Sign in to follow this  
Angelsjunky

The Three Big Contracts (Machado, Harper, Trout)

23 posts in this topic

Might as well have a dedicated thread to endlessly (and impotently) speculate.

I started off thinking that their contracts would blow everything else out of the water, something like $350M for Machado, $400M for Harper, $500M for Trout. I recently suggested ranges for each: $300-350M, $350-400M, and $400-550M, respectively.

Like @ettin, I have thought that people are way underestimating what these guys are going to get. But now I'm starting to wonder. Consider:

*The big-spending Yankees, who you would think would want Harper, already have a mega-contract (Stanton) on payroll. Do they want another? What other teams want to spend that kind of money? Given the Corbin contract, are the Nationals out on Harper? 

*Both Machado and Harper, while young, very talented and very good, are "flawed mega-stars." Both have questionable attitudes, and both questions around their value.

*While Machado has been really good and consistent (three of the last four years at 6+ fWAR), hasn't yet had that defining truly great season (highest season 6.6 fWAR).

*Harper, on the other hand, was incredible in 2015, having a better hitting season according to wRC+ (197) than any active player - including Trout, Cabrera, and Pujols. He was great in 2017 before being injured (4.8 fWAR in 111 games), but only very good in 2018 (3.5 fWAR). In other words, in seven full seasons, he's been amazing in one year, great in another, and very good in four others, with one season being just average.

So my question is, who is the market? Who is going to spend that kind of money? The Phillies?

It is still hard for me to imagine Machado getting less than $300M, Harper less than $350M, and Trout less than $400M. But I am now starting to think that maybe Machado is much less and gets something like 8/$250M, and Harper doesn't get much more than what the Nationals offered (10/$300M). I do still think Trout gets at least $400M, maybe much more.

What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Logically, i think youve laid it out quite well.  I personally think the lesser numbers are about what they should get. Whether or not someone goes ham and overpays will depend on if anyone makes a desperation move.  I think at the end of it all it falls somewhere in the middle of your estimates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought that I saw floated somewhere is that if Harper doesn't get what he wants (let's say at least $350M), that he might sign a one-year deal with someone for $45M or so. If he has an 8 fWAR season, he's more likely to get that $400M contract. On the other hand if he fails to reach, say, 5 fWAR, then his value might go down a bit. So I suppose it is more likely he signs for a long-term deal for less than what he wants, but with an opt-out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be on board with Harper if:

1. Arte was somehow willing to break the bank for Bryce AND extend Trout. Because if he's not willing to do both, I'd obviously rather do the latter and use resources to keep building a strong team with young talent in order to convince Trout to stay. 

2. Harper was willing to move to 1B, at least by 2020. I don't see the point in signing Harper and then trading Adell considering he could very well end up producing at a similar level for a lot less money.

That said, the thought of opposing pitchers having to open a game with Harper-Trout-Ohtani is pretty sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think whoever loses the bidding for Harper and Machado will be more relieved than the "winner" will be ecstatic.  

The thing about Trout is his value isn't entirely defined by his play - he's a good guy, a face of the franchise, fans *like* him.  *And* he's produced at historic levels. 

Harper and Machado, not so much on either count.  I think teams are less likely to commit to historic contracts  for "superstars" who aren't particularly "super" - not that likable, and their production isn't particularly "historic."

So, I think there's a very good chance the contracts they ultimately get will be on the low range.

Of course, now that I've written that, someone just tendered Harper a 20-year $1B contract, payable in bags of diamonds ... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I see Harper standing around batting practice, I see a truly gifted power hitter that loves himself and hasn't fully figured out how to present himself correctly.

When I see Machado, I see another truly gifted player that appears selfish and conceited and thinks his greatness allows him to slack.

When I see Trout, I see a truly gifted player mature way past his years, that 100% gets how to behave and who holds himself to a HIGHER standard than his performance would realistically afford him.  I almost see him in black and white as if I am seeing a documentary on an all time legend.

The worst thing you could say about Trout is you suspect he is "acting" the role.  And yet even if it is a pure act, you at least would have to give him credit for knowing how to be and having the maturity and discipline to execute the act.

He really is a different cat compared to the other two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Trout signs for 10 years, 400 million. I don’t think the other two will get close to that number. Just my opinion. 

When Philly reportedly says they’ll spend stupid money and that they’ll outbid everyone on Corbin, why didn’t they sign Corbin, and why hasn’t Machado or Harper signed with them yet? Simple - they’re not ready (yet?) to go to 400mil. 

The Yankees have a lot of money but young guys they want to extend as well. They wouldn’t go over 100mil with Corbin and stood pat at 5 years. 

The Dodgers are still holding steady on not giving out big contracts outside of a few in-house re-signings. 

Owners are more reluctant to try to buy championships when half the contracts go south. Plus, you get more acclaim when you win smart rather than with your pocketbook. I think Moneyball and analytics are mostly the reason teams are shying away from those big deals. Why spend half a billion if you can don’t have to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think our first mistake would be to classify Trout, Harper and Machado in the same thread. Machado and Harper are great, and Mike Trout is a living legend.

Machado and Harper are at the mercy of the market. Some teams will be able to afford them as a big splash and some won't. But Mike Trout, is not at the mercy of the market, the market would be at his mercy. There's a difference between someone that's been a 10 win player once in seven years, and the rest of there time is 4-6. That's a great player. But Mike Trout is a 10 win player every year and is still getting better. Health permitting, he'll have a 12-13 win season in him soon. 

The only possible way Machado and Harper change Trout's market is is they get more than expected, which will cause Trout's number to increase. But every team that can spend, will spend on Trout. The question of if it's wise or not doesn't exist. If Harper gets 350 million, Trout could ask for 700 and statistically still be logical. That's how much better than the greats Mike Trout is. 

But I don't believe for even a second that Mike Trout is interested in the free agent storm. He doesn't get his jollies talking about money, doesn't want to give extra interviews out during his family offseason time, and sure as heck doesn't want to hide out in a hotel room and dedicate an entire week to talking about money with his agent while other teams trying to schmooze him into playing for them. That's the least appetizing thing in the world. He just wants to play ball. This next contract he signs, will be the last time he ever thinks about it. Arte Moreno will sign him for 12 years 420 million and call it good. It won't be dragged out, it won't be complicated.

Arte and Eppler will have a meeting with Trout and his agent in Spring, offer him this much, Trout won't bother negotiating, though his agent will make sure he gets a full no trade clause and an opt out at 3 and 5 years tacked on. Trout already knows they're building a winner around him, so they don't need to convince him of anything or construct a media blitz or anything. He'll sign it and then get straight back in the cage to continue BP. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking something like $315 million for Machado ($35 million for 9 years), $350 million for Harper and $380 million for Trout.  It could go up from there, I am just not buying the “they’ll get $400 million and Trout will get $500 million”.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Kody Mac said:

$40 mil/year is a shit ton of money, I don't care who it is.

To be the worst guy ever. What’s 40 million dollars after state and federal taxes it puts you at 20 minus agent and lawyer fees etc take home is really around 16 a year. Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scotty, obviously Trout is on another level from Harper and Machado. But the reason I include the three of them in the same thread is because their signings are inter-related, like so:

1) Trout will not extend until after both Harper and Machado sign.

2) The Machado and Harper contracts will provide a baseline for Trout.

Now we don't know how long after Harper/Machado Trout will sign, or how much above them his contract will be. But we do know that in both cases, his contract will be in relation to them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I think doesn’t get mentioned when dealing with large contracts is the fact that A-Rod went way past what was normal in 2001. Way past. 

His 252 M contract was 92M more than the largest deal ever signed, 8/160 earlier that offseason. 

Thats half again as much. Kevin Brown two years earlier he just inked the first 100+ million deal at a 15M AAV. Then Griffey at 116.5/8 the next year. Then Delgado got 17M a year but only four years. Then Manny set the highest deal at 8/160. Then ARod blew them away. 

The big earners were earning 15-18M a season then ARod added half again as much. Then 10 years later it was still a large deal, but players started to catch up (Pujols/Cano/175 for 7 type guys— there are a few).

Now the highest earners are in the low 30’s annually AAV, and half again as much is $45. I don’t see Harper or Machado commanding half again as much as a superstar. 

Trout might but on a shorter deal. Betts might if he keeps putting up 8-10 WAR seasons in his prime. 

Maybe one of these free agents will crack 400, but it would have to be on a 13 year deal, and I don’t see that with players getting shorter contracts and opt outs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a lot of it will be effected by Machados post season antics. Not simply "he didnt carry them", but the perception is that he has a bad attitude, and admittedly doesnt hustle.

Couple that with the yankees (who were supposedly his preferred team) so far not being linked, along with stanton and pending judge contracts...

Hes burnt his bridges with boston and the dodgers. So the big money teams at least appear to be out.

I think he signs for less than people expected (250 lets say). Then the dodgers swoop in and offer harper similar to what the nats offered, with corbin maybe sailing the nats offer. Then we offer trout say 350-375.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could see Machado being a bit lower than expected, but someone is going to overpay for Harper because he's Bryce Harper. The upside is just so high, and everyone knows that when his bat is clicking he's on a different level than everyone. There's always the alluring possibility that he learns how to curb his streakiness and puts together another 2015. It could happen, and then Trout would be the 2nd best hitter in baseball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

I could see Machado being a bit lower than expected, but someone is going to overpay for Harper because he's Bryce Harper. The upside is just so high, and everyone knows that when his bat is clicking he's on a different level than everyone. There's always the alluring possibility that he learns how to curb his streakiness and puts together another 2015. It could happen, and then Trout would be the 2nd best hitter in baseball.

Yeah, no, Trout puts up close to Harper's 2015 at a yearly rate - per BR (OPS+) he already topped it in 2018, fwiw. Going by WAR, Harper has never had a year better than a couple of Trout's. 

There's a reason Bill James doesn't think Harper is a superstar: In 7 seasons he's been more hype than substance. He's been legitimately an all-star, but he's also been ridiculously inconsistent and unable to adjust at remotely the level Trout can. Proof: Trout's worst full season - 8.3(fWAR) or 7.6(bWAR). Harper's put up several in the 3's (fWAR) or 1's (bWAR), depending who you ask. 

Harper's best wRC+ barely edges out Trout's best, but Harper has done it exactly one time. Trout's range: 167 (worst) to 191 (best). Harper's worst: 111. So, no, it is virtually certain Trout will be the second best hitter to Harper. Betts, maybe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

I could see Machado being a bit lower than expected, but someone is going to overpay for Harper because he's Bryce Harper. The upside is just so high, and everyone knows that when his bat is clicking he's on a different level than everyone. There's always the alluring possibility that he learns how to curb his streakiness and puts together another 2015. It could happen, and then Trout would be the 2nd best hitter in baseball.

I have little doubt that during the course of whatever contract Harper gets, he's going to eclipse Trout a couple times.  It's what he does when things aren't going as well that makes the difference.  Because in those years Trout will be within 10% and Harper could drop off by more than 50%.  And therein lies the rub.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Sean-Regan said:

Yeah, no, Trout puts up close to Harper's 2015 at a yearly rate - per BR (OPS+) he already topped it in 2018, fwiw. Going by WAR, Harper has never had a year better than a couple of Trout's. 

There's a reason Bill James doesn't think Harper is a superstar: In 7 seasons he's been more hype than substance. He's been legitimately an all-star, but he's also been ridiculously inconsistent and unable to adjust at remotely the level Trout can. Proof: Trout's worst full season - 8.3(fWAR) or 7.6(bWAR). Harper's put up several in the 3's (fWAR) or 1's (bWAR), depending who you ask. 

Harper's best wRC+ barely edges out Trout's best, but Harper has done it exactly one time. Trout's range: 167 (worst) to 191 (best). Harper's worst: 111. So, no, it is virtually certain Trout will be the second best hitter to Harper. Betts, maybe. 

You're mixing a bunch of things here. First of all, I obviously agree that Trout is significantly better than Harper overall. You don't need to waste your time trying to convince me of that. 

I am merely and only talking about their peak potential and performance with the bat. My contention is that Harper, at his best, is a better than Trout at his best (as a hitter). It isn't by much, but it is there. Harper had a 197 wRC+ in 2015; Trout's best was 191 in 2018. Close, but Harper gets the edge. If Harper returns to 2015 form, he would be slightly better than Trout - assuming Trout doesn't also improve.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

You're mixing a bunch of things here. First of all, I obviously agree that Trout is significantly better than Harper overall. You don't need to waste your time trying to convince me of that. 

I am merely and only talking about their peak potential and performance with the bat. My contention is that Harper, at his best, is a better than Trout at his best (as a hitter). It isn't by much, but it is there. Harper had a 197 wRC+ in 2015; Trout's best was 191 in 2018. Close, but Harper gets the edge. If Harper returns to 2015 form, he would be slightly better than Trout - assuming Trout doesn't also improve.

 

Harper’s best OPS+ hasnt beaten Trout’s best. Point is it’s a not a sure thing that Harper’s best is better than Trout. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Sean-Regan said:

Harper’s best OPS+ hasnt beaten Trout’s best. Point is it’s a not a sure thing that Harper’s best is better than Trout. 

wRC+ > OPS+, at least in my opinion. But yeah, I agree it isn't a sure thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • AngelsWin.com Ad-free Membership Options