We should all hope to “botch” things like James Shields did

35 Comments

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a column about how James Shields ended up signing a four-year, $75 million deal with the Padres after remaining on the open market far longer than anyone expected.

In tweeting out a link to the article, Passan calls it “a botched strategy” by Shields’ behalf:

source:

There’s some truth to that, certainly (and Passan’s column is a solid one, as are most of his columns). Almost every free agency prediction had Shields signing for more than $75 million and Shields himself probably wasn’t counting on taking four years from San Diego.

But he’s obviously not the first free agent to overestimate his market value and here’s the thing: That’s a helluva “botched strategy.” Shields botched himself into …

1. Living in San Diego, which is one of the nicest places in the country and is where the California native already makes his home during the offseason. I mean, think of how often we hear about how some free agent wants to play in his hometown. Shields actually did it.

2. Playing in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark, Petco Park, which will help his raw numbers look much better than they actually are and keep any mid-30s decline from being as severe-looking. It’s basically like a free agent hitter signing with the Rockies to play 81 times a year at Coors Field.

3. Being paid $75 million, which is a lot of money–third-most among all free agent pitchers this year behind Max Scherzer and Jon Lester–and probably has the exact same impact on Shields’ lifestyle that being paid, say, $100 million would have had.

Passan is absolutely right that Shields’ offseason didn’t go as planned, but we should all wish for that kind of “botched strategy.”

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.