Big Papi: The biggest bargain in the history of professional sports

February 22nd, 2007 → 10:21 pm @

OK, fine, that’s probably an exaggeration, but David Ortiz has to be up there. (There was some brief discussion of Ortiz’s relative pay in today’s press conference.) To recap, here’s a rundown of the man’s paydays since he’s been in Boston.

2003: $1,250,000
2004: $4,587,500
2005: $5,250,000
2006: $6,500,000
2007-2010: $12,500,000/yr (with a team option in 2011).

If you throw in the $2 million signing bonus Ortiz got when he re-upped last April, that’s a total of $82,087,500 for nine years of service (or $69,587,500 for eight years, if the Sox decide he’s not worth the $12.5 in ’11). Put another way, if Ortiz never played another game in his life and still collected the four remaining years of his contract, he’d have averaged $17,396,875 per year for ’03-’06. That’s less than Manny, Jeter, and A-Rod…and none of them has finished in the top 5 in MVP voting each of those years. (Fine, fine…A-Rod did win the award twice. But his lips are blue.)
Eighty two million dollars — or sixty nine million, for that matter — is an obscene amount of money, and it speaks to nothing so much as the insane paydays afforded professional athletes than there’s any world in which this could be considered below market value. But take a gander at this season’s free agent signings. That’s right: Ortiz was signed last April for just a little more than guys like Gil Meche and Ted Lilly are making.

Post Categories: David Ortiz & Major league contracts