64 thoughts on “The 60 Million Dollar Man

  1. A) Yeah, a team will give him that.
    B) Hopefully not the Cubs.

    But here’s a little game —
    Average fWAR from 2011-2015 for “Player A” = 5.26
    Average fWAR from 2011-2015 for “Player B” = 4.94

    Which of those is Zobrist…and which is David Price?

    Yeah, Zobrist is 34. But for a team who is in a win-now window and needs a 2B, you can damn sure do a lot worse than him. I’d much rather have Zobrist than Utley or Kendrick.

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    1. I’m a big fan of Zobrist, but I have to wonder about that much over four years. Second basemen don’t age particularly well.

      And, while 2015 was a real resurgence, he was about a .750 OPS over the previous two years. With relatively little power, he is not going to be your best outfield option.

      But I won’t mind seeing him get a big payday. Tampa Bay is not a place where that happens much.

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  2. Plus, on Zobrist, as I’ve said before, I consider his older defensive stats “inflated” by Maddon being an early and aggressive adopter of shifts.

    Add in what Stex said about the aging rate of 2B, and that he had a negative dWAR this year for the first time since 2008 in a limited sampling in that year, and if an owner actually cuts a check like that, it will be a BIG overpay.

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    1. Just last year, the cost per fWAR was sketched out to be roughly $6M. Now add another year’s worth of inflation to the cost of doing business.

      At $15M a year, he’d need to be worth about 2.5 fWAR a year for that contract be fair, or 10 fWAR spread over 4 years. Sure, most of that production would be more heavily weighted towards the front end of the deal, but isn’t that almost always the case anyway?

      I’m not seeing how you have to stretch your imagination to see Zobrist giving a team that sort of production.

      I don’t want him on my team, but I don’t think he’s out of line in his demands either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bWAR had him at 1.9 total this year.

        I’ll guesstimate an average of 1.5 WAR for each of the next four, not your 2.5. That’s $25M difference over four years.

        Being slightly charitable, would I pay 4/$40? Yeah. 4/$60? Nope.

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        1. He also had a knee injury this year, which is why his defensive numbers look worse than they have in previous years.

          Oddly enough, I went to go look up his fWAR to see how much different it was from bWAR (2.1, so not that much different at all)….and a link to this article was sitting right at the top of the page.

          Depending on the needs of my hypothetical team and assuming I’m in a win-now position….4y/$60M for Zobrist is pretty damn easy to pull the trigger on.

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        2. If Zobrist were 31, he’d hang up the phone after laughing at you for a few minutes. You wouldn’t even come close to that deal.

          And I know 2B age rapidly. Everyone does in their mid-30’s. But that doesn’t mean he won’t still be worth that contract.

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        3. Well, we’ll agree to disagree. And, yes, he’d be hanging up the phone. That said, per Fangraphs, I’m laughing right now at Dave Cameron thinking Zobrist will get — and is worth — 4/$76.

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      2. Point taken, Lefty. I would rate him a decent chance of getting to 10 WAR over the next four years. Not a sure thing by any means, but certainly not equivalent to the problem Boston has if Price blows his arm out.

        I think he’s worth the most to KC, where the option is Infante if he goes. They should be bidding to retain him.

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      3. I would have loved it if the Cardinals could have signed him….and started worrying about when his arm reattachment surgery was going to happen about 5 minutes later.

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      4. If Price blows out his arm it would be a blow to the Red Sox, but not a major one, at least not financially. Big contracts are typically insured for about 80% of their value. They’d be out money, but they’d also have money to pick up a mid-season rental via trade with all the leftover cash.

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      1. IF it does, there’s a very stupid owner out there, IMO. Even though 2B is not his only position, it’s been his biggest one. 1 WAR at age 38 would surprise me.

        That said, as long as there’s money sloshing in the system and dumb owners willing to spend it …

        Oh, and “halfway” between me and Cameron is 4/58 … so …. we’ll see what happens.

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      2. It depends on how you view risk.

        If Zobrist signs for $70M, chances are you are overpaying by $20-30M, which seems bad percentage-wise, but in raw numbers isn’t much of an overpay compared to Price for $217M because pitcher injury risk is so freaking high. If Zobrist has one great year, he’s already worth most of his deal. If Price has one great year, he’s given you about $5M in surplus value for that year.

        Zobrist could be below average for the whole deal and still not represent as much of an overpay as just about any pitcher deal over $150M. I’m not advocating paying that to Zobrist or to never give big $$ to durable (so far) ace-like pitchers….but the comparative risk for signing Zobrist is small

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  3. The issue with Zobrist is the years. He’s been great. But defense often falls of a cliff for guys after 35…and his defense was horrible last year AFTER he was healed up from the early season knee injury. As those of us that are older know, former injuries become “conditions” when you get older. That knee injury may affect his mobility and lateral movement from here on out. If the defense doesn’t bounce back, he’s not that great an investment…if it does bounce back, he should be fine for a couple of years….but watching any 37 or 38 yr old trying to play defense is usually pretty painful.

    He better be awesome in 2016, because it is probably all down hill….and those hills can be steep…see Beltran/Utley for recent examples.

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    1. You made one point above that is significant, Paper. He was steady at about 5 WAR for five years running. If he gets healthy and shows one more year of that, then he can show a fair drop off and still be close to worth the $60/4. Hard to predict, though.

      I still maintain that KC has a burning need for what he can still bring. They should stay in the mix.

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  4. Just out of curiosity, i went to FG to see how many seasons a position player 35 or older, 36 or older, 37 or older, or 38 and older there have been of at least 2, 3, 4, or 5 fWAR (no one got to 6 fWAR)

    35+ yr olds: 34 individual seasons of 2+ fWAR, 15 seasons of 3+ fWAR, 8 seasons of 4+ fWAR, and 3 seasons of 5+ fWAR.

    In other words, in all of MLB, < 1 35+ yr old has a 5 WAR each year, < 2 35+ yr olds have 4+ WAR each year, only 3 35+ yr olds have 3+ WAR each year, and about 7 players 35 or older are average or better position players each year….in ALL OF BASEBALL. Being old and even average is hard.

    If we change it to 36+ yrs old the numbers for 2+ through 5+ fWAR seasons are: 19, 5, 2, and 1 (3.8 MLB players 36+ are average or better each year)

    For 37+ yr olds: 12, 2, 0, and 0 (2.8 MLB players 37+ are average or better each year)

    For 38+ yr olds: 6, 0, 0, and 0 (1.2 MLB players 38+ are average or better each year).

    Those numbers…they are ugly.

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        1. Why do you bring it up again? You just want to gross me out all over?

          C’mon, it would be cute.

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        2. Well, this will either be funny to you or disgusting. Here goes.

          Tonight I bought Ajax a big stuffed animal thing…it was called a pillow buddy or something, it is a pillow with a dog head at one end and it has velcro straps so you can fold it in half and stand it up and it looks like a dog. Pretty decent sized thing.

          Welp. Looks like I just bought Ajax a sex toy. Because he keeps humping it…which he never does to anything else, including other dogs. What’s more, he insists on doing it on the couch and I am fighting him for space.

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        3. I think disturbed is the right adjective. She at the other end of the couch and seems to be making a point of ignoring him.

          Back in her day, she used to hump the bejesus out of a big stuffed toy, she’d go at it for so long she’d lean on it panting for a while…catching her breath for another go….so, she’s probably not being particularly judgmental.

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        1. Yeah, without links to the previous conversations that this builds on or refers to….I could see how this would be confusing.

          To summarize, I have a beard and historio has previously sent me links to dumb things that “men” (i.e. idiots) allegedly do to their beards, the glittering is the latest example. She finds the idea of being pregnant repugnant and I unwittingly recently brought up pregnancy and she was disgusted….so I suggested the beard glittering was payback for the pregnancy discussion….totally aside from that, I bought my dog a big stuffed toy/pillow thing that is made for kids, and he decided it was his new fuck buddy….Molly is my other dog, who is now old and no longer humps toys, but she used to do so a lot when she was younger.

          All clear now?

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      1. She finds the idea of being pregnant repugnant

        While I should probably be weekly kicked in the nuts for saying this, as someone whose wife is now 38 weeks along, there’s nothing “glamorous” about being pregnant. She was ready for this baby to come out weeks ago, and as she tells it, what it does/has done to her body is not enviable.

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        1. Does your wife refer to the baby as a parasite? Historio’s feelings maybe….oh, I don’t know…a tad more anti-baby/anti-pregancy.

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        2. I won’t be judged by persons who never have to face the prospect of having a living foreign thing inside of them sucking nutrients from them and distorting their bodies from the growth inside of them.

          /shudders

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        3. And, another thing — they don’t come out looking like in the movies. My best friend made me be at the birth of her youngest. They come out looking like ol’ deflated leather footballs. And when they take in air, they expand like pop rocks or something. It’s so disturbing. I like them after they are people, thank you.

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        4. Yeah, I’m the same way. Once they are about 4 yrs old and you can talk to them, I like them fine…before then…eh, rather have a puppy (this is actually true regardless of the age of the kid…dogs are better).

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        5. I love my nephew and niece and I babysit for my friends. Kids can be fun. The birthing process just creeps me out.

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      2. She doesn’t refer to them as such, but I do. And we have to keep the secrets of what really happens to people going through pregnancy from those who haven’t, because if y’all really knew, no one would sign up for this shit.

        Liked by 1 person

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