Saturday, 14 August 2010

Rick (Bank) Rolled!

Again, I preface my remarks with an acknowledgment that you already got your news elsewhere, but if you'd like the finer details - the Blue Jays announced this afternoon, in yet another move no one saw coming, that they had locked up Ricky Romero to the tune of 5 years and $30.1 million in a contract which includes an option for a sixth year.

The terms are thus:

'11: $750k
'12: $5M
'13: $7.5M
'14: $7.5M
'15: $7.5M
'16: $13M club option ($0.6M buyout)

That's solid value. The Jays, according to AA (via Shi Davidi) apparently used Yovani Gallardo and Jon Lester as comparables and Romero's deal is very similar to those. The difference being that Romero is signing earlier in his career (the largest guarantee ever to a major league veteran pitcher with less than 2 full years service) and, more interestingly to me, both those deals escalate more steeply than Romero's. Both of them pay less in the third year and eight figures in the fifth year.

I like this way better.

Is it a bargain deal? Only if Romero turns into an annual Cy contender (which is possible). but it's definitely a smart deal. The only real argument against it is "never sign long term deals 'cause something bad might happen!" On top of that, you are buying his services right through the prime years. The years in question are pretty much always the years of a players career in which you'll get the best value.

Here's another way to look at it. The Red Sox (obviously not a poorly run team) just extended Josh Beckett's contrac6t for 4 years at $68 million. for this they get his age 31-34 seasons. Which is to say, they are paying about 230% of Romero's deal for what are very likely to be less productive years.

A few other thoughts occur to me. first, a lot of Jays fans seem to be reacting as if the Jays were committing dollars against a restrictive budget. Every move that's been made since Anthopoulos took over, most definitely including this one, argues that is no longer the case. Such critics are well behind the curve.

Second, this is more evidence, if any was needed, that it's a fool's errand to try to anticipate AA's next move. He's always three moves ahead of you.

And third, I note that in some quarters any news on Romero provoke sthe "still shouda drafted Tulo" contingent of those suffering from Ricciardi Derangement Syndrome. On the one hand, I'm tempted to ask, in an alternate universe in which the Jays had Tulo and someone else had Romero and the Jays had signed the pitching equivalent of Alex Gonzalez this year (say Jason Marquis, or Jose Padillia) - could they have dealt that pitcher, and Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins for Ricky Romero?

But that really doesn't matter. Everyone is obsessed with attacking or defending the pick when the actual answer is blindingly obvious - in retrospect (where all these opinions are formed) there was no wrong pick there. Picking Romero was a good pick. Picking Tulo would have been a good pick. Every draft pick potentially leaves good players, potentially AS good, on the board. if both picks work out, who's to say either choice wold have been "wrong." People need to get over the RDS.

All in all, I approve this signing without serious reservation.


The Ack said...

"Second, this is more evidence, if any was needed, that it's a fool's errand to try to anticipate AA's next move. He's always three moves ahead of you."


eyebleaf said...

Alex Anthopoulos never sleeps.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I like about spreading the money more evenly throughout is that let's say for whatever reason the Jays want to trade Romero in the last year or two of his contract. If that's that case, Romero is that much more attractive to other teams and/or the Jays have to eat less money.