Author: Craig Calcaterra

Bud Selig

Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene.


Buster Olney reports that Bud Selig will get $6 million a year in annual compensation after he steps down as MLB commissioner next month.

Which is utterly insane.

Nothing personal to Selig, but this is a completely gratuitous parachute for a guy who has made, like, $100 million in salary alone and who, after he retires, will perform basically zero duties for Major League Baseball. He will not be “an ambassador” or anything like that. Baseball has hundreds of better ones in former players and managers. He will not serve in some advisory role of any substance, as doing so will only undermine a successor whose biggest challenge, as it is, is to gain the confidence of the owners. No, Selig is going to get that $6 million a year for doing jack squat.

Meanwhile, minor leaguers are paid sub-minimum wages, most front office staff are paid far below market rates and every worthy charity Major League Baseball supports could use the money a damn well bit more than Selig can.

But this isn’t just about Selig. Indeed, it’s nothing personal against him. By all accounts he’s a nice and thoughtful man who will spend his retirement well, teaching, studying and writing about history and enjoying baseball games. He’s a true fan and he has made no secret of his scholarly disposition and ambitions. I’m sure he’ll find some good uses for that money.

What makes no sense, however, is how often we see these sorts of payouts to former business leaders — even disgraced ones — and no one seems to pay them any mind, no one seems to question them and no one ever even bothers to attemp to justify them. Indeed, we just accept them as part of the business landscape. As if there is no other way things could be done and is if it’s not obscene in and of itself.

The closest we’ll hear to some justification is some weak case that a business has to do this sort of thing in order to attract future leaders. Which is nonsense, of course. It’s not as if Rob Manfred is going to quit tomorrow and go work as a Wal-Mart greeter because he only has tens of millions in salary coming to him as opposed to tens of millions and a sweet pension 20 years from now. Major League Baseball — a business whose very essence is about paying office employees (and players when they can get away with it) way, way, way below their actual worth because the allure of being close to baseball allows it to do so — is not going to lack for quality leadership if they don’t hand out golden parachutes.

Of course, no one will hold them to account for this. We live in a country that doesn’t bat an eye at millions paid to the executive class for literally doing nothing while we neglect working people and the poor and, in some cases, attack them for taking handouts that amount to a few hundred dollars a year. They’re “deadbeats” for demanding a living wage or needing some help feeding their children. They’re communists if they want to organize in order to improve their conditions. But Bud Selig is a hero who deserves that money and will be lionized even more than he already has been.

It says a lot about us as a country that this sort of thing happens. In this particular case it says that the 30 owners who approved this either think a man deserves an insane amount of money to sleep late and build ships in bottles in his retirement or they believe that, in reality, $6 million is not all that much money to give a person of a certain type.

I’m not sure which is worse.

Jake Peavy agrees to a two-year, $24 million deal to stay with the San Francisco Giants

jake peavy getty

The Hot Stove sleeps for no one. Not even you California people who won’t read this until it has been up for three hours. And you are the ones who will care about the most as it concerns your Giants who, Ken Rosenthal reports, have signed Jake Peavy to a two-year, $24 million deal.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Peavy will make $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016. He also gets a $4 million signing bonus and — this is key for a guy who has moved around like Peavy in the past could of years — a full no trade clause.

Peavy was 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts with Boston, then got traded to San Francisco and pulled off a 6-4 record with a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts for the Giants. He had a bad postseason, however, going 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA in four outings for the world champs.

Peavy, however, is not paid to be an ace anymore. He’s a third or fourth starter and, assuming he stays clear of arm troubles, should provide the Giants exactly what they’re looking for at a price that is more or less the going rate for that sort of work these day.

Ichiro is getting “some consideration” from the Orioles

Ichiro Suzuki

Jon Heyman reports that free agent Ichiro Suzuki is “receiving some consideration” from the Orioles

The O’s are in need of an outfielder. It may be more useful for them to get one that can, you know, still hit. And for as much as everyone loves Ichiro, he really can’t anymore. He hit a mere .284/.324/.340 in 143 games this past season for the Yankees. It’s possible that he has one more hit-lucky season in him, but it’d be hard to count on that.