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Tribe Resigns Hafner

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Unread postby swerb » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:44 am

LOL Buff ...
"It's like dating a woman who hates you so much she will never break up with you, even if you burn down the house every single autumn." ~ Chuck Klosterman on Browns fans relationship with the Browns

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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:07 am

Goozer wrote:CC would be insane for jumping all over an $80m offer. That's more than a 50% discount to Zito's total dollars. CC is younger. Throws harder. And has a better health history than Zito. I don't want to hear arguments about the 2008 FA market being a buyer's market either. 28 YO, Cy-Young caliber lefties don't hit the market often and when they do you never see the word "discount" in the press release.


28 year old Cy Young caliber pitchers don't hit the market often, but two would hit the market in 2008. Depending on how you view the pitchers, there are a total of four to six Cy Young Caliber pitchers hitting the market after next season. I don't think there are that many teams willing to pay out $20M a year. The Red Sox have already spent a fortune on their new front-end starter. They might be willing to spend tons of money, but they might also give Schilling a few more big years in the offseason because pickings are slim with pitchers this year.

The Yankees are always a threat, but I'm not sure they'd want to blow tons of jack on more than one pitcher and Santana will be their target. I think that the Yanks will also be more leery to spend as big because of what's happening this season.

The Angels are a threat, but I'd guess they'd focus on their own free agent, John Lackey.

I don't think the Athletics will spend big bucks on C.C.

Seattle is a possibility, but there are so many options out there that Seattle can play one pitcher off another.

When you buy a car that's in demand you'll often have to pay above sticker price for it. When I shopped around for the Saturn Sky when it first came out that was often the case. When the dealer all of a sudden has six of that particular car on the lot and has had them there for a week or more the price will drop below sticker.

If C.C. were the only bigtime pitching free agent then I'd say he'd be stupid to take an $80M deal. He's not and he might get much less than that in an open, competitive market. I think C.C. is good, but I'd rank him as the third or fourth best pitcher in that market. Santana is clearly better. I think Lackey is better. I could make an argument that Sheets is better. I think Peavy is better. So, there I'm making an argument that Sabathia could be the fifth best pitcher on the market and C.C. is a very good pitcher. If Mulder gets things back together before the free agency period of '08 starts then he could also greatly influence the market.

It's going to take Hafner+Westbrooks total package plus about 40% to get it done. Personally, I'd be shocked if he's not back in the Bay area come 2009. If you don't believe me, google his new pad in Cali.


You think the Giants will sign him, then? Oakland won't. It doesn't fit in with what they do. Zito's salary ratchets up to $18.5M from $14.5M after next season and he's not delivered so far. You think the Giants will want to spend even more money than that on another lefty starter? I don't think the Giants will pursue C.C. I think they'd go after one of the lesser pitchers or pick off one of the big ones when the salaries drop.

Five great pitchers could become free agents. The pack might thin out, but if all five hit the market then C.C. will not be getting a $20M annual offer from anyone. I can almost guarantee that Santana will hit the market and that will seriously erode C.C.'s value. I think Peavy will also hit the market, further eroding it. I also think Sheets will hit it. Lackey is the one guy who I think will get signed to an extension but that extension will likely pull the Angels out of contention for C.C., especially if they do sign A-Rod in the offseason like some of the rumors are indicating now.
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Unread postby Goozer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:13 am

I disagree Buff.

This isn't the NBA where you have the LbJ collective bargaining agreement example where it IS beneficial to take a shorter deal now to make the next deal more meaningful.

It is all about guaranteed money FIRST and years SECOND in MLB. Any example to the contrary is few and far between. CC and his agent aren't stoopid ... they aren't going to forego a minimum of $50m (Zito's $127m - $80m), while extending injury risk over 4 years. I just don't see the how the cost/benefit benefits his side in taking a 4 year contract. Additionally, it's not like a 7 year deal puts him out of a superior next contract. There are plenty of 33 year old pitchers that are breaking the bank at that age.

I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. Respect your opinion though.
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Unread postby Goozer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:15 am

Yes, I do think the Giants could be a player for CC especially with Bonds coming off of the books by '09.

I don't look at Zito as a reason they won't go after him. Instead, I look at it as a REASON they might.
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Unread postby Goozer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:20 am

And Phist, you're assuming that all of the 4-6 pitchers you reference indeed hit the market. Name your bet. I say that not all players will hit the market. Free Agent markets ALWAYS look better the farther you are removed from said market. Alot will happen between now and then to tighten the supply side up. I just don't think CC at $80m will be one of them.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:30 pm

Goozer wrote:And Phist, you're assuming that all of the 4-6 pitchers you reference indeed hit the market. Name your bet. I say that not all players will hit the market. Free Agent markets ALWAYS look better the farther you are removed from said market. Alot will happen between now and then to tighten the supply side up. I just don't think CC at $80m will be one of them.


No, I didn't assume that all pitchers would hit the market. I actually said that, looking at the pitchers, Lackey is the one I'd find most likely to not hit the market. Peavy also might not hit it, but I'm not quite sure how to read San Diego at this point.

I think we can both agree that's it's pretty close to a stone cold lock that Santana will hit the market. I expect Sheets to hit it as well and do think Peavy will. Things can change, but at this point the market is loaded.

I think an extension with C.C. is most likely to happen after this season. If extensions have yet to be signed by the other upcoming free agent pitchers then the risk for C.C. is still there. He takes a calculated risk by waiting.

There are two major risks to C.C.'s payout. The first is injury. The second is assuming that the market will clear up and it ends up not clearing up. He could lose millions of dollars. This is where the Indians have the best bargaining tool.

If C.C. signs a four year deal he will still be quite young when it expires and 30 is a prime age for a pitcher. If the market inflates then he could actually make more money longterm by taking a four year extension. There's risk involved either way. What happens if he gets an arm injury next year and he leaves a big offer by the Tribe on the table? What happens if Santana only gets $18M a year in a deflated market? That would probably drag C.C. down into the $15M range.

There are positives an negatives. The only way C.C. can get the megabucks is if all the pitchers re-sign prior to hitting the market. I think it's likely that at least two other premier pitchers will get through and that will be more free agent pitching talent in one market than we've seen in years.

The selling point for the Tribe in the offseason is this: we can guarantee you a big payday now. We can make it so you don't have to worry about who's hitting the market. We can ease any worries about injury, etc. C.C. might not take it, but he also may decide to go with the security of the Tribe offer. Until all opposing pitchers are looked up prior to free agency, there's no guarantee about what kind of money C.C. will make. The upcoming free agent class of pitchers is pretty horrible, so it is entirely possible that prices will deflate. If no one pays Meche type money out to shaky pitchers this year then it sets up further deflation going into 2008.

I don't think C.C. will get $20M a year on the market. I think Zito's performance in San Fran will help deflate the market. After all, Zito is of Cy Young pedigree. If he rebounds next year then it might be different, but if he continues to post 4.?? ERAs in the National League then more people will stay away - and if the target anyone it will be Santana.
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Unread postby JoelHammond » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:36 pm

Rich:
Congrats on breaking this. Looked at the thread yesterday, about 6 or 7 p.m. when I saw WKYC.com and cleveland.com had it, and was, honestly, shocked to see what time this puppy was started.

Good work.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:55 pm

The baseball economy is stupid, in more ways than one.
Both CC and Santana will sign record breakers.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:54 pm

Lead Pipe wrote:The baseball economy is stupid, in more ways than one.
Both CC and Santana will sign record breakers.


Definitely possible, though I don't know. It's hard to read the baseball market because it's the only one of the for big leagues that can actually push salaries back. They will sign record deals if the other pitchers clear off the market and the Yankees don't decide to change strategy. I get the feeling from my gut and from rumors from the Yanks org here in Tampa (lots of team decisions are made down here) that the Yankees are about to change strategies and back off on the payroll a bit. If New York backs off then the market will deflate.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:10 pm

I'll tell you guys what, in hindsight, the refusal of this team to pay megabucks over 5 years to guys like Millwood and Clement now looks genius in hindsight.

I've been one of the guys screaming cheap about the Dolans over the years, and wanted both of those guys signed. The restraint not to ... helps make a deal like this one with Haf possible.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:18 pm

Ya know as much as I love Pronk I just dont like this move. I just dont think a small market team should spend this kind of money on a DH. Now if they go and address the bullpen and a corner OF by the start of next season I'd feel somewhat better about it. But I get the feeling that they wont be players this trade deadline nor this offseason and we will be getting this signing jammed down our throats as the reason why they cannot make a move.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:11 pm

Swerb wrote:I'll tell you guys what, in hindsight, the refusal of this team to pay megabucks over 5 years to guys like Millwood and Clement now looks genius in hindsight.

I've been one of the guys screaming cheap about the Dolans over the years, and wanted both of those guys signed. The restraint not to ... helps make a deal like this one with Haf possible.


My stance for a while now has been wait and see. If the Dolans didn't spend on the free agents but instead chose to spend on our own guys who we developed or acquired at an early point in their career then I thought the lack of spending would be justified.

I'm not sure how profitable the Tribe is, but if they have been making good money the past few years and Dolan's just been banking it, gathering interest on it so he can keep guys like Hafner, Sizemore, etc then it's hard to complain.

That's really how a team like this needs to be run. Keep a strong farm system so you can replace some pieces. Identify the key pieces you want to keep, sign them to the big deals and continue to develop elsewhere. I think the Tribe can compete for a long time if they follow this model, but you have to be careful about trading your young assets. Trading a Lofgren or Miller now would hurt us if C.C. does leave, so you have to be cautious with guys like that.

I think this deal will begin a turnaround in the perception of this franchise. The young talent is going to be here for a while with C.C. being the one question mark left in the fairly near future. If they somehow manage to ink Sabathia then I suspect many old wounds will heal and talk about the cheapness of the org will completely disappear. If C.C. does leave but we don't miss a beat with guys like Lofgren, Miller, and Carmona then that hit will be a lot easier. I think fan perception of the Indians was damaged because they had to enter a rebuilding phase due to Hart being a little to trade happy for shaky vets. Of course, the farm system then wasn't as well maintained as it is now because leadership was not as consistent or good for player development.

The Indians are now a stable organization. They have a long term GM in Shapiro who does an overall good job and likes the org. They have great young players with more promise in the minors. I think they presently have a good window to make some runs over the next few years. Despite the Cavs going to the Finals, I think the Indians have the best shot at this point of ending the drought unless Ferry pulls off some nice moves in the offseason.
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Unread postby jb » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:15 pm

A belated public apology to Larry and Paul.

I will never ever ever ever ever again diss them for being cheap. I never saw this happening.

Thank God he had a shitty first half of the season tho!
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