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Has a "mega deal" ever worked out? Will any current ones work out?


Second Base

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Seeing the deal Judge just signed, as well as Turner and now Bogaerts got me thinking, has the ever been a "mega deal" that has ever not turned south? One where the player was extremely well compensated and for the most part, performed as expected for the length of the contract? I'm hoping someone that remembers more clearly than I, can help out. 

Off the top of my head, I thought A-Rod, but his was obviously supplemented by PED's. Vlad's wasn't necessarily that big of a deal in terms of years or money, but he performed well, even after his knees went. Maybe Manny Ramirez, but his too is tainted by cheating....

It seems that even the best players, had their contacts become burdensome sooner rather than later. Pujols, Cabrera, Hamilton...

And I suppose the second part of this question could be, are there any you think may work out well for both parties?

Manny Machado is nearly halfway through his and it looks pretty decent. Trout's wasn't a free agent deal, but as an extension, it looks like wherever he's on the field he's still the best hitter in the game. Bryce Harper, same deal, whenever he's healthy. 

I don't think these long term shortstop deals will look good in five years, when they can't play shortstop any more save don't have enough bat for 3B. 

Edited by Second Base
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  • Second Base changed the title to Has a "mega deal" ever worked out? Will any current ones work out?
6 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Seeing the deal Judge just signed, as well as Turner and now Bogaerts got me thinking, has the ever been a "mega deal" that has ever not turned south? One where the player was extremely well compensated and for the most part, performed as expected for the length of the contract? I'm hoping someone that remembers more clearly than I, can help out. 

Off the top of my head, I thought A-Rod, but his was obviously supplemented by PED's. Vlad's wasn't necessarily that big of a deal in terms of years or money, but he performed well, even after his knees went. Maybe Manny Ramirez, but his too is tainted by cheating....

It seems that even the best players, had their contacts become burdensome sooner rather than later. Pujols, Cabrera, Hamilton...

Yup.  Max Scherzer is probably the one that comes to mind.  7/210 with the Nationals and averaged what, 6 fWAR per season and pitched full seasons yearly?  He was probably worth double his contract.

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I assume you mean guys with $175M contracts or greater, right? There are 40 contracts that exceeded $175M. Two players had signed two contracts greater than that value, Strasburg and A-Rod. I think their initial contracts were good, but then when they opted out and resigned, I think the second one for Strasburg is a bust and A-rod, well, he was productive but also got suspended..

I've listed them below from Cot's and Bolded the ones that I think were good. I did the strike through for those that are too early to tell. and Italicized those who I think were busts.

My score is 15 good, 7 outright busts, 6 guys somewhere in the middle and 12 too early to tell.

Total Value
The most lucrative contracts in baseball history, by total value:
1. Mike Trout, $426,500,000 (2019-30) 
2. Mookie Betts, $365,000,000 (2021-32)

3. Aaron Judge, $360,000,000 (2023-31)
4. Francisco Lindor, $341,000,000 (2022-31)
5. Fernando Tatis, $340,000,000 (2021-34)

6. Bryce Harper, $330,000,000 (2019-31)
7. Giancarlo Stanton, $325,000,000 (2015-27)
8. Corey Seager, $325,000,000 (2022-31)
9. Gerrit Cole, $324,000,000 (2020-28)
10. Manny Machado, $300,000,000 (2019-28)
… Trea Turner, $300,000,000 (2023-33)
12. Xander Bogaerts, $280,000,000 (2023-33)

13. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)
14. Nolan Arenado, $260,000,000 (2019-26)
15. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)
16. Miguel Cabrera, $248,000,000 (2016-23)
17. Stephen Strasburg, $245,000,000 (2020-26)

… Anthony Rendon, $245,000,000 (2020-26)
19. Albert Pujols, $240,000,000 (2012-21)
… Robinson Cano, $240,000,000 (2014-23)

21. Joey Votto, $225,000,000 (2014-23)
22. David Price, $217,000,000 (2016-22)
23. Clayton Kershaw, $215,000,000 (2014-20)
… Christian Yelich, $215,000,000 (2020-28)
25. Prince Fielder, $214,000,000 (2012-20)

26. Austin Riley, $212,000,000 (2023-32)
27. Max Scherzer, $210,000,000 (2015-21) 
… Julio Rodriguez, $209,300,000 (2023-34) 
29. Zack Greinke, $206,500,000 (2016-21)

30. Derek Jeter, $189,000,000 (2001-10)
31. Jacob deGrom, $185,000,000 (2023-27)
32. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18)
. . . Jason Heyward, $184,000,000 (2016-23)
34. Wander Franco, $182,000,000 (2022-32)
. . . Kris Bryant, $182,000,000 (2022-28)

36. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16)
. . . Justin Verlander, $180,000,000 (2013-19)
38. Felix Hernandez, $175,000,000 (2013-19)
. . . Stephen Strasburg, $175,000,000 (2017-23)

. . . Marcus Semien, $175,000,000 (2022-28)

 

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15 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Seeing the deal Judge just signed, as well as Turner and now Bogaerts got me thinking, has the ever been a "mega deal" that has ever not turned south? One where the player was extremely well compensated and for the most part, performed as expected for the length of the contract? I'm hoping someone that remembers more clearly than I, can help out. 

Off the top of my head, I thought A-Rod, but his was obviously supplemented by PED's. Vlad's wasn't necessarily that big of a deal in terms of years or money, but he performed well, even after his knees went. Maybe Manny Ramirez, but his too is tainted by cheating....

It seems that even the best players, had their contacts become burdensome sooner rather than later. Pujols, Cabrera, Hamilton...

And I suppose the second part of this question could be, are there any you think may work out well for both parties?

Manny Machado is nearly halfway through his and it looks pretty decent. Trout's wasn't a free agent deal, but as an extension, it looks like wherever he's on the field he's still the best hitter in the game. Bryce Harper, same deal, whenever he's healthy. 

I don't think these long term shortstop deals will look good in five years, when they can't play shortstop any more save don't have enough bat for 3B. 

Didn't Cabreras triple crown come after his extension and it was his second extension where contract went bad?

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Just now, Hubs said:

I assume you mean guys with $175M contracts or greater, right? There are 40 contracts that exceeded $175M. Two players had signed two contracts greater than that value, Strasburg and A-Rod. I think their initial contracts were good, but then when they opted out and resigned, I think the second one for Strasburg is a bust and A-rod, well, he was productive but also got suspended..

I've listed them below from Cot's and Bolded the ones that I think were good. I did the strike through for those that are too early to tell. and Italicized those who I think were busts.

My score is 15 good, 7 outright busts, 6 guys somewhere in the middle and 12 too early to tell.

Total Value
The most lucrative contracts in baseball history, by total value:
1. Mike Trout, $426,500,000 (2019-30) 
2. Mookie Betts, $365,000,000 (2021-32)

3. Aaron Judge, $360,000,000 (2023-31)
4. Francisco Lindor, $341,000,000 (2022-31)
5. Fernando Tatis, $340,000,000 (2021-34)

6. Bryce Harper, $330,000,000 (2019-31)
7. Giancarlo Stanton, $325,000,000 (2015-27)
8. Corey Seager, $325,000,000 (2022-31)
9. Gerrit Cole, $324,000,000 (2020-28)
10. Manny Machado, $300,000,000 (2019-28)
… Trea Turner, $300,000,000 (2023-33)
12. Xander Bogaerts, $280,000,000 (2023-33)

13. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)
14. Nolan Arenado, $260,000,000 (2019-26)
15. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)
16. Miguel Cabrera, $248,000,000 (2016-23)
17. Stephen Strasburg, $245,000,000 (2020-26)

… Anthony Rendon, $245,000,000 (2020-26)
19. Albert Pujols, $240,000,000 (2012-21)
… Robinson Cano, $240,000,000 (2014-23)

21. Joey Votto, $225,000,000 (2014-23)
22. David Price, $217,000,000 (2016-22)
23. Clayton Kershaw, $215,000,000 (2014-20)
… Christian Yelich, $215,000,000 (2020-28)
25. Prince Fielder, $214,000,000 (2012-20)

26. Austin Riley, $212,000,000 (2023-32)
27. Max Scherzer, $210,000,000 (2015-21) 
… Julio Rodriguez, $209,300,000 (2023-34) 
29. Zack Greinke, $206,500,000 (2016-21)

30. Derek Jeter, $189,000,000 (2001-10)
31. Jacob deGrom, $185,000,000 (2023-27)
32. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18)
. . . Jason Heyward, $184,000,000 (2016-23)
34. Wander Franco, $182,000,000 (2022-32)
. . . Kris Bryant, $182,000,000 (2022-28)

36. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16)
. . . Justin Verlander, $180,000,000 (2013-19)
38. Felix Hernandez, $175,000,000 (2013-19)
. . . Stephen Strasburg, $175,000,000 (2017-23)

. . . Marcus Semien, $175,000,000 (2022-28)

 

Good list, thanks for doing the legwork. 

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Beltre's 5/80 was a great deal 

Soriano 8/136 was OK

When one signs a super mega deal I think the thought process is (let's say a 10 year deal)

Years 1-4 maintain elite level

Years 5-7 Decreased value, but still good

Years 8-9 decline, but hopefully serviceable

Year 10 release 

 

Pujols hit Decreased value, but still good in year 1 

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1 minute ago, stormngt said:

Didn't Cabreras triple crown come after his extension and it was his second extension where contract went bad?

Yes. His deal from 2016-2023 is a huge bust, his triple crown came in what 2012 or 2013?

It might be the worst contract in all of baseball history, honestly. 

He had 5.1 bWAR the first year, then -0.9, 0.2, 0.0, 0.1, -0.5, -1.0. in the six since.

So for $248M, they got 3.1 WAR with one year left over 8 years.

Pujols in his 9 1/4 seasons with us managed 12.8.

Fielder managed 7 WAR in two years with Detroit, and then in parts of three seasons with Texas managed 0.1.

 

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I think it depends what you mean by mega deal. I mentioned Piazza in an earlier post today. I think he got 100 mill. 

That's peanuts today. At the time it was "holy shit!"

ARod and Manny were the first "mega deals". But even by today's standards they aren't super crazy. So it depends on time frame.

Joey Votto comes to mind

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The question is somewhat arbitrarily limiting the sample size. The proper question is do star players ever perform effectively into their late thirties. The answer to that is yes. Then the question becomes, how often. And the answer to that I don't know and don't feel like doing a deep dive on. But I'd wager the answer is high enough to make it worth the risk and short term upside. The other two options are 1) that the signing aligns with a window of contention, making the end of the contract less problematic. Or 2) GM's are idiots/trying to save their job in the short term and aren't concerned with ten years down the road.

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2 hours ago, Second Base said:

Again minus the cheating. That one is well tainted, though in terms of pure numbers I could see your argument. 

I mean, cheating or not, it still worked out, right? Arod got paid, put up great numbers, and helped the Skanks win a ring. 

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Just now, Warfarin said:

Seeing all this talk of mega contracts reminds me of when Kevin Brown signed the very first 100mil contract.  I remember how insane that seemed at the time.  Fast forward to about 25 years later, and we are now discussing the possibility that a player might soon sign the first half-billion dollar contract.  Wow.

Yes, but the half million dollar guy will have to get his own private plane, and star wars paintings 

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3 hours ago, Hubs said:

I assume you mean guys with $175M contracts or greater, right? There are 40 contracts that exceeded $175M. Two players had signed two contracts greater than that value, Strasburg and A-Rod. I think their initial contracts were good, but then when they opted out and resigned, I think the second one for Strasburg is a bust and A-rod, well, he was productive but also got suspended..

I've listed them below from Cot's and Bolded the ones that I think were good. I did the strike through for those that are too early to tell. and Italicized those who I think were busts.

My score is 15 good, 7 outright busts, 6 guys somewhere in the middle and 12 too early to tell.

Total Value
The most lucrative contracts in baseball history, by total value:
1. Mike Trout, $426,500,000 (2019-30) 
2. Mookie Betts, $365,000,000 (2021-32)

3. Aaron Judge, $360,000,000 (2023-31)
4. Francisco Lindor, $341,000,000 (2022-31)
5. Fernando Tatis, $340,000,000 (2021-34)

6. Bryce Harper, $330,000,000 (2019-31)
7. Giancarlo Stanton, $325,000,000 (2015-27)
8. Corey Seager, $325,000,000 (2022-31)
9. Gerrit Cole, $324,000,000 (2020-28)
10. Manny Machado, $300,000,000 (2019-28)
… Trea Turner, $300,000,000 (2023-33)
12. Xander Bogaerts, $280,000,000 (2023-33)

13. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)
14. Nolan Arenado, $260,000,000 (2019-26)
15. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)
16. Miguel Cabrera, $248,000,000 (2016-23)
17. Stephen Strasburg, $245,000,000 (2020-26)

… Anthony Rendon, $245,000,000 (2020-26)
19. Albert Pujols, $240,000,000 (2012-21)
… Robinson Cano, $240,000,000 (2014-23)

21. Joey Votto, $225,000,000 (2014-23)
22. David Price, $217,000,000 (2016-22)
23. Clayton Kershaw, $215,000,000 (2014-20)
… Christian Yelich, $215,000,000 (2020-28)
25. Prince Fielder, $214,000,000 (2012-20)

26. Austin Riley, $212,000,000 (2023-32)
27. Max Scherzer, $210,000,000 (2015-21) 
… Julio Rodriguez, $209,300,000 (2023-34) 
29. Zack Greinke, $206,500,000 (2016-21)

30. Derek Jeter, $189,000,000 (2001-10)
31. Jacob deGrom, $185,000,000 (2023-27)
32. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18)
. . . Jason Heyward, $184,000,000 (2016-23)
34. Wander Franco, $182,000,000 (2022-32)
. . . Kris Bryant, $182,000,000 (2022-28)

36. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16)
. . . Justin Verlander, $180,000,000 (2013-19)
38. Felix Hernandez, $175,000,000 (2013-19)
. . . Stephen Strasburg, $175,000,000 (2017-23)

. . . Marcus Semien, $175,000,000 (2022-28)

 

Strasburg signed contract in 2020 same year as Rendon and that one has been a total bust

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2 hours ago, Hubs said:

Yes. His deal from 2016-2023 is a huge bust, his triple crown came in what 2012 or 2013?

It might be the worst contract in all of baseball history, honestly. 

He had 5.1 bWAR the first year, then -0.9, 0.2, 0.0, 0.1, -0.5, -1.0. in the six since.

So for $248M, they got 3.1 WAR with one year left over 8 years.

Pujols in his 9 1/4 seasons with us managed 12.8.

Fielder managed 7 WAR in two years with Detroit, and then in parts of three seasons with Texas managed 0.1.

 

His his first extension with Detroit was a good extension.  It wouldn't be considered mega deal into today's standard but was certainly one back then.  8 yrs 152 million.

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Just now, Angels 1961 said:

Strasburg signed contract in 2020 same year as Rendon and that one has been a total bust

Yeah, that deal had sentiment written all over it.  Strasburg's health history was always pretty bad, and he had one great year / playoff run and parlayed that into a 245mil deal.

This does emphasize the importance of being selective with big contracts.  If you are Steve Cohen and can finance like a 400mil payroll, you can make mistakes, but most teams can't afford to miscalculate with these kinds of deals, or at least more than one miscalculation.

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1 minute ago, Warfarin said:

Yeah, that deal had sentiment written all over it.  Strasburg's health history was always pretty bad, and he had one great year / playoff run and parlayed that into a 245mil deal.

This does emphasize the importance of being selective with big contracts.  If you are Steve Cohen and can finance like a 400mil payroll, you can make mistakes, but most teams can't afford to miscalculate with these kinds of deals, or at least more than one miscalculation.

Most people remember the bad contracts and forget some that really good

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