Monday, January 11, 2010

The Reds get it on credit

Oddly enough, we felt some relief when we heard that Cincinnati threw down $30 million to lock up Aroldis Chapman's services for the next six years. If the Reds would like to pay the Cuban defector $1 million this year, then back load his deal so that they keep paying him for the next ten years, like a delinquent credit card bill that's been run up on dubious trinkets, then so be it.

It's entirely possible that he'll end up being everything that we is promised to be, and that this deal will come off as a bargain. But we'll confess that we were beginning to get antsy at the idea of the Jays forking over $23 million given the uncertainty that surrounds young Mr. Chapman.

(Which, we realize, sounds like an incredibly convenient rationalization just after the Jays missed out on this intriguing piece as part of the Eternal Building Process. And it probably is. But seeing as how so many of you Tank Nation-types espouse a policy of perpetual short-term prudence towards some mythical contention date, always just two or three or four years away, we hope you'll cut us some slack if we didn't feel like adding a big contract for a guy who might just be a big chucker and not much else.)

16 comments:

Peter D said...

When it only costs money to get him, there would be no downside to signing a guy like this. Basically that $6 million the Jays would have spent on this guy per season, is now most likely gone and will not be spent on anyone else, at least for this year.

Therefore, why in the world would you worry about spending too much on him? It's like being glad the Jays are saving money with the Roy Halladay deal, it's irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

That's true once, maybe twice. But as soon as you have Wells AND Ryan AND Glaus/Rolen AND Rios, the fact that you've only given up money becomes very relevant.

Anonymous said...

@Peter:

Where do you get your idea that this money "is now most likely gone"? I find it hard to believe that Rogers would force AA to operate this baseball team on a "spend it now, or lose it forever" system. Limited-time offers work extremely well at getting people to buy crap off TV - hence my owning of two slap-chops AND two Graty's - but applying the same approach to a multi-million dollar baseball operation makes less sense than... well, buying a slap-chop (seriously, just use a knife). Your claim is just as ridiculous as me saying "By not paying $23 million for Chapman, the Jays have guaranteed themselves $46 million for future free agents/draft pick bonuses". Except that, since Rogers could at least invest the signing-bonus portion of that (supposed) $23 million offer for future use, I think my ridiculous statement is actually a little closer to the truth than yours.

Tao of Stieb said...

Maybe the Jays can take that $23 million, and spend it on six 16 year-olds from the Dominican and two guys from Venezuela and a dude from Aruba. Or what have you.

If the Jays decide to reinvest that money on several guys who may yet have the ceiling that Aroldis seemingly has. And frankly, I think that if it is the choice between spending $30 mill on one guy or $23 mill on two or six or 12, then I go with the latter option. Because I'd rather hedge my bets.

Ty said...

I would have loved to see the Jays sign him, but the $30 million price tag acted as a nice cushion for my hopes when they fell back down to earth. It`s one of those things where it would have been really neat to get this guy, but now that we didn`t, I don`t think any Jays fans are going to be overly upset (and the reactions so far seem to support that sentiment).

I`d be a lot happier if someone in the front office came out and said they were going to reinvest this money in other young players, just to get rid of any doubt on that front, but that`s probably just wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

And to that end, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jays "fail" sign a few high picks in the coming entry draft, either. This year's crop is supposedly pretty weak; but next year (2011, for those of us without a firm grasp on the idea that it is now 2010) is supposed to have a pretty rich crop of talent. By holding on to the purse strings a little at this year's draft, the Jays could find themselves with a good number of high picks in the 2011 draft, and a boatload of money to make sure they get the most out of those picks. Patience is the game, right now. For those of you who don't like it, I suggest Hungry Hungry Hippos...

Gil Fisher said...

I'm a big fan of convenient rationalizations.

AA said they'd be in on every major international free agent. They don't have to sign them all. Let's see how July 1 goes next year.

Steve G. said...

I agree with Gil. $30 million isn't that much to pay for a guy who could be a No. 1 starter. It's better than spending the money on John McDonald and A-Gonz and Scott Rolen, and other old dudes.

Peter D said...

From everything I've read about the new regime, money will be there for all special case players. However, if they don't sign these players, they will not spend the money. They are looking for quality over quantity.

You can look at it this way. The Jays have access to approximately $120 million a year. However, if there is no good reason to spend to the limit of the budget they won't. Most likely, they will end up spending $75-$80 million this year on payroll, and signing Chapman would have been in addition to this amount.

Yes, if you sign 6 guys like this, then it could create a problem financially. However, this is not a problem right now, and saving your money for some unknown player down the road, is not something I get excited about in a building process, because that player may never come along, and they need to add depth to the organization now.

mathesond said...

I had that Toronto album!

Aaron Hill said...

fucking garbage decision. the fact that it is backloaded for 10yrs makes it WORSE. And it's 30 for 6, not 23 for 5. so it's like 25 for 5, plus that 6th year option. fucking rogers cheaped the fuck out again. if it was 5 and 30, yes, we were outbid bigtime, but the team-friendly backload and the fact that it is 6 years SHOWS US THAT ROGERS ARE JUST CHEAP FUCKS AND WERE PROBABLY NEVER SERIOUS ABOUT ACTUALLY LANDING HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE



FUCK.

Anonymous said...

The fact the Reds decided to do it probably makes it a bad idea in my book. Like what they gave us for Rolen (a LOT) -- and then what they gave Rolen to extend him (no idea why they'd do that), and the fact they already have payroll issues.

I don't see this as a smart move, for the Reds anyway. Maybe a team like the Red Sox, who don't care how much they spend (see Dice-K). If the reports are correct, they only went halfway, to 15 million. I'll take their evaluation of AC over the Reds.

Ty said...

http://www.cantonrep.com/opinion/columnists/x1672003752/Dirk-Hayhurst-How-luck-is-made-in-the-big-leagues

Another great article by Mr. Garfoose, although I feel a bit sadistic recommending it to jays fans right now...

Mylegacy said...

I'm OK with this non-signing.

It would have been wonderful to get him - but it does leave a few bucks floating around to aggressively search out Latin American talent around the July 1st deadline.

Still - we could have Stewart, Morrow, Jenkins and Drabek as starting pitchers by early 2011 and NONE of these guys has played in our system in 2010. It's VERY RARE you get that much NEW STARTING PITCHING talent into an organization in ONE YEAR!

Is it spring yet?

brainiac said...

The fact of the matter is that the Jays need to spend on average more than other teams to get free agents, they weren't going to get this kid with 30M...they wold have needed a few million more...THEN it starts to look like a bad idea considering investing in pitching especially unproven pitching is always dicey...

Steve G. said...

Brianiac, I don't agree with your statement that the Blue Jays have to spend more to get free agents. Yes, some of their deals have been bad, such as the B.J. Ryan one. But most free agency deals end up looking bad, since you're normally paying for a player's past, pre-30 age performance as opposed to their future.

I'm in the Boston area, and the Sox got a lot of flack for letting Pedro and Damon leave. Pedro promptly blew his arm out, and while Damon is still around, he's been replaced pretty adequately by Ellsbury. Meanwhile, some of the guys they have signed - especially shortstops - have flamed out.

With that in mind, I think caution in the FA market is normally better than aggressive spending. However, I viewed Chapman as the equivalent of a decent-risk, great reward signing. He's essentially a free agent first round draft pick, and the contract he signed is probably an example of why Boras wishes the draft was abolished completely.