Big Contracts That Are Paying Off

Big Contracts That Are Paying Off


Adrian Gonzalez

Big Contracts That Are Paying Off

Obviously all the GMs read my article...

On Monday I wrote an article about the weight of a heavy contract.  Obviously all the GMs read my article, so I hope that doesn’t deter them from making a big splash.  In times like these, it’s important for everyone to spend wisely.  Trust me, I’ve eaten plenty of ramen this month.  So what GMs gave out big contracts that have actually paid off so far?

Possibly the best contract signing this year was Adrian Gonzalez.

HSmurfs on Wall Streete wasn’t a free agent, he was a trade - but once he was traded the Red Sox signed him to a $154 million, seven-year contract.  Adrian is the prime example against my weight of a heavy contract theory.  This year he is hitting .348 with a .409 OBP, 18 home runs and 92 RBI.  He leads baseball with 163 hits.  As of this moment, Gonzo is a top candidate in the AL MVP race.  It’s very fair to say this signing has been an early success and his contract hasn’t weighed him down.

The next large contract that seems to be working out is Cliff Lee.  

Cliff LeeAfter the Rangers and Yankees had a bidding war, the Phillies shocked everyone by singing Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract.  Since signing with the NL best Phillies, Lee has a 12-7 record and a 2.83 ERA.  He holds a 1.09 WHIP. His per 9 rates are 9.26 strikeouts, 1.78 walks, and 8.01 hits.  He might not be the Cy Young this year but he is clearly in the conversation and could lead the Phillies into the playoffs.

Now there are a couple big contracts that left the Red Sox and signed with new teams.  First of all we have Adrian Beltre.  One thing he brings every day is gold-glove caliber at third base.  Besides the glove he has a .276 average.  He has also hit 20 home runs and has driven in 76.  He has a .505 SLG and .823 OPS.  He’s third on the team in average and second on the team in home runs and RBI.  The Rangers are third in baseball in runs scored.

The other player to leave Boston for a bigger contract is Victor Martinez.  

Martinez signed a four-year, $50 million contract.  Victor leads all MLB catchers in batting average, for ones that qualify, with a .319 average and RBI with 64.  He has a .371 OBP, .434 SLG, and .805 OPS.  He is behind his HR average with only 6, but the rest of the numbers are right on pace.  He leads the Tigers in average and is second in RBI.  Although he’s mostly a DH, being a backup catcher and 1st baseman doesn’t hurt either.

Lance Berkman

 Lastly, Lance Berkman.  Berkman only signed for one year $8 million but he did switch teams. Berkman is second on the Cardinals with a .293 average.  He leads the team with 28 home runs and 76 RBI.  He also has a .400 OBP, .588 SLG, and .988 OPS.  Dollar for dollar, this could be one of the best bargains of the offseason.


So to all you GMs out there

It’s not a certainty that someone will struggle under a large contract, just spend your money wisely.   All of these teams I mentioned above, besides the Cardinals, are leading their divisions - a big part of that is these smart contracts.  I realize how simplistic that sounds.  It breaks down to this - some players just aren’t cut out for the pressure.  Just like buying stocks, do your research.  Putting a lot into one investment can cripple some teams for years.  On the other hand, how many of you would love to have Adrian Gonzalez and Cliff Lee?

 If you have any thoughts on big signing flops and successes, stock tips, or any great ramen recipes, please comment.

By Mike Lavery
Friday, 12 Aug 2011

Adrian Beltre, Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, Cliff Lee, Detroit Tigers, Lance Berkman, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Victor Martinez


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