More Tweety fun from SI’s Jon Heyman:
Angels offered abreu a 2-year extension for about $16 million. after MVP calibre year with LAA, he is looking for more.
This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons. For starters, I have a hard time featuring the Angels, who are, you know, getting ready to play the ALCS, conducting contract negotiations with Abreu. Arte Moreno and his crew are too smart to create distractions like that in the middle of the playoffs. If this offer actually ever happened, I’m betting that it happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s also possible that someone is pulling Heyman’s chain, be it the team or Abreu’s people.
I’d guess it’s Abreu’s people, because the substance of the post itself is silly, and seems calculated to kiss a little butt. Abreu had a nice season for the salary he was paid, and provided some much-needed on base ability for the Angels, but it was by no means an “MVP calibre year.” Indeed, by some measures it was among Abreu’s worst years (power; OPS+, defense).
$16 million over two years is probably defensible enough from the Angels’ perspective. High if they have any outfield prospects of any value who could come in and take his place, but nothing that’s going to break the bank. If Abreu really does manage to find someone to pay him substantially more than that, however, that someone will likely be overpaying.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?