Disgruntled Indians fans will ask "Why we can't have nice things?" This week, we found out why. Jayson Werth inked a monster deal with the Washington Nationals totaling $126M over seven years. Not to be outdone, speedy left fielder Carl Crawford John Hancocked the dotted line in Boston on a seven-year pact worth $142M. Want to know why the Indians can't be big players in free agency? This is exactly why.
You have the two problems with Major League Baseball financials directly in front of you. The Washington Nationals, perennial NL East doormat, had to overpay for a big name like Werth, arguably the second-best free agent outfielder. Then, without batting an eye, the Red Sox handed a blank check to Brian Peters, Crawford's agent, and said, "Here. Write us a number."
What does this mean for us? It means that you should enjoy the remaining three years we have of Shin-Soo Choo. Luckily, as Paul Cousineau updated for me on our Cleveland Indians forum, the arbitration process only looks at players' awards via arbitration, not their open market contract. So a three-year extension to eat up the arbitration years remains a possibility. Perhaps a three-year deal in the $24-30M range could get it done.
Apologies to anyone who read the previous post and went all doom-and-gloom. I was under the impression that the arbitration process used comparable players and what they were making. However, the process just examines the history of the arbitration process and the awards given out to comparable players.
In other words, for now, the Werth/Crawford deals have next to no effect on the Shin-Soo Choo extension talks. But, these two contracts cement the fact that Choo is 99.9% gone after the 2013 season or before.
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