Monday, January 22, 2007


Normally, I'm not a big fan of "locking up" your young players (long) before their arbitration or FA. Like what the Mets did with Reyes and Wright. Those guys were so far away from FA and the Mets controlled their contracts for something like four more years. Why guarantee the money? And they really did not buy out any of the FA years. Sure they have cost certainty, but the downside risk seems to great. But that is just me.

At first I thought the Utley deal made some sense, well as much sense as any 7 year deal. It probably is very backloaded, which of course is always nice for the current GM (like Riccardi did with the Wells and Overbay deals). But at least they are buying out 4 years of FA. But then I looked at the math a bit more.

He was a 3 year player - with three years of arbitration before FA. So you figure 2MM this year, 4MM in 08 and 8MM in 09. So what they did was not arbitrate the next three years and sign a 4 year $70MM FA contract? $17MM/year for him? Maybe I don't like that one so much. Unless they think the market is continue to go up and up.

I thought Gillick was a smart man.


  1. Just got back from vacation - not that you guys missed my amazing insight. Anyway, this seems like an insane idea to lock up utley for 7 years. Maybe it's a quality of life issue? For example, giving a player a long term contract allows them to feel more comfortable and actually set down roots (e.g. buy a home, start a family). That being said, we have seen plenty of trades for players in the middle of their contracts, so maybe not.

  2. It is a bit puzzling. I guess second basemen that hit 30HR don’t come around that often. And I wouldn’t even have a problem with it being seven years. I just think it is all downside for the Phils. Why not wait one or two more years at the depressed non-Free Agent prices and then sign him to the motherload. Or, in recognizing that Utley wants some security, bake some kind of discount into the equation. Utley would sleep pretty well on a 7 year $60-70 MM contract. I imagine Philly figures they don’t want him to even get close to free agency, since he can then wait a year and get a $100+ contract and/or get in a bidding war. If Utley is worth that much, how much is Ryan Howard worth?

  3. Yes, it's absolutely insane. Isn't the phrase, "Buy low, sell high"? Not much "buying low" going on right now (except for Daisuke). So either the GM's are stupid, or they're expecting things to get worse.