Shane Victorino will make $9.5 million this season in the final year of a three-year deal and the center fielder told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he’d like to re-sign with the Phillies on a five-year contract because “my agents say I can get a five-year deal on the market … why not trust them?”
And the sooner the better, as Victorino asked “why not make it happen now?” and made it very clear that he wants to play in Philadelphia for the rest of his career:
I love this place. This is the place that gave me my chance. I’m a World Series champion in this city. That’s stuff that forever will be remembered. I want to be here.
As for giving the Phillies a hometown discount to get a deal done, Victorino said:
If it’s a significant difference, I have to weigh my options. I obviously love playing in Philly. They made me who I am. That sits in the back of my mind. But I also understand there’s a window in this game. Age and time comes into play. When I say I don’t want to go anywhere, yeah, I call this home and I want to finish my career here, but we’ll see how it goes. I won’t say I won’t take a hometown discount, but I also will say I want to maximize my opportunity with not only what I’ve accomplished as an individual, but as part of a team.
In other words, he wants to stay in Philadelphia as long as they’re willing to pay market value or something very close. Which is perfectly reasonable, of course.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, citing recent deals for other over-30 center fielders, speculates that a five-year deal would be worth at least $65 million–Jimmy Rollins re-signed with the Phillies for $38 million over three years–but for now Victorino told Salisbury that the two sides “are not close.”
Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.
As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.
Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.
This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.
The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.
Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.
Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.