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 Post subject: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Decided to start a new thread.

There's been a lot of banter and speculation regarding motives behind the purported "dual offer." FWIW, here are some thoughts that I had while taking a long drive last night.

With respect to Jack Wilson . . . if the offer to him was $8M over 2 years, then it is my opinion that Huntington likely offered dollar figures that were above what he would get from any other team in free agency next year. I would agree with Huntington's public comment that the Pirates offered "market value" for Jack and I'd likely conclude that they offered slightly above market value for Jack.

With respect to Freddy Sanchez . . . the offer is far more curious. Freddy will get, barring an injury, $8M next year. If I'm him, I'm also thinking that the liklihood of a $2M + contract for 2011 is better than 75%. So . . . signing a new $10M deal over two years doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

What Huntington has essentially told them is that he'd like to allocate $9M for "up the middle." He's willing to pay the slightly younger, better hitting second baseman $5M and the older, better fielding shortstop $4M. Given last year's free agent market and the likely market this year, $9M for two steady veteran players is probably about right . . . if not a bit on the high side.

Trouble is . . . Sanchez has no motivation to slice $3M off next year's contract or take $2M for 2011.

Smizik takes issue with Wilson for being crazy. From what I understand, it was a joint offer; both needed to sign off. Indeed, I seem to recall some vague comments by DK that "noise" was coming out of one player's camp but not so much from the other. I took this to be Freddy's agent saying "foul" while Jack's agent was likely keeping his fingers crossed that Freddy would take the deal.

Several commentors have said that this negotiation made Huntington look foolish. I'd beg to differ. I prefer to think that he believes that Wilson and Sanchez have a particular value to the Pirates for 2010 and 2011 and that he doesn't want to overpay for either of them/both of them. As much as I like Freddy as a player (and I like him a lot), his salary next year at $8M is likely well above market value for him. With other teams recognizing this and not offering good return for Freddy, NH tries to come up with a solution where he can lock in Wilson at market value or a tad higher for two years and Sanchez at market value for two years (bringing Freddy "back" to market value for next year and putting him at market value for 2011). The strategy would provide cost certainty and control for two years at reasonable/"don't break the bank" prices. If anything, I think that it was a shrewd and very creative ploy.

While this doesn't look like it is going to work . . . I don't expect much in return for Sanchez without the Bucs paying some serious bucks to another team for part of Sanchez's 2010 option. How about this? 1 year deal with Wilson for $4M in 2010; Club option for $4M for Wilson in 2011. Sanchez exercises his option and is a Pirate next year at $8M. If it looks like Alvarez and Tabata are coming up for 2011 and the team looks pretty set at anything other than 2B and SS, you exercise the option on Jack and try to negotiate a deal with Sanchez at the going rate. They would be together for 2010 and it would not foreclose keeping them together if the team is ready to compete in 2011. If things are not progressing exactly as desired, you refuse the option on Jack and let Freddy become a free agent.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:30 pm 
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Good option, No. 9. Why do you think it took the club so long to make these overtures? Why didn't they start in May, for instance? That way, it wouldn't have been "one and done" and oops we better get ready for the deadline.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:40 pm 
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That's not a terribly bad idea, but I think it might have the effect of simply changing the onus from Freddie to Jack. I don't think Jack would want to settle for a 1-year deal.

Through this whole thing, I have sensed that NH has done a little "divide and conquer" strategy. They want to stay together, he only wants Jack, so he makes them both an offer....an acceptable one to Jack, unacceptable to Sanchez.

I think management intends to find a place for Young to play and 2nd is the only option. I would further guess that Perry Hill thinks Young can learn the position, so management is much more comfortable with trading Sanchez than Wilson.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:09 pm 
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bradf wrote:
Through this whole thing, I have sensed that NH has done a little "divide and conquer" strategy. They want to stay together, he only wants Jack, so he makes them both an offer....an acceptable one to Jack, unacceptable to Sanchez.


Couldn't agree more with the "divide and conquer" comment. Some may find it objectionable but that is why I described it as "shrewd." Using Jack's situation to try to bring Freddy's situation more in line with what the open market would bear.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:19 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Several commentors have said that this negotiation made Huntington look foolish. I'd beg to differ. I prefer to think that he believes that Wilson and Sanchez have a particular value to the Pirates for 2010 and 2011 and that he doesn't want to overpay for either of them/both of them. As much as I like Freddy as a player (and I like him a lot), his salary next year at $8M is likely well above market value for him. With other teams recognizing this and not offering good return for Freddy, NH tries to come up with a solution where he can lock in Wilson at market value or a tad higher for two years and Sanchez at market value for two years (bringing Freddy "back" to market value for next year and putting him at market value for 2011). The strategy would provide cost certainty and control for two years at reasonable/"don't break the bank" prices. If anything, I think that it was a shrewd and very creative ploy.

I don't see this at all as being shrewd; to me, it looks petty. Sure, the value judgment of how much Sanchez would be worth to the team and on the free agent market may be a fair evaluation. But if that number per year is 38% below the salary that the Pirates are contractually obligated to pay Sanchez next year if/when his option vests, Huntington should have had no reasonable expectation that Sanchez would take that deal. That being the case, why make the offer at all? If you want Sanchez to stick around next year, why not just exercise the option and swallow that $8M pill? Why insult the player with an offer so low that he has to reject it? Why do that, unless your reason is to say to the media "Hey, we tried" and make the player look like the bad guy?

At this point, the Pirates are never going to get a reasonable value in the trade market for these guys prior to the deadline. The whole Sanchez/Wilson extension fiasco has left the Pirates looking like fools and tempting other teams to make low-ball trade offers for them, as it clearly looks like the Pirates just want to avoid paying Sanchez his $8M salary next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Quote:
an acceptable one to Jack, unacceptable to Sanchez.


Jack Wilson was stupid not to take this deal, but it would have been a great deal to for the Pirates if Freddy took his.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Willton-

What is- in your opinion- fair value for Sanchez and/or Wilson? One of a team's top 10 prospects? More? Less? Just asking, because I find myself struggling to value these guys.

Actually, I'd like to hear everyone answer that one, because I guarantee no matter how much he gets for these guys, people will be complaining that it wasn't enough. So let's hear it now, instead of after the fact.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:29 pm 
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The phrase "low-balling" is getting tossed around quite liberally and frankly I don't see where it applies. Jack for 2 years at 8M and Freddy 2 years at 10M seemed to be some pretty fair deals. I am a big fan of them both, but I don't think they are worth much more on the FA market. Sorry guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
The phrase "low-balling" is getting tossed around quite liberally and frankly I don't see where it applies. Jack for 2 years at 8M and Freddy 2 years at 10M seemed to be some pretty fair deals. I am a big fan of them both, but I don't think they are worth much more on the FA market. Sorry guys.


I agree with this. If anything Freddy might be worth 2 years 12m, but i don't think Jack is even worth the deal we offered him.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:39 pm 
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BBF wrote:
Willton-

What is- in your opinion- fair value for Sanchez and/or Wilson? One of a team's top 10 prospects? More? Less? Just asking, because I find myself struggling to value these guys.

Actually, I'd like to hear everyone answer that one, because I guarantee no matter how much he gets for these guys, people will be complaining that it wasn't enough. So let's hear it now, instead of after the fact.

I'd say Tim Alderson, RHP of the Giants would be a good return. Somewhere in that ballpark would be acceptable to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Willton wrote:
I don't see this at all as being shrewd; to me, it looks petty. Sure, the value judgment of how much Sanchez would be worth to the team and on the free agent market may be a fair evaluation. But if that number per year is 38% below the salary that the Pirates are contractually obligated to pay Sanchez next year if/when his option vests, Huntington should have had no reasonable expectation that Sanchez would take that deal. That being the case, why make the offer at all? If you want Sanchez to stick around next year, why not just exercise the option and swallow that $8M pill? Why insult the player with an offer so low that he has to reject it? Why do that, unless your reason is to say to the media "Hey, we tried" and make the player look like the bad guy?

At this point, the Pirates are never going to get a reasonable value in the trade market for these guys prior to the deadline. The whole Sanchez/Wilson extension fiasco has left the Pirates looking like fools and tempting other teams to make low-ball trade offers for them, as it clearly looks like the Pirates just want to avoid paying Sanchez his $8M salary next year.

Right. What makes the FO look bad is that the offer numbers were leaked. Had they not been leaked the players may have looked bad..but as usual the baseball on the cheap group actions speak for themself. I wish I could be insulted with such a low offer.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
The phrase "low-balling" is getting tossed around quite liberally and frankly I don't see where it applies. Jack for 2 years at 8M and Freddy 2 years at 10M seemed to be some pretty fair deals. I am a big fan of them both, but I don't think they are worth much more on the FA market. Sorry guys.

Whether $10M for 2 years for Freddy is a fair deal on the free agent market is immaterial. You have to look at the situation in light of his $8M option, which is likely to vest. A $10M, 2-year deal basically means that he's taking a 38% pay cut for next year, or he's only getting paid $2M for 2011. As No. 9 says, you can't look at this situation in a vacuum.

If the Pirates honestly wanted to keep Sanchez around, they should not have made an offer that Sanchez was sure to reject. They should have made an offer that Sanchez would actually consider accepting or no offer at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Willton wrote:
That being the case, why make the offer at all?


Because anytime an offer is made [even if described as "bottom line" "take it or leave it"], it is reasonable to expect a counter. Yeah, Freddy may take a cut for 2010 but he might make more in 2011.
Using Hudson as the example . . . Sanchez could make $8M in 2010 and get a $3.4M one year contract for 2011. That would be a total of $11.4M over two years. NH offered $10M over two years - not exactly "petty." Sanchez's agent could have said . . . all right, we'll drop to $6M for 2010 for $6M in 2011 and a no trade clause . . . why not make a counter?

Willton wrote:
Why insult the player with an offer so low that he has to reject it?


If Freddy is insulted, that is his problem. He can collect his $8M next year and worry about his feelings after that. The truth as to his market value may be awfully difficult to hear if he is that sensitive.

Willton wrote:
Why do that, unless your reason is to say to the media "Hey, we tried" and make the player look like the bad guy?


Frankly, I think the suggestion that this was done in an effort to look like the "good guy" in the current Pittsburgh media and fan environment is meritless. Barring a Salazar and LaRoche trade for Roy Halladay, nothing that NH will do at the trade deadline will be received positively. Further, NH has repeatedly shown that he cares nothing about how a move is perceived by the media or the fans.

Bottom line? Reports have been consistent that NH is looking for greater return for both Wilson and Sanchez than the market is willing to bear. Given this situation, why wouldn't he try to come up with something creative?

Willton wrote:
At this point, the Pirates are never going to get a reasonable value in the trade market for these guys prior to the deadline. The whole Sanchez/Wilson extension fiasco has left the Pirates looking like fools and tempting other teams to make low-ball trade offers for them, as it clearly looks like the Pirates just want to avoid paying Sanchez his $8M salary next year.


DK has repeatedly reported that the Pirates were aggressively shopping Sanchez. There was no market for what they were asking. I'm far from convinced that NH has suddenly "killed" the market for Sanchez.

This whole notion that managment looks like "fools" just doesn't hold any water for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Willton wrote:
If the Pirates honestly wanted to keep Sanchez around, they should not have made an offer that Sanchez was sure to reject. They should have made an offer that Sanchez would actually consider accepting or no offer at all.


Couldn't disagree more.
If you are willing to pay a certain amount during a particular time period, then why not make the offer? Why keep it to yourself?

You walk into a gorgeous house, advertised for $500,000. Your budget is $400,000. If it is something that you really like and would be willing to pay $400,000 for, what's the harm in asking? The sellers may laugh and say "no way." On the other hand, they may say "we gotta move, no other offers are coming, how about $425,000?" If you walk away and don't make an offer, you'll never know the answer. And, if you settle for something that you like less for $400,000 and the first house sells for $425,000, then you may end up mad at yourself for never trying.

The issue for Freddy is 2011. He's betting that there will be more than $2M on the market for him. Good bet? Probably. Sure bet? Hardly. $10M guaranteed over 2 years is more than $8M guaranteed next year and an unknown amount in 2011. If the market for Freddy in 2011 will be $4M or less, then there is no rational reason why not to counter.

My take on this is that Freddy and his agent think that he will collect a much bigger payday (MUCH bigger payday) in 2011 than Bucco management thinks.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:15 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
That being the case, why make the offer at all?


Because anytime an offer is made [even if described as "bottom line" "take it or leave it"], it is reasonable to expect a counter. Yeah, Freddy may take a cut for 2010 but he might make more in 2011.
Using Hudson as the example . . . Sanchez could make $8M in 2010 and get a $3.4M one year contract for 2011. That would be a total of $11.4M over two years. NH offered $10M over two years - not exactly "petty." Sanchez's agent could have said . . . all right, we'll drop to $6M for 2010 for $6M in 2011 and a no trade clause . . . why not make a counter?

Because when the two parties' numbers are that far apart, making a counter offer is viewed as a waste of time. If I were Freddy, I would not want the distraction of contract negotiations during a season unless it has the possibility of producing something I want. If I get an offer like the one he got, it's a fair estimate that negotiations are not going to produce something fruitful to me.

No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
Why insult the player with an offer so low that he has to reject it?


If Freddy is insulted, that is his problem. He can collect his $8M next year and worry about his feelings after that. The truth as to his market value may be awfully difficult to hear if he is that sensitive.

If Freddy is insulted, his agent leaks the numbers that the Pirates offered to the press, thereby tanking whatever perceived trade value the extension offer may have provided to other teams.

Quote:
Willton wrote:
Why do that, unless your reason is to say to the media "Hey, we tried" and make the player look like the bad guy?


Frankly, I think the suggestion that this was done in an effort to look like the "good guy" in the current Pittsburgh media and fan environment is meritless. Barring a Salazar and LaRoche trade for Roy Halladay, nothing that NH will do at the trade deadline will be received positively. Further, NH has repeatedly shown that he cares nothing about how a move is perceived by the media or the fans.

Exactly, which is why I don't understand why he would make such an offer in the first place. If a reasonable person in Huntington's position would expect that the offer he made to come back as a big fat "NO," then I don't understand what is gained by making the offer, aside from looking good to the "Stop trading our favorite players!" crowd.

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Bottom line? Reports have been consistent that NH is looking for greater return for both Wilson and Sanchez than the market is willing to bear. Given this situation, why wouldn't he try to come up with something creative?

But this is not creative. This looks, from all appearances, like business as usual for the Pirates. A creative option would be to do this but offer Sanchez something that he would actually consider taking, like the perceived market rate for his services in 2011 + the amount of his current option (i.e. $12-13M for 2 years). It would create the cost-certainty that you were speaking of if he signs it, and it lessens the financial burden that a potential trade partner would have to take on next year. And if Sanchez rejects it, at least it gives the appearance to trade partners that Sanchez is not so easily attainable.

But offering what Huntington offered, which was sure to be rejected, tells teams that the Pirates had no serious intention of extending Sanchez past 2010, and they are back to square-one in the trade market, only now with egg on their collective faces.

No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
At this point, the Pirates are never going to get a reasonable value in the trade market for these guys prior to the deadline. The whole Sanchez/Wilson extension fiasco has left the Pirates looking like fools and tempting other teams to make low-ball trade offers for them, as it clearly looks like the Pirates just want to avoid paying Sanchez his $8M salary next year.


DK has repeatedly reported that the Pirates were aggressively shopping Sanchez. There was no market for what they were asking. I'm far from convinced that NH has suddenly "killed" the market for Sanchez.

No, it just removed the possibility of the market for Sanchez getting better before July 31.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:22 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Because when the two parties' numbers are that far apart, making a counter offer is viewed as a waste of time.


Why would the two parties be that far apart? How much more is Freddy Sanchez worth than $2M for 2011? And, if the answer is that Freddy is worth $4M in 2011, is that really "far apart?" Unless, Freddy thinks that he is worth $8M . . . and, if so, then how is that NH's problem? That seems to me to be a Freddy Sanchez perception problem.

And, again, I really like the way he plays. I'd like to see him for the next couple of years in black and gold. I just don't see him being worth $6M to $8M just like Kendall was not worth $10M.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:23 pm 
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For what it is worth John Kruk thinks Freddy will either end up with the White Sox or the Twins, and he thinks Jack is sure to go to the Red Sox.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:39 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
If the Pirates honestly wanted to keep Sanchez around, they should not have made an offer that Sanchez was sure to reject. They should have made an offer that Sanchez would actually consider accepting or no offer at all.


Couldn't disagree more.
If you are willing to pay a certain amount during a particular time period, then why not make the offer? Why keep it to yourself?

You walk into a gorgeous house, advertised for $500,000. Your budget is $400,000. If it is something that you really like and would be willing to pay $400,000 for, what's the harm in asking? The sellers may laugh and say "no way." On the other hand, they may say "we gotta move, no other offers are coming, how about $425,000?" If you walk away and don't make an offer, you'll never know the answer. And, if you settle for something that you like less for $400,000 and the first house sells for $425,000, then you may end up mad at yourself for never trying.

Bad analogy. First, $10M over 2 years is not their budget; they can in fact pay him much more than that. So, if you can actually pay more than the $500k for the house, but only offer $400k, you run the risk of not being asked back to the table with a chance to amend your offer. Second, there's already a firm offer on the table: $8M for one year that the team is obligated to pay should Freddy reach 600 PAs (which is likely to happen). So, sticking with the analogy, you're competing with another buyer that's willing to pay a whole lot more for the house but with a few more express conditions. If you want that house, why would you submit an offer that is worse in many respects than the competitor's offer? (As you see, there's no consideration for time in buying a house, so this buying-a-house analogy falls apart in that regard.)

No. 9 wrote:
The issue for Freddy is 2011. He's betting that there will be more than $2M on the market for him. Good bet? Probably. Sure bet? Hardly. $10M guaranteed over 2 years is more than $8M guaranteed next year and an unknown amount in 2011. If the market for Freddy in 2011 will be $4M or less, then there is no rational reason why not to counter.

I can think of one reason: waste of time.

No. 9 wrote:
My take on this is that Freddy and his agent think that he will collect a much bigger payday (MUCH bigger payday) in 2011 than Bucco management thinks.

And my guess is that they're right: Freddy is very likely to make much more than $2M in 2011. In fact, I'd say that Freddy is likely to make at least twice that amount, given what the Pirates offered him on a per-year basis.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Willton wrote:
BBF wrote:
Willton-

What is- in your opinion- fair value for Sanchez and/or Wilson? One of a team's top 10 prospects? More? Less? Just asking, because I find myself struggling to value these guys.

Actually, I'd like to hear everyone answer that one, because I guarantee no matter how much he gets for these guys, people will be complaining that it wasn't enough. So let's hear it now, instead of after the fact.

I'd say Tim Alderson, RHP of the Giants would be a good return. Somewhere in that ballpark would be acceptable to me.


Wow! If we could get Alderson for Sanchez straight up, I would be ecstatic!

I'm not certain Freddy has that much value. But that is a fair enough ballpark, I suppose.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:04 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
Because when the two parties' numbers are that far apart, making a counter offer is viewed as a waste of time.


Why would the two parties be that far apart? How much more is Freddy Sanchez worth than $2M for 2011? And, if the answer is that Freddy is worth $4M in 2011, is that really "far apart?" Unless, Freddy thinks that he is worth $8M . . . and, if so, then how is that NH's problem? That seems to me to be a Freddy Sanchez perception problem.

I'll bet Freddy thinks he's at least worth $6M, which is what he's being paid now, and $2M is a third of that.

No. 9 wrote:
And, again, I really like the way he plays. I'd like to see him for the next couple of years in black and gold. I just don't see him being worth $6M to $8M just like Kendall was not worth $10M.

I agree, which is why I don't think the offer was going to accomplish anything and I don't understand why it was made. When you make an offer like that, you have to treat the $8M option as a sunk cost: you're going to have to pay that anyway, whether you like it or not. After that, if you actually want to extend the player, you have to offer the player something that he would actually consider signing, like an extra year at market rate (say, $4M). The $10M, 2-year offer looked as if Huntington was pretending that the option did not exist.

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