clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FanGraphs: Joey Votto Extension Establishes New Territory

In case you've been out of the world of baseball news all day, Joey Votto is no longer an option for improving the Rangers' first base situation.

↵

The deal, essentially, is $251.5 million over the next twelve years, but he was two whole seasons away from free agency. As Dave Cameron at FanGraphs states, this -- along with the Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols contracts -- is market inflation, but in a unique form.

↵
↵

. . . it’s not upward price adjustments in the traditional form. Pujols, Fielder, Reyes, Votto, Kemp, and Zimmerman all landed contracts in excess of $100 million this winter, but in each situation, the surprising number wasn’t the AAV but the amount of guaranteed years on the back end. The $24M AAV for Pujols and $23.8M AAV for Fielder don’t even rank in the top five in baseball history, but they took slightly lower annual paychecks in order to get deals that would keep the money flowing for essentially the rest of their careers.

↵
↵

Cameron points out inflation through length makes sense given the number of massive TV contracts going out. Those contracts are long-term guaranteed revenue, rather than large immediate payroll boosts.

↵

This is significant to you, Texas Rangers Fan. This is significant because the Texas Rangers signed one of those massive deals. It is significant because the 2010 MVP and the team's best hitter in 2011 are both free agents at the end of this season. Because the team's five tool second baseman and right fielder -- quietly two of the best players in baseball when they're healthy -- will be free agents the following year at 31 and 32, respectively. Because the talented young shortstop is hitting free agency, and because offensive holes will need to be filled from somewhere, quite possibly free agency.

↵

The coming contract negotiations may come with results we are not used to. The per-year value may seem fine, but it will be the total years which have us cringing.

↵

Of course, the Rangers are one of the best front offices in baseball. They may well go completely off this new beaten path. Or, they may have already joined the path before the Tigers, Angels, and Reds when they signed a third baseman for a deal that looks great right now, but gives him a job until after he's already turned 36.

↵

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.