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The DH
And why Pujols contract should make MLB decide one way or another

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BigSlick 

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:08 PM

In the past the argument regarding the DH has always revolved around on the field issues. Today I realized that it gives AL teams a huge advantage off the field as well and the Albert Pujols signing is what made me realize this.

Think about it, you have one of the greatest hitters of all time as a 31 year old free agent. I'm sure that part of the thinking with the Angels brass was that Pujols can move to DH for the last 3 or 4 years of his contract if his fielding declines with age. The Cardinals couldn't offer him 10 years because if he becomes an immovable object at first base they are stuck with a $25 million pinch hitter.

It's time to unify the rules one way or another.


I'm curious as to what the rest of you think. Do you think the DH rule affected the offers from the Angels and Cardinals or do you think my hypothesis is bogus?
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coloradojack 

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:21 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 08 December 2011 - 05:08 PM, said:

Think about it, you have one of the greatest hitters of all time as a 31 year old free agent.

Hahahahahaha....sorry. Didn't get past this. What were you saying?
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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

View Postcoloradojack, on 08 December 2011 - 05:21 PM, said:

Hahahahahaha....sorry. Didn't get past this. What were you saying?


Assuming you are laughing at the posted age and not that he's one of the greatest hitters of all time...

If he's older than 31 wouldn't that make the case that I am making even stronger?
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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:29 PM

The Cardinals couldn't DH him 5 years from now if he could no longer field his position…but they could still trade him. But sure – if the reasonable expectation is that Pujols will be a DH/PH only in the last few years of a 10 year deal, then an NL team is a lot less likely to go for a deal in which they'd be fully expecting to have to trade the player halfway through.

The flip side to that, though, is that if the Angels pay Pujols $100 million to DH for the last 4 years of the deal, then (at least by today's standards), they'd be grossly overpaying for a one-dimensional player.

I hope that Pujols sucks in the AL.
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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:30 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 08 December 2011 - 05:26 PM, said:

Assuming you are laughing at the posted age and not that he's one of the greatest hitters of all time...

If he's older than 31 wouldn't that make the case that I am making even stronger?

Sure. If 44 year old designated hitters make more sense than 44 year old pinch hitters.

Which, I suppose, they do.
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JMDurron 

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:42 AM

Of course, the ability to DH is somewhat based on the assumption that the player is healthy in 10 years, and just unable to play the field. The real risk is that the player can't physically play at all anymore, a la Albert Belle. It doesn't matter whether you have a DH or not if you're paying 20+ million dollars to a dead spot on the roster. It's not just the fielding ability (in which case I agree, the DH is an advantage there), it's the ability to even swing a bat, and the DH rule doesn't really have as much of an impact there, beyond the marginal gain from giving a player fewer plays during which he could be injured.
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:52 AM

View PostBigSlick, on 08 December 2011 - 05:08 PM, said:

The Cardinals couldn't offer him 10 years because if he becomes an immovable object at first base they are stuck with a $25 million pinch hitter.


It's my understanding that the Cardinals offered him 9 years with a 10th year option. There's really not much of a difference between a 9 year contract and a 10 year when you're talking about a player who will be in his early 40's. Plus, the Marlins guaranteed him 10 years and more money that the Angels. They didn't include a no-trade clause, but that's just an organization policy and not a 'cover you ass for years 5-10' thing. Supposedly the Cubs offered him a big contract as well. Not sure about the number of years, but if they were that 'other mystery team', then that means he had three 9+ year offers from NL teams. Bottom line is, if you are that special of a player, teams from both leagues will make a run at you regardless of your age and contract length. I'll have to look it up, but National League teams sign guys for 10 years quite often. Maybe not a lot of guys in their 30's, but it does happen.
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:00 AM

I can't think of another 10 year deal ever besides A-Rod's Texas deal...
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:22 AM

View PostMrNewEngland, on 09 December 2011 - 10:00 AM, said:

I can't think of another 10 year deal ever besides A-Rod's Texas deal...


Well, Jeter had a 10 year contract. Then you have the Rockies who gave Tulowitzki 10 years and Helton 11. I think I'm lumping those in with a bunch of 8 year contracts which are slightly more common in both leagues.

This brings up an interesting point. Doing the research on this it appears that the matter comes down to the franchise and not the league. If you look at the longest and most lucrative contracts in baseball, you'll see the same handful of teams in there a few times. The Red Sox, Yankees, Rockies and the Cardinals. Obviously the Yankees will show up on that list several times. I think it all comes down to the market and not necessarily the league. Like I said earlier, if the player is special enough, he will get those 8-10 year offers from any team that can afford them. I don't think that any league has an advantage over the other.
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:27 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 09 December 2011 - 10:22 AM, said:

Well, Jeter had a 10 year contract. Then you have the Rockies who gave Tulowitzki 10 years and Helton 11. I think I'm lumping those in with a bunch of 8 year contracts which are slightly more common in both leagues.

This brings up an interesting point. Doing the research on this it appears that the matter comes down to the franchise and not the league. If you look at the longest and most lucrative contracts in baseball, you'll see the same handful of teams in there a few times. The Red Sox, Yankees, Rockies and the Cardinals. Obviously the Yankees will show up on that list several times. I think it all comes down to the market and not necessarily the league. Like I said earlier, if the player is special enough, he will get those 8-10 year offers from any team that can afford them. I don't think that any league has an advantage over the other.


When they got their deals Tulowitzki was 26 and Helton was 27. There's a HUGE difference between a 10 year deal for a 26/27 year old and a 10 year deal for a 31 year old.

I still stand by my original premise that there is a much greater risk to an NL team than an AL team in these types of deals because of the DH. This in turn effects the number of years teams in each league can responsibly offer. It is entirely possible that the 2020 version of Albert Pujols will be equal in both hitting and fielding to the 2011 version of David Ortiz and teams know this.
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

View PostBigSlick, on 09 December 2011 - 11:27 AM, said:

I still stand by my original premise that there is a much greater risk to an NL team than an AL team in these types of deals because of the DH. This in turn effects the number of years teams in each league can responsibly offer.


I agree with the first sentence, but the evidence of what just happened over the past few days suggests something different than the second sentence. NL teams seem more than willing to shell out a 9-10 year contract to a player on the wrong side of 30.
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Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:15 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 09 December 2011 - 11:52 AM, said:

I agree with the first sentence, but the evidence of what just happened over the past few days suggests something different than the second sentence. NL teams seem more than willing to shell out a 9-10 year contract to a player on the wrong side of 30.


Which is why I added the word "responsibly" before clicking "add reply".
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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:09 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 09 December 2011 - 09:52 AM, said:

Plus, the Marlins guaranteed him 10 years and more money that the Angels.


That rumor was actually debunked, I believe their offer was closer to 200 million than 275.
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Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:33 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 08 December 2011 - 05:08 PM, said:

In the past the argument regarding the DH has always revolved around on the field issues. Today I realized that it gives AL teams a huge advantage off the field as well and the Albert Pujols signing is what made me realize this.

Think about it, you have one of the greatest hitters of all time as a 31 year old free agent. I'm sure that part of the thinking with the Angels brass was that Pujols can move to DH for the last 3 or 4 years of his contract if his fielding declines with age. The Cardinals couldn't offer him 10 years because if he becomes an immovable object at first base they are stuck with a $25 million pinch hitter.

It's time to unify the rules one way or another.


I'm curious as to what the rest of you think. Do you think the DH rule affected the offers from the Angels and Cardinals or do you think my hypothesis is bogus?


It's the only thing that distinguishes the NL from the AL and requires strategy during inter-league play. You can't say do away with the DH because the Angels overpaid for Pujols.
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:43 AM

View Postjwmann2, on 17 December 2011 - 12:33 PM, said:

It's the only thing that distinguishes the NL from the AL and requires strategy during inter-league play. You can't say do away with the DH because the Angels overpaid for Pujols.


What distinguishes the AFC from the NFC or the Eastern Conference from the Western Conference, and how does the fact that there is no distinction between them negatively affect each league? Other than the fact that nobody watched the Super Bowl anymore. [/sarcasm]

Also, I didn't say to abolish the DH. I said "it's time to unify the rules, one way or another"
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