Craig Calcaterra

Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded.


Russell Martin’s deal is backloaded. So too is Giancarlo Stanton’s. REALLY backloaded. As in, he’ll only make $30 million in his first three years. And, if he opts out after the first six years of his 13-year deal, he leaves $218 million on the table. The details from Jayson Stark:

According to a major league source who had seen the terms, Stanton’s salaries over those first three seasons will be only $6.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $14.5 million in 2017, far less than he could have earned through arbitration in 2015-16 and then via free agency. He would then earn $77 million over the next three seasons, and could opt out of the contract after 2020, following his age 30 season.

So the Marlins would be on the hook for only $107 million of the deal over the first six seasons, which computes to an average annual value of just $17.83 million per season before Stanton would have the right to exercise the opt-out clause.

This certainly changes the view of this deal. And if for some reason this deal turns sour on the Marlins, it turns really sour, with the final seven years coming in at over $31 million a year all while Stanton has a full no-trade clause. One big injury or some inexplicable Dale Murphy-style falloff and it’s uglyville.

In the meantime, though: a bargain for the Marlins and flexibility for them to go get other pieces to complement Stanton. Now: will they do it?


Great Moments in Grit


I don’t have much to say about this historical tidbit from Tim Hagerty of the Sporting News other than, next year, when some guy comes up short on a fly ball due to what I perceive to be a lack of effort, he’s gonna hear the name B.F. Hicks. An outfielder who played in a ballpark which backed up to a train track. One day, a long fly ball was hit in his direction and then, inevitably  . . .

Hicks took his final steps hearing sirens of shouting. Spectators saw the train’s path converging with Hicks’ path and screamed to warn him. Those same onlookers gasped with horror as Hicks collided with the train.

Amazingly, the baseball was still resting in Hicks’ hand when people ran over and saw his motionless body. He lost his life but not the ball.

Puig would do that. Of this I have no doubt.

The Dbacks new head of analytics is not your stereotypical analyst

diamondbacks logo

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have hired a new head of analytics. His name is Ed Lewis and he’s not straight from central casting:

Lewis, 66, brings a unique background to the position. He was a veterinarian for 18 years and has traded “pretty aggressively” on the stock market since selling his practice.

He has no actual job experience in baseball operations but he has been a confidant and advisor to Tony La Russa for years. Going all the way back to his days with the White Sox, actually. Back then they were just friends who shared a love of animals. Later, when La Russa went to St. Louis, he began to help out with scouting and analysis and stuff.

I sorta love that this guy is neither your stereotypical baseball man nor your stereotypical analyst. He wasn’t a salaried scout. He isn’t some early-30s data guy who can be made into some “geek” caricature by some lazy columnist. He’s just a smart guy who, for a couple of decades, has been a trusted advisor to a Hall of Fame baseball mind. Now, at 66, he has a formal gig.

Baseball is better when it’s weird.


Russell Martin’s contract is backloaded

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates

Russell Martin’s five-year, $82 million deal ain’t flat. Indeed, it’s pretty backloaded:

One interpretation: there are dumb corporate reasons at Rogers which makes doing it this way please some pencil-pusher. Another interpretation: the Jays plan to do more this season — really load for bear in a winnable A.L. East — and got Martin to agree to a backloaded deal to make that happen.

Now, to be less optimistic, one could note that Mark Buehrle and his $19 million come off the books next year and that, barring the team picking up his option for 2016, Jose Bautista’s salary does as well. If one thinks that way, one could conclude that this is just a means of keeping payroll as flat as can possibly be maintained.

But it’s November, so maybe Jays fans can hope a bit more about the team making more moves.

The Royals and Rangers are interested in Ian Kennedy

ian kennedy getty

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals and Rangers have expressed interest in Padres starter Ian Kennedy.

The Padres are openly shopping any number of pitchers, including Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, but Kennedy is the most likely to be dealt, Rosenthal says. And given that the Padres are looking for offense, it doesn’t seem like the Royals would make a great match for them.

Kennedy has been a below league-average pitcher in terms of ERA+ the past two seasons. Though last year he did strike out more than a batter an inning and over the past several years has never pitched fewer than 181 innings.