What a bargain!

December 14th, 2006 → 9:05 am @ // 16 Comments

Well…that was fun. We had Daisuke sneaking into back doors at 3 am to get past the throngs of reporters, we had cross-country flights on private planes, we had madcap dash to the hospital…and now we have a starting rotation of:

Curt Schilling
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Josh Beckett
Jonathan Papelbon
Tim Wakefield

Man…it feels good not to need to write Matt Clement’s name in there. Sure, the pitching staff still has holes — I think it’s insane to assume Mike Timlin is going to be worth a roster spot, but then I also think it’s insane to assume Doug Mirabelli is going to be worth a roster spot. There’s no closer, or at least no obvious closer, and Craig Hansen ain’t gonna be one in the majors unless he learns that he’ll be a lot better off if he stops trying to blow his fastball by big league hitters and uses that nasty-ass slider more often.

Anyway, to go along with that pitching staff, if the season started tomorrow — and who doesn’t wish that it would? — there’d be this starting nine:

Coco, CF
Julio, SS
Papi, DH
Manuel, LF
Drew, RF
Lowell – 3B
Tek – C
Youkilis – 1B
Pedroia – 2B*

That might not be the record-setting ’03-’04 offense, but it’s pretty damn good.

Now, a lot will (and has) been made of the vast amounts of money the Sox have thrown around in the great free-agent spending spree of 2006. So let’s take a look at the $103 (or so) million Matsuzaka will cost the Sox. First off, despite the AAV of $10 million per year, the contract will end up costing the Sox approximately $14 mil/per, because of the 40 percent luxury tax (which, again, I’m assuming the Sox will need to pay). (Also, from what I can tell, the escalators in the deal will amount to a max of $8 mil over the life of the deal, so let’s leave those out for simlicity’s sake.) Let’s also assume that, as Rob Neyer points out, salaries will continue to rise at approximately 10 percent a year. That would make the $14 mil paid out to Daisuke in 2012 worth about $7 million in today’s dollars.** (I think — Neyer has the 10 percent annual depreciation on Drew’s $14 million deal worth $10 million in 2011; I have it worth $8.4. One of us is wrong, and it certainly might be me.) If you look at the pure AAV sans luxury tax, that 2012 salary would be worth $5 mil in today’s dollars.*** If Daisuke ends up being anywhere near as good as rumored, that’ll be one helluva bargain. (Another way to look at this: Manny’s contract was pretty outrageous in 2001; today it’s a relative — and I do mean relative — bargain.) Of course, he could also end up being the next Jose Contreras, circa his Yankees years. That’d make him far from the worst $100 million signing…but it still wouldn’t be good.

So, what does this all mean? Well, for one thing that the Sox didn’t get fleeced by Scott Boras — as recently as a 24 hours ago, he was arguing that Matsuzaka should be getting somewhere in the $20 million per range, which would increase the cost of this deal by $60 million bucks.
And..with that, my flight is boarding. So more later.

* As a couple of people have noted in the comments section, this batting order is likely incorrect. Unless the starting nine changes, it’s more likely to see something like:

Lugo, The Jewish God of OBP, Papi, Manuel, J.D., Lowell, Tek, Coco, Pedroia

** In my computations throughout, I used a $10 million/yr base for Matsuzaka; it’s actually (roughly) $9 mil. The full contingent of escalators would bring the AAV up to $10. Anyway, this’ll alter all of those slightly.

*** And if you add in the $51.1 posting fee, the contract would be worth approximately $24 mil, $22.6 mil, $21.2 mil, $19.8 mil, $18.4 mil, and $17 mil with the luxury tax or $20, $10, $18, $17, $16, and $15 million per. A couple of other quick notes on the luxury tax figures: the posting fee does not count towards the luxury tax and is paid out in one lump sum, which skews these numbers a bit, but not a huge amount. Also, the reason I’m including the luxury tax here is I’m assuming Dice’s contract will be one of the ones that puts the Sox over the luxury tax limit; in figuring out other AAV’s, you wouldn’t add on the 40 percent until the contracts starting going over that limit. Got that?


Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Daisuke Matsuzaka & Red Sox front office & Scott Boras

16 Comments → “What a bargain!”


  1. StuckAtTheCask

    11 years ago

    I like that starting 9 a lot … should be interesting to see how the bullpen fills out (i.e., who’s the closer?), and I also wouldn’t be surprised if Theo does some further tinkering with the bench … but one thing I hope we don’t see is Coco leading off as you have listed it here. I’m as hopeful as anyone that he has a bounce-back year (no doubt that hand injury impacted his entire ’06 season), but regardless – Youks’ OBP will still be much higher and better utilized at the top of the lineup.

    Reply

  2. Ahoffman17

    11 years ago

    This offseason’s spending spree should also take into acouunt that $30.5 million of the Red Sox Payroll will be freed up
    at the end of the 2007 season.
    Schilling $14 million
    Clement $8.5 million
    Lowell $9 million all get cleared off of the books.

    I expect the sox will try to sign Andru Jones for $18-19 million and then trade Manny for prospects. Andru Jones salary will just replace Manny’s salary. Payroll for 2008 should come down from $160 million back to the $130-140 million ballpark.
    It all makes sense when you look at payroll over a 2 year window.

    Reply

  3. NateDogg

    11 years ago

    Seth,

    Assuming for a moment you put the ‘starting nine’ in a exepcted lineup order, I need to quibble a bit. There’s no chance the OB machine that is Youk bats 8th. Much more likely in my opinion you see Lugo leading off followed by ‘leading the majors in pitches seen’ Youk. It gives Lugo plenty of chances to run and puts a man on in front of Ortiz 40% of the time. Coco gets dropped into the 8th slot I expect. With any luck, he’ll get comfortable and produce similar to Mueller’s vintage years down in the order, with more speed obviously.

    Batting order matters a lot less than people think, and Lugo seems to prefer batting second; therefore, this was my best guest. But your guess is just as good…
    Seth

    Reply

  4. lennyharris

    11 years ago

    Tito has already stated his current thinking is that Lugo would bat first, Youk second and Coco eighth. His thinking was not to waste Coco’s speed directly in front of Papi and Manny, that it would be more useful lower in the order, while Youkilis’ on base capabilities meshed better in the 2-hole. He talked about this on WEEI last week after the Lugo signing was announced.

    Sounds good to me.
    — Seth

    Reply

  5. Sox Blog

    11 years ago

    松坂 大輔…

    Reply

  6. chris

    11 years ago

    Two thoughts —

    1. I guess Lester gets to take his time coming back, at least until they’re forced to make Wake the closer?

    2. Can we call Youkilis the Rabbi Moses Maimonedes of Walks? I’m no authority on Judaism as you can guess from my handle, but the Jewish G-d of walks is awkward.

    Reply

  7. dbvader

    11 years ago

    Seth,
    Do you have any information from your sources about negotiations over the length of the contract? A lot of idle speculation had Boras seeking an early free agency clause similar to Hideki Matsui’s. (Different situation, though.) On the other hand, the Red Sox are taking a big risk guaranteeing six years. But it doesn’t seem that the length was ever a big issue.

    Reply

  8. sfcrotty

    11 years ago

    Me, I bat Pedroia 8th and put Coco in the 9-spot. If he gets on, the defense has to deal with Coco-speed and Lugo-speed.

    c

    Reply

  9. shawn.orourke

    11 years ago

    Where do you think Wily Mo Pena fits into this lineup? I know there have been trade rumors circulating about dealing him for some bullpen help (Chad Cordero?), but if we don’t deal him I think the sox need to find a way to get this guy some regular at-bats. Give Wily Mo 450 at bats and he’ll hit you at least 30-35 HRs. He’s only 24 and still learning some plate discipline but this guy can really crush the ball when he gets a hold of it. I think of him like a young David Ortiz sometimes. When Ortiz was 24 he finished the season batting .280 with 10 HRs in 415 at bats. I think the sox need to keep him around since its pretty much a given that J.D. Drew will probably miss at least 30 games this year.

    I’ve always wondered if the Sox would consider playing Youkilis or Lowell at 2B (each has played the position a couple times in 2005). A move like this could open up 1B so that either:

    a) Ortiz could play 1B and Wily Mo could DH
    b) Wily Mo could “pull a Hatteberg” and teach himself how to play 1B.

    That would give you a lineup that looks something like this:

    Coco, CF
    Youkilis, 2B
    Papi, DH (or 1B)
    Manuel, LF
    Drew, RF
    Pena, 1B (or DH)
    Lowell, 3B
    Tek, C
    Lugo, SS

    Maybe I just enjoy Wily Mo’s name too much but am I alone in thinking we need to get this guy some at-bats?

    Reply

  10. dansoxfan

    11 years ago

    Seth,

    I really don’t see why you only attach the luxury tax to contracts that ‘put the sox over the limit’. It makes more sense (in most situations) to average the tax across the roster. I posted earlier on this, but let me try again…

    As a simple example, let’s say a team has 25 players (and no non-contributing dead-weight contracts like Clement–clearly a contrived example!). And assume that each player in making $6.17 million. And let’s further assume that they sign their contracts on consecutive days of the same month.

    In this example, 24 of the players cost the team a total of $148 million. A 25th player costs $6.17 million plus $2.5 in luxury tax. It seems like you would say that that player cost the team $8.7 million–only because he happened to sign on the 25th day of a given month.

    Wouldn’t it seem to make more sense to think that the team went into the year thinking it had ~$157 million to spend, and that the $2.5 million tax should be applied evenly across all contracts?

    Note, this all rests on one assumption: that going into the season the team has a pretty good idea of what it is going to spend. I think that is generally reasonable. Of course, the Abreau example is a different one–in that case, teams like the NYY were making the decision mid-season.

    Averaging the luxury tax burden seems to make more sense in most situations.

    (I am assuming that the luxury tax limit is $148 million and the tax rate is 40%.)

    Reply

  11. Daniel W. Drezner

    11 years ago

    The globalization of baseball…

    Like everyone else in New England, I followed Scott Boras’ negotiations with the Red Sox over Daisuke Matsuzaka’s contract with great interest. The roller coaster nature of the negotiations caused many who questioned the Red Sox strategy earlier this…

    Reply

  12. michaelmc

    11 years ago

    I think the sox need to keep him around since its pretty much a given that J.D. Drew will probably miss at least 30 games this year.

    Oh that’s such nonsense. Drew has missed no more than 5 games per season due to injury for the last four seasons except for two stretches. The first was recovering from surgery which fixed his knee problem (which hasn’t recurred since), and the second was a HBP in 2005, which is a random occurrence and can’t be predicted. Will he miss games? Sure. Is WMP a great backup? Yeah. But all of this “Drew is completely unreliable” is a myth.

    Reply

  13. dbvader

    11 years ago

    Oh that’s such nonsense. Drew has missed no more than 5 games per season due to injury for the last four seasons except for two stretches. The first was recovering from surgery which fixed his knee problem (which hasn’t recurred since), and the second was a HBP in 2005, which is a random occurrence and can’t be predicted. Will he miss games? Sure. Is WMP a great backup? Yeah. But all of this “Drew is completely unreliable” is a myth.

    That is the worst example of cherry picking statistics. And the statistics are incorrect. Over the last four seasons he has played 100/145/72/146 games. He has missed at least 15 games in the seasons he was considered healthy. But you want to say that if you ignore his injuries, he was pretty healthy. Will Carroll has stated that health is a skill, and I tend to believe him. The players that are considered ‘injury prone’ tend to get injured at a much higher rate than other players.

    Besides, your games played statistic ignores the years 1999-2002, when he played between 104 and 135 games each season and had fewer than 500 PA’s each season. I have said this before, but Manny averages over 600 PA’s per season since he signed his Red Sox contract. JD Drew has broken 500 PA’s twice and averages fewer than 500.

    The guy is a health risk.

    Reply

  14. redsoxtimes

    11 years ago

    The most notable thing that came out of the festivities today was Theo telling Tina Cervasio that when they left for the plane back to Boston, Boras and Matsuzaka weren’t coming with them. It wasn’t until the car was pulling away that they got on the cell phone and Boras said, “We’ll meet you at the airport.”

    I can just picture Boras looking out a window at Theo getting in the car and then driving away and fuming, knowing his bluff had been called and called hard.

    Theo showed some serious balls with that move.

    Tim
    Red Sox Times

    Reply

  15. michaelmc

    10 years ago

    That is the worst example of cherry picking statistics. And the statistics are incorrect. Over the last four seasons he has played 100/145/72/146 games. He has missed at least 15 games in the seasons he was considered healthy. But you want to say that if you ignore his injuries, he was pretty healthy. Will Carroll has stated that health is a skill, and I tend to believe him. The players that are considered ‘injury prone’ tend to get injured at a much higher rate than other players.

    Besides, your games played statistic ignores the years 1999-2002, when he played between 104 and 135 games each season and had fewer than 500 PA’s each season. I have said this before, but Manny averages over 600 PA’s per season since he signed his Red Sox contract. JD Drew has broken 500 PA’s twice and averages fewer than 500.

    I believe Carroll too, but recovery from surgery is not a skill, and avoiding a random occurrence is not a skill. Not pulling your hammy running around the bases is more what Carroll is talking about. My data comes from a chart in the Globe from the past week. Drew missed 15/16 games in his “completely healthy” seasons, but from what I can tell from his injury history, only 5 games in each of those was due to injury, leaving 10/11 for whatever reason.

    Moreover, Drew’s games played stats though 2002 are irrelevant to now because the bulk of his earlier injuries were from his nagging knee problem, which was corrected in the 02-03 offseason and has not reoccurred. Statistically, I did not cherry-pick, I just corrected for factors that make a difference. Like surgery that fixes a problem. Drew’s no Manny Machine, but he’s not going to collapse on the field every fourth day.

    Reply
  16. […] Poor Matt Clement. You’ve gotta wonder how he’s feels right now. At least, at $9,825,000, he makes more annually than his newest teammate. That must be some consolation. […]

    Reply

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