts in the last 10 years. That's pretty much all there is. It's even noted in this story how rare it is. It may not literally be "never". But, in practice, it's not far off. Exceptions, again, prove the rule.



    Rationally, yes it does make sense for them. But rationality rarely comes into play when ego and unions are involved. Players don't want to front-load because then by the back-end of their deal they no longer have the prestige of being a top-paid player. It also potentially alters the market for future player negotiations.

    Basically, it helps keep the "highest paid player" in baseball lofty so that teams can't negotiate relative to back-ended salaries. Say, if Sabathia or someone else had front-loaded. When Kershaw comes to the negotiating table....they have to argue with the team that the highest paid pitcher in the league is Sabathia at 14M and therefore they aren't going to more than double that in annual salary. It may seem silly (and it largely is) but that's how they operate. Guys back-load so they are "looking out" for the next generation of player salaries.

    So, yes, it is a player-driven phenomenon. Why Peralta accepted something otherwise is curious. (Though his PED issues may be a factor.)
    Food for thought.....If Drew were to sign a 3-year flat deal at $10M/yr., player salary inflation- with probably a low-ball estimate of around 7.5%/anum- would render the third year of his contract at slightly over $8.5M. In 2013 terms, that gives you a 36 year old Marlon Byrd...food for thought.

    .

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    You noted two contracts in the last 10 years.


    This was your post, was it not?

    This doesn't happen. Ever.
    So the fact that I could even think of two contracts off the top of my head makes the post completely inaccurate. No?

    You dismissed his post as something that doesn't happen, when it does. Just thought it would be fair to point that out.

    Rationally, yes it does make sense for them. But rationality rarely comes into play when ego and unions are involved. Players don't want to front-load because then by the back-end of their deal they no longer have the prestige of being a top-paid player. It also potentially alters the market for future player negotiations.

    Basically, it helps keep the "highest paid player" in baseball lofty so that teams can't negotiate relative to back-ended salaries. Say, if Sabathia or someone else had front-loaded. When Kershaw comes to the negotiating table....they have to argue with the team that the highest paid pitcher in the league is Sabathia at 14M and therefore they aren't going to more than double that in annual salary. It may seem silly (and it largely is) but that's how they operate. Guys back-load so they are "looking out" for the next generation of player salaries.

    So, yes, it is a player-driven phenomenon. Why Peralta accepted something otherwise is curious. (Though his PED issues may be a factor.)
    Other than your thoughts and opinions, do you have anything else that supports the notion that players drive back-loaded deals? Cause I can do a simple google search and find dozens of articles on why it favors the team and not the player.

    Every discussion I've heard regarding "highest paid player" involves the total value or the AAV of the contract. It would seem logical that teams, players and agents are intelligent enough to use total value and AAV when discussing contracts.

    So when a team goes: "Sabathia is only making $14M this year".

    The agent says: "Yeah, but his AAV is $24M".

    or vica versa

    Agent: "Sabathia is making $34M this year"

    Team: "Yeah, but his AAV is $24M"

  9. #209
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    So the fact that I could even think of two contracts off the top of my head makes the post completely inaccurate. No?
    It doesn't happen with any regularity. It's a rarity. I overspoke in a literal sense with "ever" but the fact remains: it isn't a viable method. You're welcome to show how many actually happen, I believe you've pointed out the only two in recent memory, but maybe there is this long list of them that shows it is viable. By all means.

    Cause I can do a simple google search and find dozens of articles on why it favors the team and not the player.
    Considering the power players have in negotiating....if they wanted it....wouldn't it happen more often? They negotiate all sorts of comical, ridiculous, brazen things into contracts but front-loading is extremely rare. If it makes so much sense, why aren't some of the top-end FAs demanding it? Surely some team (like Seattle for Cano - someone always ponies up if you're talented enough, no matter how huge your demands) would give in. The simpler explanation isn't that all the teams have unified as one to deny this to players (when does that ever happen when it comes to these things?) but that the actual union is the one keeping it off the table?

    In fact, even A-rod, who you cited before - had in his contract that if any player was paid more than him the team could pay him 1M more and avoid the contract being voided. Ensuring his deal was backloaded or voided so he could re-negotiate.

    I don't deny it's speculative and all the articles I'm sure you googled thought (as you did) that it was a team driven phenomenon. Very few people seem to approach it from the opposite perspective.

    I'll simplify:front-loaded contracts ultimately hurt bargaining position as well. With free agency so important, that's clearly going to be a heavy pressure to give in to and the union (directly and indirectly) puts a lot of pressure on players to operate not only on their best interests or wishes, but for the betterment of others now and in the future. The teams don't typically care how much they operate in the best interest of each other. That makes the simpler explanation that the players are driving it.

    The contrary thing to believe would be your position. That every team in the league has joined together in stupidity, solidarity, or something to not front-load deals. Even though all of us could come up with situations in which it would be a brilliant move by teams to engage in. With so many savvy front office people, surely some of these situations would be more recognized and taken advantage of. But they don't. Not small markets, not big markets, not mid-markets. No one does it with any regularity. Or even with semi-randomness. It's rare.

    So what's simpler to explain? How a unionized force is acting in a way to increase their bargaining position or that 30 teams of very smart people are intentionally or unintentionally overlooking more ideal ways of offering contracts?
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 01-25-2014 at 09:32 PM.

  10. #210
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    Just read the latest headlines in MLBR and I got excited, it read...
    Garza...Twins,Indians. wow yiipppiiieeeee

    then it went on to say that the Brewers and Garza were still talking .
    The Twins had a piece about Colabellos decision not to chase money
    and kubel being set for a corner outfield position and DH

  11. #211
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    Front loading a contract to say Garza make sense not only for the teams Payroll, and future ability to have some space, but it would make sense if the Twins went further then 31 million in the 1st year, say they paid him 40 million this year ,and only 4 million per ,for the last 3 years.
    The Twins would only have to insure the 1st year of his contract, allowing them to save on insurance premiums over the last 3 years.and it would make him a valueble trading chip.
    Imaging in 2015 having a #2 type pitcher who is only owed 8 million for 2 years combined

  12. #212
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    I hope this site doesn't turn into consistently breaking someone else's post into selected snippets with a counter point for every single one. It is so extremely contextually dangerous.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    The simpler explanation isn't that all the teams have unified as one to deny this to players (when does that ever happen when it comes to these things?) but that the actual union is the one keeping it off the table?

    So what's simpler to explain? How a unionized force is acting in a way to increase their bargaining position or that 30 teams of very smart people are intentionally or unintentionally overlooking more ideal ways of offering contracts?

    That every team in the league has joined together in stupidity, solidarity, or something to not front-load deals.

    The simple explanation is that teams think individually and they all understand that back-loading a contract is much more beneficial for the reasons stated.

    There isn't some collusion between teams. Back-loading is just the better business move. They don't have to join together to realize it.

    Even though all of us could come up with situations in which it would be a brilliant move by teams to engage in. With so many savvy front office people, surely some of these situations would be more recognized and taken advantage of. But they don't.
    I can't think of any situation in which it would be a brilliant move for the team. That's likely the reason that it rarely happens.

    I don't deny it's speculative
    The contrary thing to believe would be your position.
    Mine, along with dozens of credible writers. Some of whom are involved with the game and some with the business aspect of it.

    I'd rather take that position over speculation.

  14. #214
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    The simple explanation is that teams think individually and they all understand that back-loading a contract is much more beneficial for the reasons stated.
    So let me get this straight: Back-loading a contract is always the smarter way to do things? If teams had their way, they'd always choose back-loading?

    Here are just a few scenarios where it wouldn't be:

    1) Resigning an aging player well into their career arc.
    2) Better align payroll flexibility with player development (Think how many of us would love to do that right now. Including the initial poster I responded to. And he's right, it would make sense)
    3) Increased trade flexibility as players age

    These scenarios happen semi-regularly and would very much benefit small and mid-market teams who rely on rebuilding through their farm. The notion that there is no such scenario it would make sense is a bit breathtaking. I'm not sure how you could arrive at such a conclusion.

    The truth is, teams would do this in these situations. And if they did, with some consistency, there would be union pushback so they didn't lose negotiating power. So it starts and stops with players who, afterall, have majority of the power in free agency negotiating.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    I hope
    Hope is dangerous and only wishful speculation. Stick to stats and facts.
    Last edited by twinsnorth49; 01-26-2014 at 07:37 AM.

  16. This user likes nicksaviking's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    TheLeviathan (01-25-2014)

  17. #216
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    Ian Kinsler had a front loaded contract.
    A reason for a team to front load a contract would be anticipated cash flow. St Louis can anticipate revenues and project in 2-3 years. If Miller, Wacha et al continue to develop, St Louis in a couple of years would have a payroll issue.

    It would make sense to pay the player according to anticipated decline. When does baseball and contracts make sense?

    There is the reason to backload the contract. As time goes on the money is worth less.
    If you think the contract makes the player's contract an albatross consider the team either way is paying for the player. Either paying the money upfront, or at the end to another team like the Cubs did to get rid of Soriano. Either way the origional club is paying, but the dollars are worth less.

    3/30 may be a reasonable contract for Drew. He turned down 1/14. To get 2 more years and 16 million would represent a real loss for Drew in the negotiations. His agent is Boras. When was the last time Boras lost with a major free agent?
    Last edited by old nurse; 01-25-2014 at 11:33 PM.

  18. #217
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    Ian Kinsler had a front loaded contract.
    A reason for a team to front load a contract would be anticipated cash flow. St Louis can anticipate revenues and project in 2-3 years. If Miller, Wacha et al continue to develop, St Louis in a couple of years would have a payroll issue.

    It would make sense to pay the player according to anticipated decline. When does baseball and contracts make sense?

    There is the reason to backload the contract. As time goes on the money is worth less.
    If you think the contract makes the player's contract an albatross consider the team either way is paying for the player. Either paying the money upfront, or at the end to another team like the Cubs did to get rid of Soriano. Either way the origional club is paying, but the dollars are worth less.

    3/30 may be a reasonable contract for Drew. He turned down 1/14. To get 2 more years and 16 million would represent a real loss for Drew in the negotiations. His agent is Boras. When was the last time Boras lost with a major free agent?
    Didn't Kyle Lohse get less per annum than his qualifying offer? I think he's a Boras client.

  19. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    I hope this site doesn't turn into consistently breaking someone else's post into selected snippets with a counter point for every single one. It is so extremely contextually dangerous.
    I'm definitely guilty of this.

    A while ago, I had read that responding to full posts were filling up pages, making them harder to read. I also noticed that several other posters would break down posts to make them shorter, easier to understand and respond to.

    I was never attempting to remove context from the posts I replied to. My thought was that since their post was already up, I could shorten my responses while making it easier to understand what I was specifically replying to.

    If posting this way is considered bad form, I apologize to you and anyone else that this bothers. I'll refrain from doing it from now on.

  20. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    So let me get this straight: Back-loading a contract is always the smarter way to do things? If teams had their way, they'd always choose back-loading?

    Here are just a few scenarios where it wouldn't be:

    1) Resigning an aging player well into their career arc.
    2) Better align payroll flexibility with player development (Think how many of us would love to do that right now. Including the initial poster I responded to. And he's right, it would make sense)
    3) Increased trade flexibility as players age

    These scenarios happen semi-regularly and would very much benefit small and mid-market teams who rely on rebuilding through their farm. The notion that there is no such scenario it would make sense is a bit breathtaking. I'm not sure how you could arrive at such a conclusion.

    The truth is, teams would do this in these situations. And if they did, with some consistency, there would be union pushback so they didn't lose negotiating power. So it starts and stops with players who, afterall, have majority of the power in free agency negotiating.
    I think you're thinking of it from a fan's point of view. I'm thinking of it from a business point of view. Because at the end of the day, the team is a business.

    Inflation is obviously the biggest factor. I believe the assumed inflation rate for baseball salaries is 5% a year. That's a significant amount of money when you're talking yearly salaries in the eight figure range.

    As for your scenarios:

    1) When you sign an aging player, it is understood that you are getting his best season(s) early in the contract. Back-loading the contract allows you more flexibility to invest elsewhere those season(s). Maximizing your investment.
    2) This may be the only scenario where it could make some sense, but it's also nearly impossible to perfectly align player development with free agency since you never know exactly what you have with prospects. That's why teams who aren't ready to compete generally stay away from free agency or stick to short term deals. Only in a perfect scenario where a team has a lot of young proven talent and an excess of revenue would this make some sense. Which is likely the Cardinals' reasoning for front-loading Peralta's deal.
    3) You can still eat a certain amount of salary on the remaining contract. Either way you are paying the contract.

    Once again, inflation also factors in to all three of these scenarios.

    Back-loading contracts maximizes value and mitigates risk for the team/business.

  21. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Didn't Kyle Lohse get less per annum than his qualifying offer? I think he's a Boras client.
    3/33 versus 12 in the offer. Is that really a significant difference? Bourn was right at the offer

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