Rosenthal: Mookie and LAD in agreement: 12/$365

glennhoffmania

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Was service time a factor? I haven't followed sports much since March so maybe this is an old issue. Are players getting a full year of credit regardless of what happens with this season?
 

OurF'ingCity

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Yes, I would agree that I would rather have Betts than anyone on that list not named Trout, but that being said I do not think any of those players are worth the money they are receiving either - and 3 of them are already proving that they are definitely not. Machado, Harper and Stanton are not remotely worth those contracts. I sincerely doubt Cole will be either. In fact, I would say nearly every single long term, large contract has proven to not be worth the money.
Yeah, the question is less whether any massive contract is an “overpay” then whether it fits a given team’s timeline. Since, as you note, virtually every long term large contract is an overpay in pure dollar terms the reason to offer those contracts is if you think the production from the player in the first few years of the contract will be worth overpaying them in the later years.

In the Dodgers’ case, then, this makes perfect sense even if it’s an “overpay” on paper because they are desperate to win a WS in the next few years and are close enough that Mookie could realistically be the difference. (The Yankees’ signing of Cole falls into a similar bucket.) The Red Sox, unfortunately, aren’t anywhere close to realistic WS contention at the moment so a large Mookie deal would make less sense for them (which is why I’m not sure they would even have gone after him in FA if he made it there).

(P.S. this is why the Machado contract makes little sense, since the Padres don’t appear particularly close to true contention either, although YMMV I suppose. Harper is more borderline and Trout is kind of in a different category because of how otherworldly he is even above and beyond the level of someone like Mookie. And Stanton obviously was a horrible contract, don’t think anyone would dispute that at this point.)
 

InsideTheParker

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I'm sad, but relieved at the same time. I don't like 10 year deals for almost anyone. Guys Mookie's size (5'9") don't typically age very gracefully once they're on the other side of 32. Time to lock up Devers long term.
How long? Devers is so fat now I'm concerned about about how he's going to be five years from now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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This makes 2020 even worse. Fuck the Red Sox if it actually is 10/350.
It's 13/380+ according to Passan. Which means that to match it at the time they offered 10/300, it would have had to have been 14/410ish. The years would be more concerning than the total cash layout, I would think.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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What are you basing that on?

Joe Morgan (5'7") was still great in his 30's, so he's probably the best anecdote. Willie Mays (5'10") isn't chopped liver either.
Guys 5'9" and under typically hit a wall around that age. Here's a quote from and NBC Sports article (John Tomase warning):

Since integration in 1947, only seven players 5-9 or shorter have compiled 50 career WAR: Joe Morgan (100.6), Tim Raines (69.4), Pudge Rodriguez (68.7), Yogi Berra (59.3), Luis Aparicio (55.8), Dustin Pedroia (51.7), and Kirby Puckett (51.1). Betts (42.0) should join them sometime in early 2021.

By comparison, 125 players 5-10 or taller have cracked the 50-WAR plateau in that time, from Barry Bonds (162.8) to Torii Hunter (50.1).
Morgan, Raines, Rodriguez, and Pedroia each delivered their last standout offensive seasons at age 32, while Berra remained an All-Star into his late 30s. Aparicio was a remarkably below-average offensive player even in his prime — he reached the Hall of Fame with a lifetime OPS of .653 — and that leaves Puckett, who's the tragic best-case scenario.

I'd argue that Joe Morgan had his last really good year at 33, but the point still stands that small guys don't tend to age well.

 

DJnVa

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It sucks, and I love Mookie, I'm kinda glad he's out there and not on an AL team. We can see him in Boston every few seasons and maybe once or twice in the Series.
 

BaseballJones

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This makes 2020 even worse. Fuck the Red Sox if it actually is 10/350.
Why? Only the Dodgers can negotiate with him now. The Red Sox, due to luxury tax constraints, couldn't have signed him to something like this, and Mookie, from the reports, probably wouldn't have signed this anyway last year. He was looking for more than this and at that point, nobody really could blame him.

The Sox needed to get under the luxury tax in order to sign him, and dealing him was a major part of that strategy. But then along came covid, which put all kinds of people's futures up in the air, and so Mookie, I'm sure, is signing for something less than what he could have gotten had he been a free agent before covid was even a thing.

It stinks, but I don't get your line in bold. Unless you think they should have traded away whatever it took in order to sign Mookie to a $400 million deal after last season.
 

JimD

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I'm happy for Mookie - this could have been a $100 million disaster for him, but he got traded to the right team.

I wish he could have stayed a Red Sock for life, but I'm not sure how I'd be feeling right now if he had agreed to that 10/$320 or whatever contract, even if they'd never signed Sale to his extension.

In Chaim we trust, because we have no other choice right now.
 

chrisfont9

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This is kind of where I am on this. He has had 1 great season. He has done little to nothing in any of the postseason series he has played in. I mean, I did not want to see him go, but he is not a 350M+ player.
WTF? He's put up 39 bWAR in five years. He's been AT LEAST a 6-win player since his first full season. He is literally better than everyone but Trout.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Guys 5'9" and under typically hit a wall around that age. Here's a quote from and NBC Sports article (John Tomase warning):




I'd argue that Joe Morgan had his last really good year at 33, but the point still stands that small guys don't tend to age well.

See my edits - there aren't a lot of stars in the first place of that height.
 

tims4wins

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It's 13/380+ according to Passan. Which means that to match it at the time they offered 10/300, it would have had to have been 14/410ish. The years would be more concerning than the total cash layout, I would think.
The 13 includes 2020, which was $27M for his arb number. In 2019 he made $20M. So the equivalent would have been 14 years (2019-2032) at $400. I highly doubt any of us would have loved that even coming off his epic 2018.
 

tims4wins

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WTF? He's put up 39 bWAR in five years. He's been AT LEAST a 6-win player since his first full season. He is literally better than everyone but Trout.
So much of this is tied to his defense though. By offensive numbers only he is more like the 6th-10th best player and not in the same league as Trout.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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So much of this is tied to his defense though. By offensive numbers only he is more like the 6th-10th best player and not in the same league as Trout.
He has the 4th most oWAR over 2014-2019, which includes positional adjustments but not defensive value - he's also behind guys older than him and therefore more in their prime of their careers over this period.

If you want to remove literally everything other than hitting (which I don't know why you would), he's 14th over that period, behind players older than him (except Harper, the same age) and people playing less premium positions (except Trout & Altuve, pretty much - 5 primary firstbasemen, 1 DH, 3 RF including JD, 1 LF, 1 3B).
 

tims4wins

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75% of his value is o-WAR. Also he's 27, so that side of his game might still yet improve.
He has the 4th most oWAR over 2014-2019, which includes positional adjustments but not defensive value - he's also behind guys older than him and therefore more in their prime of their careers over this period.

If you want to remove literally everything other than hitting (which I don't know why you would), he's 14th over that period, behind players older than him (except Harper, the same age) and people playing less premium positions (except Trout & Altuve, pretty much - 5 primary firstbasemen, 1 DH, 3 RF including JD, 1 LF, 1 3B).
Pop quiz: how many times has he finished in the top 10 in OPS+ in his 5 full seasons?

Once.
 

pdub

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This stings big time but I'm happy for the guy and his family. Amazing player and a class act all the way. Good luck, Mookie!
 

bankshot1

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I wish Mookie nothing but the best, but he may be more challenged OPS-wise in Dodger Stadium, historically a pitcher's park, than he was in friendly confines of Fenway.
 

sodenj5

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So much of this is tied to his defense though. By offensive numbers only he is more like the 6th-10th best player and not in the same league as Trout.
More of his value comes from defense than Trout’s but in Trout’s 2019 MVP season he was worth 8.3 oWar and 0.2 dWar. Mookie’s 2018 MVP year was 8.7 oWar and 1.6 dWar.

So basically, yes Mookie is a better defender, but his peak offense was in the same stratosphere as Trout. Trout has had a more sustained run of offensive excellence, but he’s also the best player on the planet.

I think it’s a pretty legitimate argument that he’s the second best player in the game behind Trout and deserving of what would be the second highest contract in baseball history.
 

tims4wins

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So do I have to post videos of him stealing second and third (because the third baseman came over to 2B? Or videos of his defense and throwing arm? Or pitching stats with him in RF?
As noted, his defense is already in decline. He's averaged 24 SB/year for his career. That's a nice bonus but not why you pay a guy $400M.
 

tims4wins

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More of his value comes from defense than Trout’s but in Trout’s 2019 MVP season he was worth 8.3 oWar and 0.2 dWar. Mookie’s 2018 MVP year was 8.7 oWar and 1.6 dWar.

So basically, yes Mookie is a better defender, but his peak offense was in the same stratosphere as Trout. Trout has had a more sustained run of offensive excellence, but he’s also the best player on the planet.

I think it’s a pretty legitimate argument that he’s the second best player in the game behind Trout and deserving of what would be the second highest contract in baseball history.
Yeah sorry if I am going to pay a guy the second biggest contract ever I want better than borderline top 10 offensive performance. YMMV.
 

sodenj5

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Yeah sorry if I am going to pay a guy the second biggest contract ever I want better than borderline top 10 offensive performance. YMMV.
...but baseball is more than just hitting. I guess that’s where our mileage varies.
 

FredCDobbs

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I think this will basically be like the Fred Lynn situation, for the Sox at least. There were real reasons he left at the time, I suppose, but everyone looks back and thinks "Why the hell didn't Fred Lynn play his whole career for the Red Sox? It doesn't make any basic sense." And I believe Fred thinks along those lines as well today.

The difference is that the Dodgers are going to be insanely good over the next decade and Mookie will likely be over the moon with how it all worked out.

I know he wanted to test free agency, and COVID changed that, but the freaking RED SOX losing a perpetual MVP candidate over money makes no sense.
 

BaseballJones

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[TH]Year[/TH] [TH]Age[/TH] [TH]Tm[/TH] [TH]Lg[/TH] [TH]G[/TH] [TH]PA[/TH] [TH]AB[/TH] [TH]R[/TH] [TH]H[/TH] [TH]2B[/TH] [TH]3B[/TH] [TH]HR[/TH] [TH]RBI[/TH] [TH]SB[/TH] [TH]CS[/TH] [TH]BB[/TH] [TH]SO[/TH] [TH]BA[/TH] [TH]OBP[/TH] [TH]SLG[/TH] [TH]OPS[/TH] [TH]OPS+[/TH] [TH]TB[/TH] [TH]GDP[/TH] [TH]HBP[/TH] [TH]SH[/TH] [TH]SF[/TH] [TH]IBB[/TH] [TH]Pos[/TH] [TH]Awards[/TH] [TH]2014[/TH] [TH]2015[/TH] [TH]2016[/TH] [TH]2017[/TH] [TH]2018[/TH] [TH]2019[/TH]
21 BOS AL 52 213 189 34 55 12 1 5 18 7 3 21 31 .291 .368 .444 .812 126 84 2 2 1 0 0 849/H
22 BOS AL 145 654 597 92 174 42 8 18 77 21 6 46 82 .291 .341 .479 .820 117 286 2 2 3 6 1 *89/HD MVP-19
23 BOS AL 158 730 672 122 214 42 5 31 113 26 4 49 80 .318 .363 .534 .897 133 359 12 2 0 7 1 *9/H AS,MVP-2,GG,SS
24 BOS AL 153 712 628 101 166 46 2 24 102 26 3 77 79 .264 .344 .459 .803 108 288 9 2 0 5 9 *9 AS,MVP-6,GG
25 BOS AL 136 614 520 129 180 47 5 32 80 30 6 81 91 .346 .438 .640 1.078 186 333 5 8 0 5 8 *98/HD4 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
26 BOS AL 150 706 597 135 176 40 5 29 80 16 3 97 101 .295 .391 .524 .915 135 313 11 3 0 9 6 *98/DH AS,MVP-8,GG,SS


Is Betts likely to ever again come close to his 2018 season? As he ages, his speed will decline, and along with it, his range in the OF. And in a pitcher's park (compared to Fenway*), his power won't play quite as much. He will still be a fantastic baseball player, because he literally does everything well - hits for average, hits for power, runs the bases, plays defense, and throws. There isn't a single aspect of his game that isn't really good. But...he won't likely be as good. I'd expect him over the next 5-6 years to be a 6-7 WAR player (which is fantastic), and then the last 6 years of his deal something in the 3 WAR range.

*See: http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/year/2019

Fenway ranked as the 9th best hitter's park in 2019; Dodger Stadium #24.

EDIT: Formatting is terrible, but I got these numbers from Mookie's B-Ref page if anyone is interested.
 

amRadio

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Would it be realistic to project him at 1.0+ dWAR for the next 7 years? In center? I honestly don't know the answer to that question, if people think the answer is yes then I think it's fair to be disappointed the Sox couldn't find a deal here. If his defense is on the decline, I don't think his offensive production has been consistent enough season to season to invest 30MM for 13 years.
 

chrisfont9

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As noted, his defense is already in decline. He's averaged 24 SB/year for his career. That's a nice bonus but not why you pay a guy $400M.
I don't agree with this assessment of his defense. I don't think this is generally accepted. At most you can say that his peak D stats have gone down, but it's quite a stretch to just assume they won't go back up at his age. He's not an oft-injured 32-year-old.
 

amRadio

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They’ll enjoy it more than we’ll enjoy Sale’s remaining contract I’d wager.
I know this was a throwaway comment and I don't know how we would find parameters to base a fair bet on, but I might take that bet. I think Sale comes back after a 14 month recovery and makes the league sad again every year. I'm not sure if Mookie has enough offensive value to justify a deal that long.
 

tims4wins

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I don't agree with this assessment of his defense. I don't think this is generally accepted. At most you can say that his peak D stats have gone down, but it's quite a stretch to just assume they won't go back up at his age. He's not an oft-injured 32-year-old.
No one's defensive stats improve as they get into their 30s

Edit: Mookie is a great baseball player. But the Dodgers are paying him as if they are expecting to get his 2015-2019 (offense, defense, baserunning - everything) for at least the first 5 years of this deal. I don't think that's likely to happen, and the following 8 years are going to be even worse.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I know he wanted to test free agency, and COVID changed that, but the freaking RED SOX losing a perpetual MVP candidate over money makes no sense.
This has already been discussed ad nauseam but it actually does make a lot of sense when you consider luxury tax implications, the contracts already on the books for the Sox, and the pros and cons of tying a huge portion of salary to a single player. That’s not to say you can’t disagree with the ultimate decision and certainly not to say the Sox never should have been in a position in the first place where they needed to actively cut salary, but there is sense behind the Mookie decision standing alone.

This exact same criticism could have been leveled at the Yankees when they let Cano go, and that one worked out very well for them (not comparing the two players other than that the decisions each team faced with those players were roughly similar).
 

bankshot1

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I wish Mookie nothing but the best, but he may be more challenged OPS-wise in Dodger Stadium, historically a pitcher's park, than he was in friendly confines of Fenway.
just took a look at his OPS splits

Home .930
Away .858

 

tims4wins

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OK but that's in three years. You're saying he's declining now. Did you mean that he will eventually decline? Of course, everyone does.
No, his defensive stats in 2018-2019 were worse than 2016-2017

Baseball reference defensive WAR:
2016 2.7
2017 2.5
2018 1.6
2019 1.2
 

chrisfont9

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No, his defensive stats in 2018-2019 were worse than 2016-2017
I know. I am just saying that there is nothing stopping his next few years from being better. Whatever. I get your point, it's a risky investment at some point in the deal. I'd say he's worth it for 4-5 years and after that it gets harder to accept (although who knows what that salary will mean to a team in 2026). It just sucks to lose a guy who was incredibly valuable on the field, exciting to watch, and seemed like a truly great dude off it. What exactly he will be over the next decade, I guess we can pick over the stats but it's probably not worth the effort. It sucks.
 

tims4wins

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I know. I am just saying that there is nothing stopping his next few years from being better. Whatever. I get your point, it's a risky investment at some point in the deal. I'd say he's worth it for 4-5 years and after that it gets harder to accept (although who knows what that salary will mean to a team in 2026). It just sucks to lose a guy who was incredibly valuable on the field, exciting to watch, and seemed like a truly great dude off it. What exactly he will be over the next decade, I guess we can pick over the stats but it's probably not worth the effort. It sucks.
Well, declining speed will stop him from improving. Again he should be a pretty good or even great defensive player for the next few years. But we are talking about a 13 year deal. With a good chunk of his value tied to his defense, if it slips further then you are paying a guy ridiculous dollars to be a very good but not great offensive player. It's not just risky, it makes no sense, at least to me. But I've never been a huge Mookie guy.

Edit: and I'm fully supportive of guys maxing out their earnings. They've earned that right. Personally I think it would hamstring the Sox for a long time if they handed out the contract. There was a side comment about the Sale contract. At least that's only 5 years. The Dodgers could be regretting Mookie for 5-8 years.
 

Seels

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How many of you guys would have rationalized selling Ruth or Williams or Yaz?

My stance on this is very different if we didn't just lose Lester to the same godamn thing, and if the reasons the team was short on funds was from the guy they got to replace Lester.
Sale & Eovaldi at least have elite potential (Sale much more so of course).
Sale isn't playing any time soon, and Eovaldi is a significant reason they had to trade him anyway

I hope, given Mookie is no more, this marks an official end to these dumb fucking contracts they so willingly gave out over the last 12 years.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree on the dumb contracts. But I'll happily take the last 12 years repeated through the next 12 years all the time. The last 12 years produced:

- 7 90+ win seasons
- 3 losing seasons (with 3 last-place finishes)
- 1062--882 (.546)
- 4 division titles
- 6 playoff appearances
- 3 ALCS appearances
- 2 WS titles

If Boston did that every 12 years, I'd be thrilled. Add in one more year (2007) and it gets even better.
 

Max Power

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How many of you guys would have rationalized selling Ruth or Williams or Yaz?
If Mookie puts up a 169 cumulative OPS+ in his age 27-30 seasons like Yaz did, then the Dodgers will have gotten themselves a deal no matter what the back half looks like. I wouldn't bet on it, but stranger things have happened, I guess.

Babe Ruth and Ted Williams were the two greatest hitters of all time. I do not expect Mookie to have a single season as good as either of their average years going forward.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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No one's defensive stats improve as they get into their 30s

Edit: Mookie is a great baseball player. But the Dodgers are paying him as if they are expecting to get his 2015-2019 (offense, defense, baserunning - everything) for at least the first 5 years of this deal. I don't think that's likely to happen, and the following 8 years are going to be even worse.
At least when massive contracts were more likely to be a max of 8 years, you could feel pretty good about getting solid value out of the first 75% or so, and certainly the whole front half. Now that we are talking 10+ years for these deals, it goes wayyy beyond the time horizon where you can reasonably expect the back end to look okay, or to even have a clue about what your team or the league itself will look like. And if a serious injury pops up in the early part of the deal, things can get ugly fast, as we've seen firsthand.

I imagine Dodgers fans are looking at the math differently, given how they've spent the last several years about as all-in as you can get.
 

A Bad Man

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No longer interested in Mookie. Excited to see what Verdugo can do starting Friday.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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How many of you guys would have rationalized selling Ruth or Williams or Yaz?

My stance on this is very different if we didn't just lose Lester to the same godamn thing, and if the reasons the team was short on funds was from the guy they got to replace Lester.

Sale isn't playing any time soon, and Eovaldi is a significant reason they had to trade him anyway

I hope, given Mookie is no more, this marks an official end to these dumb fucking contracts they so willingly gave out over the last 12 years.
If we're talking about Ruth or Williams or Yaz in the current economic environment in baseball, I imagine there might be plenty of rationalization. But since all of those guys played in the reserve clause era (at least when they were Mookie's age), it's not really an apt comparison to make.

Also, there's every bit the chance that the contract the Dodgers are giving Mookie will be just as much a "dumb fucking contract" in five years as any of the ones the Sox have given various players (be it Hanley, Price, Sale, Sandoval, or whomever). Just because you like Mookie (or Lester) better than the guys that the Sox did give big money to doesn't mean it would have been wise(r) to give it to them.