Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has the year-by-year breakdown of Clay Buchholz’s new contract extension with the Red Sox:
Signing bonus: $1 million
2012 – $3.5 million
2013 – $5.5 million
2014 – $7.7 million
2015 – $12 million
2016 – $13 million team option or $245,000 buyout
2017 – $13.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout
Add it all up and he’ll get at least $30.5 million for four years and can earn up to $57.25 million for six years.
I’d never blame a young pitcher for taking $30 million in guaranteed money, especially when he’s just 26 years old and still making close to the MLB minimum, so Buchholz certainly did plenty well for himself. With that said, this strikes me as a very team-friendly contract for the Red Sox.
They bought out all three seasons of arbitration and his first season of free agency for $30.5 million and have reasonable team options with remarkably small buyouts for his second and third seasons of free agency. If he gets hurt they’re out $30.5 million, which is a relatively small sum in the world of long-term extensions. And if he stays healthy and effective they locked Buchholz up through age 32 for $57.25 million, which is probably pretty close to what he’d get on the open market for those three free agent years alone come 2015.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.