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HBT Daily: When will GMs learn to avoid crappy long term deals?

Jul 29, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

Albert Pujols is the latest nine-figure man to go down as a bust. At least it seems, anyway. Will GMs ever learn?

  1. missthemexpos - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Unless the union agrees to limit the length of contracts, it will never happen.

    • neoshweaty - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      I also imagine if Pujols had not gotten this contract there would have been talk of collusion.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      The union doesn’t have to agree to it, the owner has to decide not to offer those ridiculous
      contracts and the new agreement will tax you highly for these contracts moving forward and
      if teams like the Yankees can’t do them that will certainly reduce the contract numbers.

    • stex52 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Yeah, what’s with making these owners out to be victims in the process? They are under no duress to bid for an over the hill player. The union can’t force them to. It’s always the same small cohort of owners. If they just stop, it doesn’t happen.

  2. El Bravo - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM


  3. neoshweaty - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    While I agree, isn’t a big part of this acquiring a Hall of Famer and having his name associated with the brand of the team thus potentially selling a ton of merchandise and tickets? It probably is completely offset by the fact that his performance is well under a 25-30 million/yr player, but I can see how this is a net positive for the team financially even if he is a drain on the field.

    Still, the point is to win games so I guess it’s a mute point.

    • hcf95688 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      The point is unable to speak? Hmmmm….I decided not to fret over internet spelling and grammar errors, so this is probably a moot point.

      • neoshweaty - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        God damn it.

  4. 13arod - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    They can do what the nba does

  5. echech88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Shouldn’t this question be posed to OWNERS and not GMs?

    Nobody believes Arte Moreno allowed his new, first-time GM of like 4 weeks to drop $300M on Pujols and Wilson that Fall. Same thing with Prince Fielder…agents sell the owner.

  6. whitdog23 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    typical calc. …go negative first. why not praise the cardinals for making a wise decision??

  7. xpensivewinos - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    When will baseball pull its collective head out of its ass and no longer GUARANTEE those ridiculous contracts? That’s the stupid part.

    MLB needs to adopt the NFL’s contract structure. Signing bonuses and voidable years…..

    • mtr75 - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Yes, the NFL’s contract structure is just wonderful for the players. “We hereby promise to pay you… until we decide not to. You agree in return to forgo all your rights.” What a deal for a player.

  8. raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    GM’s or owners?

  9. gibbyfan - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    It’s not the GMs craig–It’s the owners making their own bed on this one. They will stop when they realize their own poor business decisions and begin being widely seen as the fools they are percieved to have become –that will go directly to the big egos and msybe they will again start doing what got them their billions in the first place—enhancing the egos through being on the winning side of decisions.
    I am how foolish do the Yankees and Angels look right now —and even the big money teams that are winning have to be asking themselves-at what cost.

  10. baseballfan27 - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I’ve held my tongue long enough. the writers on here and those fans who think they know it all sit here and don’t realize pujols had 50 doubles and 30 homeruns last year. 80xbh. I believe it was 3rd best in the league. he got hurt this year. he’s not done. how about we write off all players who get hurt if that’s what you clueless people want to do. 80xbh… for supposedly a down year.

  11. lazlosother - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I think it’s already starting to change. Teams are starting to lock up good young players before arbitration. The contracts tend to offer the team a reasonable risk while providing long term security for the players. A consequence will be fewer star caliber players hitting free agency. I think we’ll still see the occasional Fielder, Hamilton or Cano, but not as often as in the past. We’re going to see more Longoria, Posey type deals. Big money teams won’t be able to depend on free agency to stay competitive, it will be more of a draft, develop, trade operation, with the occasional big name FA. Tampa and the A’s are excellent at this model. Other teams will follow.

    The number of albatross contracts out there right now will make teams think twice. Now age related regression is more like it “should” be than it was just a few years ago, the market will correct for this.

  12. xpensivewinos - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I’ve held my tongue long enough. the writers on here and those fans who think they know it all sit here and don’t realize pujols had 50 doubles and 30 homeruns last year. 80xbh. I believe it was 3rd best in the league. he got hurt this year. he’s not done. how about we write off all players who get hurt if that’s what you clueless people want to do. 80xbh… for supposedly a down year.

    I don’t think anyone is questioning whether or not Pujols’ season last year was a good one…….it certainly was from a statistical standpoint starting May 1st (although they didn’t win). The question is, who in their right mind thinks he’s going to keep that pace up for the duration of that guaranteed contract? Other than DiPoto and Moreno, that is…….

    Whether it be for injury or natural decline, no rational thinking person on earth thinks Pujols can play at the level that contract demands for that long.

    • gibbyfan - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Well put Xpensive…..was going to post almost the same thing but you said it best.

    • mrpinkca - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      If you look at his fangraphs page you’ll see he’s been pretty steadily declining since 08′ to the point where he is league average in most offensive categories. I’d imagine he recovers a bit next year, but overall the outlook is grim.

      I wouldn’t say he’s “done” as in it’s time to hang up the cleats, but he’s done being a star caliber player.

      • mrpinkca - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        And I do realize that he won the MVP in 08…

      • baseballfan27 - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        steady decline? led the league in extra base hits in 09,10, and was 4 behind the triple crown winner in 2012. You people do not do your research. The only years his numbers were bad were this year (injured) and in 2011 (injured)

  13. paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I don’t think anyone has learned this: fans, GMs, owners, bloggers….no one. The Pedroia contract was nearly unanimously hailed as a good deal. He’ll be 39 when that deal ends. The best the Red Sox can hope for is that they break even in terms of value, the more likely outcome is that he’s nearly useless for the last 3 years, erasing any apparent “deal” for the earlier portion of the contract or that he starts declining very soon and the deal is a disaster with 4 years left on it.

  14. ctony1216 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    These contracts will end when we stop watching sports on cable TV, which means never — or until we can no longer afford cable. The Dodgers ($6 billion) and Angels ($3 billion) are among the teams that get a huge chunk of money from cable TV, which you and I make possible by agreeing to pay more and more each year to watch sports on TV. And as long as the cable company monopolies can raise their rates at will (they’ve tripled over the last 10 years), MLB teams will always have more money to throw at star players. So Albert Pujols says thanks for watching and don’t touch that dial — he’ll be back next year.

    Actually, it would be interesting to see what would happen if every sports fan in America canceled cable for one year just to protest the annual rate increases. Fans could listen to games on the radio, go to bars, whatever. It would be a fun experiment.

  15. icanspeel - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    How many GM’s last 10 years at their gig? Odds are signing a long contract won’t even affect them since they will either be long gone by then or actually winning and contract might pay off.

  16. Francisco (FC) - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Silly GMs, Trix are for Kids…

  17. mtr75 - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I want to know who said a couple years ago, “DON’T SIGN ALBERT PUJOLS, he’ll be a bust!” And any of you who say “I did” is a freaking liar.

    • paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Uh, you apparently aren’t familiar with my work.

    • gibbyfan - Jul 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      Maybe nobody predicted he would be a bust –but I can’t recall anyone anywhere who thought it was a good deal –nobody.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      I don’t know who used the word “bust.”
      But there are a shit pot full of people on HBT who hailed the Cardinals organization for not breaking the bank (at the expense of the organization as a whole).

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