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Simple Logic on Harper


Dtwncbad

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OK don't confuse me thinking out loud here with predicting the Angels sign Harper.

I am just sharing my thought process.

What EXACTLY would 99% of people dislike about the Pujols deal?

I would think it would be doing 10 years for a 32 year old.

The money isn't really a problem.  Would anyone care if Pujols was mashing 42 homers and putting up a .850 OPS? Nope.

So the financial commitment isn't really the issue.  It is the production for the money.  The production is lousy and that is attributable to age.

If the true analysis says the source of the deal being an albatross contract is simply age. . .

Wouldn't all the "No way Arte makes that mistake again" thinking really have nothing to do with considering a massive deal for a 26 year old Bryce Harper?

I can't bring myself to absolutely conclude the Angels would not be very interested in landing Harper because of the experience with Pujols.

If I previously financed $40,000 on a car with 94,000 miles on it for 5 years and the last couple years of it was a nightmare because it was unreliable, that would not keep me from ever buying a $40,000 car again, and it would not keep me from ever financing a car for 5 years again.

It would just keep me from ever doing it again on a car with 94,000 miles on it.

The Angels may be a longshot to be in on Harper.  Only one team is going to get him.

But I just cannot sit here and think they are not open to it because they got "burned" making a long term deal with Pujols.  That logic doesn't pass simply because of age.

And it is very predictable that Harper will want an opt out at like 30, making the commitment potentially a 5 year deal for ages 26-30.

And finally, for the record, had Pujols been signed to a 10 year deal at Harpers age, the 10th year of the contract would have been 2015: 40 hr 95 rbi, .244/.307/.480.

I am not convinced they are not pondering Harper.

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1 minute ago, Dtwncbad said:

OK don't confuse me thinking put loud here with predicting the Angel's sign Harper.

I am just sharing my thought process.

What EXACTLY would 99% of people dislike about the Pujols deal?

I would think it would be doing 10 years for a 32 year old.

The money isn't really a problem.  Would anyone care if Pujols was mashing 42 homers and putting up a .900 OPS? Nope.

So the financial commitment isn't really the issue.  It is the production for the money.  The production is lousy and that is attributable to age.

If the true analysis says the source of the deal being an albatross contract is simply age. . .

Wouldn't all the "No way Arte makes that mistake again" thinking really have nothing to do with considering a massive deal for a 26 year old Bryce Harper?

I can't bring myself to absolutely conclude the Angels would not be very interested in landing Harper because of the experience with Pujols.

If I previously financed $40,000 on a car with 94,000 miles on it for 5 years and the last couple years of it was a nightmare because it was unreliable, that would not keep me from ever buying a $40,000 car again, and it would not keep me from ever financing a car for 5 years again.

It would just keep me from ever doing it again on a car with 94,000 miles on it.

The Angels may be a longshot to be in on Harper.  Only one team is going to get him.

But I just cannot sit here and think they are not open to it because they got "burned" making a long term deal with Pujols.  That logic doesn't pass simply because of age.

And it is very predictable that Harper will want an opt out at like 30, making the commitment potentially a 5 year deal for ages 26-30.

And finally, for the record, had Pujols been signed to a 10 year deal at Harpers age, the 10th year of the contract would have been 2015: 40 hr 95 rbi, .244/.307/.480.

I am not convinced they are not pondering Harper.

It's not Harper's age that concerns me in terms of committing long-term money to him it's:

2014 - .273 .344 .768 OPS 111 OPS+

2015 - .330 .460 1.109 OPS 198 OPS+

2016 - .243 .373 .814 OPS 114 OPS+

2017 - .319 .413 1.008 OPS 156 OPS+

2018 - .249 .393 .889 OPS 133 OPS+

Do we pay $30+ mil for the privilege of seeing a decade's worth of .280-ish .390 .880 OPS?

I think there are better ways to spend that kind of money.

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1 minute ago, TroutField said:

And then afford to fill the rest of your team how? When you have 65-70 million dedicated to two players without even taking into consideration arbitration raises for Ohtani, a Simmons extension, Upton’s 25 million, filling out the rotation when Skaggs is a FA

I’d be willing to bet the combined AAV wouldn’t exceed 55 mil with an outside shot at 60. Not much better but could be done if they thought there was long term money making potential there

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1 minute ago, mulwin444 said:

It's not Harper's age that concerns me in terms of committing long-term money to him it's:

2014 - .273 .344 .768 OPS 111 OPS+

2015 - .330 .460 1.109 OPS 198 OPS+

2016 - .243 .373 .814 OPS 114 OPS+

2017 - .319 .413 1.008 OPS 156 OPS+

2018 - .249 .393 .889 OPS 133 OPS+

Do we pay $30+ mil for the privilege of seeing a decade's worth of .280-ish .390 .880 OPS?

I think there are better ways to spend that kind of money.

Rational.

But it is also rational to be convinced his best 5 year stretch is in front of him.

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3 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

Rational.

But it is also rational to be convinced his best 5 year stretch is in front of him.

I mean we can rationalize anything.  The fact is he's been wildly inconsistent throughout his career, not mention an occasional douche-nozzle, is just as capable of putting .220 for 3/4 of a season as a 1.000 OPS.  The dude is a legit talent with the potential to be a legendary but, to this point, he's been 70% hype 30% production.

Angels need a full team of talented players on both sides of the ball to win...committing that money to someone like Harper or even Machado with their obvious question marks seems to be misguided.  

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18 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

It's not Harper's age that concerns me in terms of committing long-term money to him it's:

2014 - .273 .344 .768 OPS 111 OPS+

2015 - .330 .460 1.109 OPS 198 OPS+

2016 - .243 .373 .814 OPS 114 OPS+

2017 - .319 .413 1.008 OPS 156 OPS+

2018 - .249 .393 .889 OPS 133 OPS+

Do we pay $30+ mil for the privilege of seeing a decade's worth of .280-ish .390 .880 OPS?

I think there are better ways to spend that kind of money.

The hitters version of Ervin Santana.

 

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The money in this case would matter.  If the Angels had unlimited funds available and no looming extensions, then yes, this argument would be about age.  But in the Angels case, it is about the money.  They've got 40 million to spend and three priority needs.  Spending 40 million on a RF and subsequently trading Calhoun for a pitcher, only meets 1/3 of their needs, takes away the necessary funds for extensions that need to be completed for Trout and Simmons in the short term, and Ohtani in the long term. 

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I think I love the idea of Harper more than the actual player.  He could be great, but his stats don't quite measure up to his reputation.  He's kind of part-legend; part all-star. From a strictly entertainment point of view - he's much watch TV for me.  I also think he has a flare for the big moment and the ability to rise to the occasion. 

Yes, I'd love to see him in the lineup, but I can definitely understand if Eppler and Co. don't think he's worth the investment it would take.

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Harper has been inconsistent but his down years he still puts up OB% of .393 and .373. . .

Eppler loves OB%.

Harpers "bad" years would still have him probably second on the team in OB behind Trout.

Harper may be overrated but his "down" years are not really bad years at all.  They just don't satisfy those that think he should hit .310 with 50 homers every year.

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4 minutes ago, Second Base said:

The money in this case would matter.  If the Angels had unlimited funds available and no looming extensions, then yes, this argument would be about age.  But in the Angels case, it is about the money.  They've got 40 million to spend and three priority needs.  Spending 40 million on a RF and subsequently trading Calhoun for a pitcher, only meets 1/3 of their needs, takes away the necessary funds for extensions that need to be completed for Trout and Simmons in the short term, and Ohtani in the long term. 

No problem with what you say because you are giving valid reasons that are not "no way Arte makes another mistake like Pujols".

My post is really about how that specific objection doesn't hold water.

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If the Angels are indeed in play for Harper, and I too believe they are to some degree, there's a couple points that stand out in my mind...

  • It signals an intention to win, and to win right now. It does not necessarily mean they're doing it to keep Trout here, or to win before Trout leaves, or neither.
    It could just mean they're trying to win a WS and it doesn't have to have a bearing on Trout's free agency. All sorts of interesting dominoes could fall after it involving prospects in trades as well.
  • I would think both Harper and Trout would go into this with an understanding that the Angels are trying to do something special, and I could see both making some concessions in their contract demands in order to make the team as primed for success 2019 through, say 2021/2022. This could be in the form of multiple opt-outs aligning on a convenient timeline for players and team, distributing the money around in deferments or back-loading deals to allow immediate payroll flexibility, etc, perhaps even a straight-up Weaver discount where they collectively take less in order to help keep the team as financially fluid as possible. 
  • Extending Simmons should not be a foregone conclusion. He's an elite talent and still has many good years ahead of him, but we also have three legitimate middle infield prospects basically MLB-ready, and a new Simmons contract would be paying a player. To a lesser degree, Skaggs as well. Ohtani's future extension however is worth wondering about in the context of Harper, Trout 2.0, and Upton's deals.
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My biggest concern is spending $75M a year on two players ($40M for Trout, $35M for Harper), even if those two players are two of the very best in the game. That would be palatable for the next five years or so, but starting sometime in 5+ years, that could be brutal.

That said, I'm less concerned than some about Harper's future production. I do think he'll settle into a groove over the next 5+ years in which a 150 wRC+ is the baseline. But the upside is what is intriguing; his 2015 season was a better hitting season than anyone since Barry Bonds - better than any season by Trout, Miggy, or Pujols (the three best hitters in the post-Bonds era). 

The simple fact is, any team is going to partially be paying for the chance to see a return to similar performance. Maybe he never has a 197 wRC+ again, but I think there's a good chance he has several seasons of 180+.

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I really am fine with the Angels signing Bryce Harper......if they up their payroll from around 170 million to 200 million and include inflation on a yearly basis.  Mostly because, at some point, Bryce Harper costs them 35 million a year, Mike Trout will cost 40 million, Shohei Ohtani will cost 30 million, Justin Upton costs 21 million a year and Andrelton Simmons will cost 17 million a year.

That's 143 million alone in all those players. 

If we erase Albert Pujols' 25 million a year from the budget, that's 118 million a year budgeted.  If you figure the average team pays 20 million in arbitration that comes out to 138 million.  Round up to 140.

So that means the Angels would have 60+ million dollars to round out their roster.  This works only if our prospects start making good on their potential. 

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37 minutes ago, Second Base said:

The money in this case would matter.  If the Angels had unlimited funds available and no looming extensions, then yes, this argument would be about age.  But in the Angels case, it is about the money.  They've got 40 million to spend and three priority needs.  Spending 40 million on a RF and subsequently trading Calhoun for a pitcher, only meets 1/3 of their needs, takes away the necessary funds for extensions that need to be completed for Trout and Simmons in the short term, and Ohtani in the long term. 

That's not technically true. Harper may not get 40M in Cash in his first year, nor do we know that they won't blow the budget for him.

And I can't see Simmons at age 30 getting 25M, so the combined cash in the extensions for he and Trout wouldn't exceed 10-12M. Now as far as AAV, that is a different matter. Harper would at a 35M AAV, say, be attainable in 2019 and 2020, when Trout and Simmons (and Pujols) then are at lower AAV than the cash value of their contract, whereas, Harper and Upton would be on the opposite, presumably making less cash than their AAV. But in 2021, that wouldn't be the case so much, and so they'd be in danger of going over the cap. But only for one year as Pujols then drops off after 2021.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Second Base said:

The money in this case would matter.  If the Angels had unlimited funds available and no looming extensions, then yes, this argument would be about age.  But in the Angels case, it is about the money.  They've got 40 million to spend and three priority needs.  Spending 40 million on a RF and subsequently trading Calhoun for a pitcher, only meets 1/3 of their needs, takes away the necessary funds for extensions that need to be completed for Trout and Simmons in the short term, and Ohtani in the long term. 

You'd have to assume that if they were making a move of this magnitude, they'd be making an accompanying move involving prospects for a pitcher. And as mentioned, I don't think Simmons' receiving an extension is a foregone conclusion. Heck, they could use Simmons in a deal for a SP and roll with Fletcher, Cozart, or Rengifo at SS and Ward at 3B. Multiple routes they could take. What's to say they don't take advantage of Simmons' value now for a SP, keep Adell, and move Upton or Harper to 1B a couple years from now.

15 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

My biggest concern is spending $75M a year on two players ($40M for Trout, $35M for Harper), even if those two players are two of the very best in the game. That would be palatable for the next five years or so, but starting sometime in 5+ years, that could be brutal.

Opt-outs. I'd imagine the Angels throw money at them up-front or significant amounts deferred or offer up opt-outs so they still have opportunity to hit the market again in 2-4 years, perhaps even multiple opt-outs after years 2, 3, and 4. It'd be unprecedented having two players, and contracts, of that caliber on your team this early in their careers, which allows for some interesting new tactics to make it work financially. 

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14 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

My biggest concern is spending $75M a year on two players ($40M for Trout, $35M for Harper), even if those two players are two of the very best in the game. That would be palatable for the next five years or so, but starting sometime in 5+ years, that could be brutal. 

They arguably are the two best in the game, and with Ohtani, three of the top twelve hitters in the AL. The others at least right now are IMHO, Betts, Martinez, J Ramirez, Stanton, Chapman, Bregman, Lindor, Altuve, and K Davis.

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I will also say that if you had Harper in RF, you eliminate all the downside of Calhoun and it makes it that much easier to tolerate a pedestrian offensive season from someone like Ward.  That means you don't have to spend any money on 3B.

Let's make a quick observation.  Donaldson just signed for $23m.  Calhoun makes how much?

I would rather have Harper and Ward than Dolaldson and Calhoun.

Further, by the time Adell is really ready to play everyday, I can easily imagine Harper or Upton shifting to 1B.

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1 hour ago, mulwin444 said:

I mean we can rationalize anything.  The fact is he's been wildly inconsistent throughout his career, not mention an occasional douche-nozzle, is just as capable of putting .220 for 3/4 of a season as a 1.000 OPS.  The dude is a legit talent with the potential to be a legendary but, to this point, he's been 70% hype 30% production.

Angels need a full team of talented players on both sides of the ball to win...committing that money to someone like Harper or even Machado with their obvious question marks seems to be misguided.  

+1, plus his penchant for running into walls (ala another ultra talented 1940s player, Pete Reiser) scares me off further.

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I will say this.  If the Angels signed Bryce Harper, this team would be legendary in terms of on-field talent.  Harper and Trout in the same OF, soon to be joined by Jo Adell.  Shoehei Ohtani, the only two-way player in the last 100 years, and Andrelton Simmons, possibly the greatest defender ever.....

I can't guarantee they'd win, because the Angels would need to surround those guys with a lot of inexpensive talent, which means prospects like Thaiss, Rengifo, Jones, Canning, etc...would all need to become regulars, which is very possible, even likely, though not foregone. 

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