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

BaseballJones

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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.
Considering that Mookie has topped an ops+ of 135 only one time in his career (2018, with 186), I would think it a very very poor bet to expect him to put up 169 ops+ in those four seasons you outlined. Not counting his 218 at-bats in his first year, his ops+ numbers have been, in descending order:

186
135
133
117
108

I mean, still an excellent hitter, but nothing remotely like a 169 ops+.

Which is, I think, your point.
 

tims4wins

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Considering that Mookie has topped an ops+ of 135 only one time in his career (2018, with 186), I would think it a very very poor bet to expect him to put up 169 ops+ in those four seasons you outlined. Not counting his 218 at-bats in his first year, his ops+ numbers have been, in descending order:

186
135
133
117
108

I mean, still an excellent hitter, but nothing remotely like a 169 ops+.

Which is, I think, your point.
And mine as well.

From an OPS+ standpoint, Mookie is very similar to Nomar through 5-6 seasons.
 

sean1562

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This team is gonna be pretty mediocre this year, next year, and maybe the year after that, with or without Mookie Betts. We got what we could for him, thanks for the World Series win. Guess it kind of stings that if/when he makes the HoF, he will be wearing a Dodgers hat but this is the price we paid for 2018.
 

santadevil

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And mine as well.

From an OPS+ standpoint, Mookie is very similar to Nomar through 5-6 seasons.
Yikes...can someone remind how it turned out for Boston after Nomar left again?
The sky fell and Boston didn't win a championship for 88 days I believe

I'm happy for Mookie to hit this payday. And while my little guy loves Mookie, he'll find another favourite, or he'll become a Dodgers fan...ugh
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Yikes...can someone remind how it turned out for Boston after Nomar left again?
The sky fell and Boston didn't win a championship for 88 days I believe
Nomar was also, in all likelihood, on the gas at one point, whereas Mookie has never had any of those concerns or been accused of doping. Small detail but important.

I wonder if LA would be making this deal if they weren't coming off back-to-back-to-back disappointments in their playoff runs (including the shocking loss to the team that won it all last year)? I wonder if they feel keeping Mookie on for 13 more seasons expands their playoff window a little longer than they believed it was going to last if he left after a few dozen games this season?
 

tims4wins

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Nomar was also, in all likelihood, on the gas at one point, whereas Mookie has never had any of those concerns or been accused of doping. Small detail but important.

I wonder if LA would be making this deal if they weren't coming off back-to-back-to-back disappointments in their playoff runs (including the shocking loss to the team that won it all last year)? I wonder if they feel keeping Mookie on for 13 more seasons expands their playoff window a little longer than they believed it was going to last if he left after a few dozen games this season?
Yeah kind of similar to Durant to the Warriors, albeit with less impact. If the Dodgers already had a title or two under their belts I bet they would be content to just lock up their young stars.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Well, the best data we have indicates otherwise - and even if you want to take out the 10-WAR MVP season and put him at his usual 6, you'd need to assume $/WAR of $6 million to make him "not worth" the money ... and $/WAR has been above that level since 2011.

You can argue about the possibility of team-building or cap problems with that kind of money, but today's version of Mookie Betts is almost assuredly worth 10/350 outside that context.
Worth and cost are two different things. The numbers you're citing are what a WAR costs on the FA market. Whether the player is "worth" that or not is a different discussion and not quite as objective. Do I personally believe he'll be worth $35M a year for the first half of that? Yes. For 10 years? No. I don't think any player in the game outside of Trout I'd be comfortable with saying that about.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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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.

Edit: Also worth pointing out that Mookie is the shortest player since integration to put up 40 WAR by the time he's 26 - an inch shorter than Mays & Henderson. Most great players are taller than Mookie, that doesn't mean a great player of his height should be expected to fall off more than a taller great player.

Edit 2: He's actually the shortest player to accumulate more than 32 WAR by age 26 - the next best players his height or shorter were Ivan Rodriguez and Tim Raines, who both had what looks like, to me, pretty good/average aging curves into their 30s.

Edit3: Next best (and we're really starting to talk about people who aren't comparable to Betts's quality):
  1. Chuck Knoblauch - aged well (perhaps improved) before the yips
  2. Curt Flood - aged well (perhaps improved) before sacrificing his career for free agency
  3. Joe Morgan - pretty pretty pretty good
Also Jose Ramirez & Altuve, who obviously haven't aged long enough to see. BTW, Mookie put up double Altuve's WAR by age 26.

Edit4: Next best (each is between 15 & 20 WAR compared to Mookie's 42) are Pedroia (bad), Aparicio (very good), Rollins (less good), Berra (good), Furcal (bad)..
You don't think greenies played any part in those comps?
 

bigq

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Good for Mookie. I’m happy for him. I wish he was still in a Red Sox uniform but I am glad it was the Dodgers giving out that contract and not Boston.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I’ve been pretty consistent in saying that, if I were the Red Sox this off-season, I would have offered Mookie 10/350 as a final offer, said farewell if he didn’t take that and tried to work out the cap some other way if he did take it. This pretty conclusively suggests he would have rejected such an offer, so, ultimately, I’m at peace with the fact that he left and happy with the return the Sox got.
 

nattysez

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The Dodgers are going to have to sell off a lot of young, close-to-FA talent in return for really young talent/prospects in the next year or two. And they'll likely have to let Kershaw walk after next season. They'll be an interesting team to follow.


.
 

RIrooter09

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The Dodgers are going to have to sell off a lot of young, close-to-FA talent in return for really young talent/prospects in the next year or two. And they'll likely have to let Kershaw walk after next season. They'll be an interesting team to follow.


.
Will they? They’re one of the wealthiest teams in baseball.
 

Salem's Lot

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I’m extremely happy for him and his family. I love when top players get paid in every sport. That being said I’m glad it’s not here. That’s a franchise killing contract if it goes bad after even 7 years.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Will they? They’re one of the wealthiest teams in baseball.
Well, if you add in this deal for Mookie they're at $150M+ for nine players in 2021, with only Price, Pollock, Betts and Muncy under contract for 2022. They have a shit ton of arbitrations cases to take care of and a whole lot of holes to fill. Unless they completely disregard penalties - financial and draft picks - they can't really carry on too long like that and still keep Kershaw, Bellinger, Seager, Pederson, etc etc. Everyone can't make $20M+/yr average.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Will they? They’re one of the wealthiest teams in baseball.
Theoretically, so are the Red Sox. But there are other factors in baseball economics than just how much money they have in the coffers. Luxury tax implications are real whether fans want to accept it or not.

Of course there's also the very real uncertainty of what the next CBA is going to look like. The contract is a huge risk no matter the player. Good for Mookie for getting paid, but it's going to have a big impact on what the Dodgers can/can't do going forward.
 

RIrooter09

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Well, if you add in this deal for Mookie they're at $150M+ for nine players in 2021, with only Price, Pollock, Betts and Muncy under contract for 2022. They have a shit ton of arbitrations cases to take care of and a whole lot of holes to fill. Unless they completely disregard penalties - financial and draft picks - they can't really carry on too long like that and still keep Kershaw, Bellinger, Seager, Pederson, etc etc. Everyone can't make $20M+/yr average.
They can afford to disregard penalties if they choose to. I could see them trying to move Price, Pollock, Kershaw, and Pederson as they’re all past their prime/too expensive. I don’t see them dumping useful, young players as the post I responded to was suggesting.
 
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bosockboy

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Well, if you add in this deal for Mookie they're at $150M+ for nine players in 2021, with only Price, Pollock, Betts and Muncy under contract for 2022. They have a shit ton of arbitrations cases to take care of and a whole lot of holes to fill. Unless they completely disregard penalties - financial and draft picks - they can't really carry on too long like that and still keep Kershaw, Bellinger, Seager, Pederson, etc etc. Everyone can't make $20M+/yr average.
At some point Betts/Bellinger/Bueller will make 100 million between them annually. They will have to use the farm around and build around this core.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I don’t like that length or total money (but good for Mookie). And other than getting a slight discount on the AAV for lux tax purposes, it’s not clear to me that LA benefits from doing this now v waiting. Really, who out there is going to match this deal 3-5 months from now? If this season goes south, and if COVID hangs around - both serious possibilities - the financial landscape for MLB could drastically shift. There’s big risk here for LA beyond signing a 28 yo 5’9” guy for a dozen more years.
 

RIrooter09

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Theoretically, so are the Red Sox. But there are other factors in baseball economics than just how much money they have in the coffers. Luxury tax implications are real whether fans want to accept it or not.

Of course there's also the very real uncertainty of what the next CBA is going to look like. The contract is a huge risk no matter the player. Good for Mookie for getting paid, but it's going to have a big impact on what the Dodgers can/can't do going forward.
My point was it shouldn’t have a big impact on what they can do going forward. Just because Red Sox ownership decided to cheap out and trade the best player we’ve developed in decades doesn’t mean the Dodgers will do the same. They have plenty of young, cost controlled talent and a top tier development system led by a strong GM. This isn’t the same situation as a dinosaur like Dombrowski handing out stupid contracts to injury prone pitchers.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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They can afford to disregard penalties if they choose to. I could see them trying to move Price, Pollock, Kershaw, and Pederson as they’re all past their prime/too expensive. I don’t see them dumping useful, young players as the post I responded too was suggesting.
They can afford the financial ones, but the draft penalties and international caps are what will likely stop them; there's only so long you can not have the financial clout you're sacrificing to make an impact in the draft. There's also only so long investors are going to want to pay a 45% surcharge tax on every dollar they spend. If they choose to, yes you're absolutely correct, they can. It would be malpractice, but yes, they can. And if you're just moving contracts to make room, then they'll be eating money on those and not clearing space. It should be interesting to watch unfold though, it could go either way and they just signed up to be the guinea pigs.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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My point was it shouldn’t have a big impact on what they can do going forward. Just because Red Sox ownership decided to cheap out and trade the best player we’ve developed in decades doesn’t mean the Dodgers will do the same. They have plenty of young, cost controlled talent and a top tier development system led by a strong GM. This isn’t the same situation as a dinosaur like Dombrowski handing out stupid contracts to injury prone pitchers.
This is entirely inaccurate, as has been drawn out here many times over. It's an emotional response that simply isn't accurate.
 

OurF'ingCity

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They can afford the financial ones, but the draft penalties and international caps are what will likely stop them; there's only so long you can not have the financial clout you're sacrificing to make an impact in the draft. There's also only so long investors are going to want to pay a 45% surcharge tax on every dollar they spend. If they choose to, yes you're absolutely correct, they can. It would be malpractice, but yes, they can. And if you're just moving contracts to make room, then they'll be eating money on those and not clearing space. It should be interesting to watch unfold though, it could go either way and they just signed up to be the guinea pigs.
Yeah, one thing the past couple of years of following MLB have made clear to me is that it’s not really accurate to think of MLB like the old days when there truly was no limit to spending if you were a rich team. It’s now more appropriate to think of MLB as having what I’d call a very soft, variable cap - it’s not quite at an NBA-level of restriction but it’s extremely clear that no team, no matter how rich, is going to blow past the tax level year in, year out without periodically resetting. The challenge for the “rich” teams is determining when the right time for a reset is and when the right to go for it and splurge is.
 

santadevil

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I hope he's worth every penny of that contract...and then some

Might make this little guy worth a couple of shekels in the future
 

grimshaw

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I just don't understand the rush on the Dodgers part. The landscape of baseball will be completely different with the very real possibility of a strike and big potential changes on how free agency is handled. I know they had boatloads of money to spend but this seems like they are bidding against themselves.
 

sean1562

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Yeah, one thing the past couple of years of following MLB have made clear to me is that it’s not really accurate to think of MLB like the old days when there truly was no limit to spending if you were a rich team. It’s now more appropriate to think of MLB as having what I’d call a very soft, variable cap - it’s not quite at an NBA-level of restriction but it’s extremely clear that no team, no matter how rich, is going to blow past the tax level year in, year out without periodically resetting. The challenge for the “rich” teams is determining when the right time for a reset is and when the right to go for it and splurge is.

Which, at the end of the day, is probably a good thing for MLB. Nobody wants to watch the richest teams win over and over and over again. Now is the time for us to reset and we just have to live with the economics of baseball. It is what it is, wish Mookie the best.
 

scottyno

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We'll never know for sure, but kind of wish there was a way to know if the Sox would have signed Betts to that contract today if they hadn't kept Sale, my guess is yes. It's a pretty big drop from what he wanted a year ago.
 

RedOctober3829

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I just don't understand the rush on the Dodgers part. The landscape of baseball will be completely different with the very real possibility of a strike and big potential changes on how free agency is handled. I know they had boatloads of money to spend but this seems like they are bidding against themselves.
They are so desperate for a WS title that they just overpaid to keep Betts out of FA so his contract wouldn’t be an issue this year. You have to hand it to them—they are doing whatever it takes to win.
 

BaseballJones

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We'll never know for sure, but kind of wish there was a way to know if the Sox would have signed Betts to that contract today if they hadn't kept Sale, my guess is yes. It's a pretty big drop from what he wanted a year ago.
Maybe they would have. But Mookie wasn’t taking this a year ago, from the reports

The entire baseball landscape has changed dramatically the past six months.
 

scottyno

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Maybe they would have. But Mookie wasn’t taking this a year ago, from the reports

The entire baseball landscape has changed dramatically the past six months.
Agreed, just interesting to consider the what ifs, they might have given him this a year ago but he wanted way more.
 

grimshaw

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They are so desperate for a WS title that they just overpaid to keep Betts out of FA so his contract wouldn’t be an issue this year. You have to hand it to them—they are doing whatever it takes to win.
I get that part of it. It may also be them doubling down on a poor trade. But I think they will look pretty stupid if there isn't a full season until 2022.
 

YTF

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I'm not going to grouse about the Sox not hanging onto him or the fact that they won't have a chance to resign him. I don't give a rat's ass as to whether or not the Dodgers overpaid or if they get screwed on the back end of the deal. Mookie was everything we could have hoped for and more. He was a pleasure to watch and a class act during his time in Boston. He put in his time, he got paid and I couldn't be happier for him. Thanks for the memories Mook!!!
 

nattysez

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They can afford to disregard penalties if they choose to. I could see them trying to move Price, Pollock, Kershaw, and Pederson as they’re all past their prime/too expensive. I don’t see them dumping useful, young players as the post I responded to was suggesting.
I believe the following guys are up for FA in the next three years: Bellinger, Treinen, Pederson, Seagar, Hernandez, Taylor, Muncy, Stripling, Baez. Keeping all of those guys is going to be really tough, even if you let Turner, Pollock, and Kershaw go. But Friedman can work a lot of magic, so I guess we'll see.
 

irinmike

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I am a Red Sox fan not a Mookie or whomever ass kisser. The money he got will hamstring the Dodgers for years. Time to move on and just don't subject me to the Tom Caron BS of a nightly "how did Mookie do for the Dodgers last night". Its over and I'm looking forward.
 

sean1562

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Cody Bellinger just had a 9 bWAR MVP season as a 23 year old. I would be amazed if the dodgers have the payroll for another 13 year 400 million dollar deal when he hits FA. If anything they will be in the exact same situation we were in with Mookie this offseason.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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I believe the following guys are up for FA in the next three years: Bellinger, Treinen, Pederson, Seagar, Hernandez, Taylor, Muncy, Stripling, Baez. Keeping all of those guys is going to be really tough, even if you let Turner, Pollock, and Kershaw go. But Friedman can work a lot of magic, so I guess we'll see.
Other than Bellinger, those are some replaceable players, especially when you’ve been as good at player development as the Dodgers have been despite not having a high draft pick for many years. Two of them were almost traded away this past February!

All the handwringing over the Dodgers crippling themselves with this deal seems kind of pointless to me. Presumably, the Dodgers know that the CBA is expiring, and they know the contractual status of their many good players. And yet, they chose to make this deal anyway. It’s kind of like when people do the same about the Yankees making a big deal; it never seems to really haunt them like we expect it to.
 

Ale Xander

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The Dodgers have a massive tv contract
The Dodgers play in a massive park and get massive ticket revenue
The Dodgers play in a massive market and get massive merchandising revenue
The Dodgers have a massively successful scouting department
The Dodgers fanbase has a massive pent-up demand for a WS title.

Until there is a hard cap, the Dodgers have no problem paying whatever it takes, including penalties, to get a winner.

I can see why they would do this. AAV isn't crazy (unless the sport contracts).