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Harper/Machado Speculation


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I know, we've talked about this endlessly - with many threads dedicated to one or the other or both. But there are no active threads right now and I just had a new idea about them and didn't want to randomly resuscitate an old thread.

It is almost February and neither has signed. We're just over two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting, a few days more for full squads. Now maybe these contracts don't get signed until March - that is possible. But the pressure is building.

So here's a thought. One thing we know is that the Phillies want one of them really badly. There are several other teams in on one or the other, but the Phillies have probably been the most outspoken about their interest in both. One development I could see happening is that one or the other signs elsewhere - the Dodgers or Yankees are predictable culprits (I've predicted Harper to the Dodgers, but he also seems like a born Yankee). Or maybe the Padres are actually serious.

Then the Phillies panic and outbid everyone else for the other - meaning, probably Machado. His price goes up and equals Harper's (say, 10/$325M). Or maybe Machado signs first and the Phillies outbid on Harper, who can't refuse 10/$350-375M.

This in turn impacts a possible Trout extension. Maybe right now he's thinking 10/$350-400M, but all of a sudden Harper's at 10/$350M due to the Phillies' desperation. Trout then says 10/$425-450 or 12/$500M...so we're back to those huge predictions from earlier on.

We truly are in uncharted, weird territory...terra incognita. But something has to happen soon...

Doesn't it? Maybe the above, but I could also see it dragging on for a few more weeks and Machado folding first in this game of chicken, and accepting 8/$200M...which weakens Harper's request. But even so, assuming Machado hasn't signed for that low with the Phillies, they'll bid up Harper over $300M...and so it goes.

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Neither Harper or Machado are getting the contracts the media were promoting since last fall. Harper's career stat line does not put him in the Superstar catagorey. He has a career OPS+ of 139. That's All Star but not superstar contract value.

He was over hyped since he was 16 and has one Superstar year in his 7 years of MLB play. He has one other really good year and two that he was Justin Upton in value and three that he was less. 

The Phillies don't have to bid against themselves or even take in consideration the rejected Nationals offer. That deal was to keep the hometown player while still living in contract negotiations from 5 years ago. No team is really looking at high risk 10 year deals anymore, there is to much data saying it all goes to shit in a hurry. 

Machado shit the bed in the World Series. He has only a couple of suitors and neither have said anything about more than 7 years. That, in itself, is a high risk for a player that doesn't really care one way or another if he injures someone else or gives up on a play in crunch time. 

Machado is a career 122 OPS+ player which can make him an All Star on good years and bypassed on others. He is not elite in any way as a player, teammate, or person, and not the player you hitch your payroll and hopes on. 

This is the off season of two really good players in their prime as free agents. This is not two Superstars and shouldn't be paid as such in either years or dollars.

 

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2 minutes ago, Blarg said:

Neither Harper or Machado are getting the contracts the media were promoting since last fall. Harper's career stat line does not put him in the Superstar catagorey. He has a career OPS+ of 139. That's All Star but not superstar contract value.

He was over hyped since he was 16 and has one Superstar year in his 7 years of MLB play. He has one other really good year and two that he was Justin Upton in value and three that he was less. 

The Phillies don't have to bid against themselves or even take in consideration the rejected Nationals offer. That deal was to keep the hometown player while still living in contract negotiations from 5 years ago. No team is really looking at high tisk 10 year deals anymore, there is to much data saying it all goes to shit in a hurry. 

Machado shit the bed in the World Series. He has only a couple of suitors and neither have said anything about more than 7 years. That, in itself, is a high risk for a player that doesn't really care one way or another if he injures someone else or gives up on a play in crunch time. 

Machado is a career 122 OPS+ player which can make him an All Star on good years and bypassed on others. He is not elite in any way as a player, teammate, or person, and not the player you hitch your payroll and hopes on. 

This is the off season of two really good players in their prime as free agents. This is not two Superstars and shouldn't be paid as such in either years or dollars.

 

Using your parameters Mookie Betts isn't a superstar.

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That's about 75% of the picture, @Blarg. What you're missing or not including is their age, Harper's upside, and Machado's consistency. 

But yeah...I think the reason this is taking so long is a combination of question marks surrounding both of them, the gap between their own monumental egos and how teams (and their analytics departments) actually value them, and some degree of sea shift in terms of long-term contracts (teams are balking at long-term contracts). So we're witnessing a game of chicken. 

My guess is that Machado is being offered 7-8 years, $25 million per (so maxing out at maybe 8/$200M), but wants 10+ years, $30 million per (so 10/$300M). Harper is probably a bit more on both ends, maybe being offered 8/$250M and wanting 10/$350M. If there is compromise, and if I'm right on these basic ranges, then maybe Machado gets something like 8/$250M and Harper gets something like 10/$300M. But who knows. 

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9 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

What you're missing or not including is their age, Harper's upside, and Machado's consistency. 

I included their age but it's irrelevance comes from what they have produced over their careers. It's not a small sample size.

Harper's upside is he actually wants to play the game.

Machado's only consistency is being an asshole. 

The 10/$300 is off the table for Harper. He Grandalled and let the best deal go by thinking his value is higher. It isn't. 

The mistake here is thinking that Trout at $35 million is the bar. It really isn't because Trout's extension was based on a low number to start and the later years to make up for a team friendly start. In reality Trout's AAV is closer to the bar, not his current rate.

Everyone is reading player value backwards because of this. Speculating that Harper and Machado are at that contract value of what Trout is being paid today for future AAV value when they are not and even Trout is not.

I know that sounds like it's wrong but seriously, do you guys really think one singular player is worth $35-40 million dollars a year for 10 years? It's really asinine we've got to the point this is considered rational dialogue. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Blarg said:

I included their age but it's irrelevance comes from what they have produced over their careers. It's not a small sample size.

Harper's upside is he actually wants to play the game.

Machado's only consistency is being an asshole. 

The 10/$300 is off the table for Harper. He Grandalled and let the best deal go by thinking his value is higher. It isn't. 

The mistake here is thinking that Trout at $35 million is the bar. It really isn't because Trout's extension was based on a low number to start and the later years to make up for a team friendly start. In reality Trout's AAV is closer to the bar, not his current rate.

Everyone is reading player value backwards because of this. Speculating that Harper and Machado are at that contract value of what Trout is being paid today for future AAV value when they are not and even Trout is not.

I know that sounds like it's wrong but seriously, do you guys really think one singular player is worth $35-40 million dollars a year for 10 years? It's really asinine we've got to the point this is considered rational dialogue. 

 

Depends what you mean by "worth." I'm a Bernie Sanders guy politically speaking, so the thought of a baseball player making $35-40M a year is not only beyond absurd, but insulting to the 80% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck. But within the context of baseball--which is how I view and talk about baseball 95% of the time--Trout is worth that much and more, at least for the next 5-8 years. He's 27 years old, in his prime, and according to the most advanced statistical analysis available to us, has had the best first seven years in major league history. And of course his value to the franchise goes beyond mere numbers: he is the greatest Angel most if not all of us will ever see. I truly think he is the only player that you almost literally have to pay whatever it takes to keep him.

As for Machado, you're just simply wrong about his consistency. He has produced 6+ fWAR in three of the last four years. That's pretty consistent. He also had his best year with the bat in 2018 (141 wRC+).

Harper's upside is that he is one of only five position players in the post-peak-Bonds era (2005-present) to have a 9+ WAR season (along with A-Rod, Ellsbury, Trout, and Betts). His 197  wRC+ in 2015 is the best since Bonds, 12th best since 1970, and other than Roid Era players (Bonds, McGwire, Bagwell, Thomas), the best since Dick Allen in 1972. That is a distinctly rare upside.

Now of course you're right about their respective problems. Both are not exactly your archetypal clubhouse leaders and exemplars, both seemingly have monumental egos. Machado is really, really good - but has never been a real MVP candidate or one of the five or so best players in a given year. Harper had one truly amazing season, one All-Star caliber but injury shortened one (2017), and a bunch of good to very good ones. I agree he is not (yet) a true superstar (and Bill James agrees).

All things tolled, I'd say Machado is in the #5-10th range in terms of best players in baseball. Harper is probably 10th-20th, but with the potential to be top 5, so they even out. These aren't Alex Rodriguez, but they're certainly more valuable than Jason Heyward (8/$184M).

So I don't disagree with you in principle, I'm just a bit more to the "left" of you (so to speak). 

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17 minutes ago, Blarg said:

In reality Trout's AAV is closer to the bar, not his current rate.

There are 4 players currently making a higher AAV than Trout. 3 are above 30 million. 

You're crazy if you don't think 35 million is realistic for Trout. He's not getting 25 million a year. That's just dumb.

 

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33 minutes ago, Blarg said:

I know that sounds like it's wrong but seriously, do you guys really think one singular player is worth $35-40 million dollars a year for 10 years? It's really asinine we've got to the point this is considered rational dialogue. 

It doesn't matter what we think. It matters what Trout thinks he's worth and yes he does think he's worth 35/yr and he will get it. If the angels dont pay him then someone else will.

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They are 26.  All these angles of presenting them as not having done all that much in their careers can be attributable to the fact that they are only 26.

I find it interesting that the best argument for not signing a 31 or 32 year old is you don't want to be paying for what they already did over the last 5 or 6 years.

Yet when it comes to a 26 year old the argument is they haven't done it yet?

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I heard a thought on the radio here in Chicago that I’d like to see-  seems like it would fit Harper best-  Harper takes a 1 year deal for $40 million.  He’s young enough to do this- be a mercenary for a few years and go to the team that he can help to the WS.  

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So on the one hand we've got a stubborn dick-bag that won't hustle, insists on playing SS even though he isn't good there, and is competitive he'll purposely hurt another ball player for no other reason that to satisfy the darkness within.  Basically the biggest douche in the competitive men's softball league....that's who Machado is. 

And you wonder why teams won't commit 10 years and 300 million to him.

On the other hand, you've got someone that's Charlie hustle, and a good teammate, but admittedly, an arrogant dick that thinks he's worth 40 million a year, and wants the richest contract in baseball history if for no other reason that to tell himself he's the best before he goes to bed at night. 

Neither jerk-face cares where they play, as long as they get paid. If that weren't true, then we wouldn't be encroaching upon February and still no contract. 

And we wonder why their market is so limited. Quite frankly, I'm sick of the whole saga, and I'm guessing the majority of baseball fans are too. Whoever signs these dick-wads is going to get one hell of a ball player, and not much else. And that's why, this doesn't resemble Trout two years from now. I would never picture him doing this in free agency. On top of which, he's everything these guys aren't, both off the field and on the field. Even if Trout goes elsewhere, he isn't that guys that holds out until Spring Training to sign. 

If you didn't hate Harper and Machado before this media filled offseason that they've milked for months just to keep themselves in the spot light and get a little more money.....well I'm guessing more fans dislike both of them now. And when these pieces of crap age and are still making 30 million a year while spending half the year on the DL and the other half sucking, they'll probably also complain about management or ownership or God knows what else just to be heard and feel like they're important and in charge. 

Say what you will about Albert and his awful contract, but at least he's a great teammate and a great human being. Can you imagine the disaster this would be if he wasn't? 

Thats what a team is risking by signing Machado and Harper to a long term deal. 

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Machado expectations were always ridiculous.  Even before the questions about his effort came into play.

Harper is young and a very good player.  I don't know what numbers were out there, but a Stanton type deal isn't that ridiculous.

Still, I think the owners have gotten smart, those 10 year deals never work.

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I dont think its collusion. But I think the owners have a gentleman's agreement to not go crazy anymore.

Ive hinted before that i have friends who play. As such, I take the players side. Mainly because the owners are making a killing. They have a lot more money than they let on.

That said, so much of the money comes from cable deals. And cable is almost dead....it will be for sure within the next decade.

The 2000s contracts for home runs are long gone. The players need to accept that.

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Machado has had FWAR's of 6.6, 6.3, and 6.3 in 3 out of the last 4 years. There are usually only about 10 or so position players a year that put up 6+ WAR in a given year. 

He's 26 and has played defense at 3B at a Hall of Fame level so far in his career. If being a top 10 position player on a Cooperstown track isn't a superstar then you're basically saying that only 1-3 hitters in the game are superstars because usually ~#4-10 on the WAR are within 1-2 WAR of each other in any given year.

Harper's career is more polarizing. Even last year in what everyone says was a "down" year he absolutely destroyed the ball in the 2nd half. He had a low BABIP in the 1st half which if Trout/Bryant/Betts had a figure like that, we would say that it is nothing to worry about and it will correct itself, which according to his 2nd half is what happened. 2015/2017/2018 2nd half - he showed he is 100% a superstar.

What happened earlier than that is more or less irrelevant, no GM or analytics guy cares about >5 years ago if a young player is figuring out the league. Does anyone care that Trout's 2011 was bad and that is a cause for concern in the future? No, what happened further back is not indicative of the future since he was new and still growing into his game. So for Harper he was a beast more of less 3 out of the last 4 years when you factor in luck/BABIP/etc. I think for ages 26-34 he will be a very good player, a top 10 hitter in the game.

 

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7 hours ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

I dont think its collusion. But I think the owners have a gentleman's agreement to not go crazy anymore.

Ive hinted before that i have friends who play. As such, I take the players side. Mainly because the owners are making a killing. They have a lot more money than they let on.

That said, so much of the money comes from cable deals. And cable is almost dead....it will be for sure within the next decade.

The 2000s contracts for home runs are long gone. The players need to accept that.

If it were proven or demonstrated that the owners had a "gentleman's agreement to not go crazy anymore," that would, by definition, be collusion.

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15 hours ago, Blarg said:

Neither Harper or Machado are getting the contracts the media were promoting since last fall. Harper's career stat line does not put him in the Superstar catagorey. He has a career OPS+ of 139. That's All Star but not superstar contract value.

He was over hyped since he was 16 and has one Superstar year in his 7 years of MLB play. He has one other really good year and two that he was Justin Upton in value and three that he was less. 

The Phillies don't have to bid against themselves or even take in consideration the rejected Nationals offer. That deal was to keep the hometown player while still living in contract negotiations from 5 years ago. No team is really looking at high risk 10 year deals anymore, there is to much data saying it all goes to shit in a hurry. 

Machado shit the bed in the World Series. He has only a couple of suitors and neither have said anything about more than 7 years. That, in itself, is a high risk for a player that doesn't really care one way or another if he injures someone else or gives up on a play in crunch time. 

Machado is a career 122 OPS+ player which can make him an All Star on good years and bypassed on others. He is not elite in any way as a player, teammate, or person, and not the player you hitch your payroll and hopes on. 

This is the off season of two really good players in their prime as free agents. This is not two Superstars and shouldn't be paid as such in either years or dollars.

 

The sooner that they, along with Boras and Lozano, get this, the better.

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