Arguably the best guy at the most important position in the richest, most successful sports league in America just signed a new deal today:
Drew Brees’s deal is done … The deal includes $40 million in the first year and a guaranteed $60 million in the first three years of the contract. That’s the biggest guarantee for any contract in NFL history. After protracted negotiations, Brees has done very well for himself.
From baseball, a couple months ago:
The Diamondbacks and catcher Miguel Montero have agreed to a five-year, $60 million contract extension … The new deal falls short of Yadier Molina‘s recent five-year, $75 million extension with the Cardinals, but it’s still a nice chunk of change for someone who is just realizing his potential.
Tell me who is more valuable to their employer: Brees or Montero. Now tell me why the guy who is clearly more valuable gets what a decent but not great guy gets in the other sport. Then go bow before a picture of Marvin Miller. Then sing a chorus of “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to play football.”
And if your counter is “it’s more money than Brees could ever spend, baseball players are just greedy.” Ask yourself who benefits from the labors of these gentlemen. The answer: billionaire businessmen. That’s who Miller and those who have followed him are taking money from. In light of that, I won’t lose a wink of sleep thinking about Miguel Montero’s paycheck. And why I will feel a little bad for Drew Brees, even though he just set himself and his family up for life.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.