Paying for our Core

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by htownbball, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. DaChamp

    DaChamp Member

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    I wonder if any of these guys will get huge contracts from the Astros. Luhnow is following the blueprint established by the Cardinals, who have been playoff contenders for the past 20 years, with the occasional deep run. You don't keep that kind of consistency by signing guys to huge contracts, because those huge contracts typically involve paying guys a ton of money after they have declined substantially. Look at the Tigers and Phillies over the past few years to see teams that did it the wrong way. You maintain consistency by making sure the farm is stocked.

    Because Correa started his free agency clock ticking so early, he'll still be fairly young (26?) when free agency hits. That's rare. I can see the Astros pouring a ton of money into him in order to lock him up, because it makes sense. His decline arguably won't start until near the end of his first big contract. But many are speculating that he won't sign until Altuve signs. Altuve is going to look for a huge contract because he's been playing for peanuts for the past few years. Most underpaid guy in the league. Hard to blame him too much, he and his agent made a decision to ensure his financial future, and that turned out to be in the team's favor, at least in hindsight.

    Anyway, I'm betting that the analytics being done are not favorable to Altuve being worth the money he'll certainly be looking for. He'll be on the wrong side of 30 when he becomes a free agent and presumably looking for an 8 year deal. The Astros got his best years for pennies on the dollar. Anyway, if they don't resign Altuve, I question whether Correa will want to remain on the team. So enjoy the next couple years.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    The Cardinals signed and extended several core players for fair market value.. including Pujols, Carpenter, Wainwright, Molina.

    The Braves also re-signed their core in the 90's, along with raising payroll enough to attract select free agents as needed.

    I see nothing wrong with following those models.
     
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  3. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    They signed Holliday to a $120M contract
    They offered Pujols $210M
     
  4. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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    Correa and his fiance seem to really like the spot light being on Kimmel and the Today show. Has me worried about him as a free agent.
     
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  5. DaChamp

    DaChamp Member

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    The Cards smartly signed Pujols to an extension before he became a free agent, similar to what the Astros did with Altuve. I'm not against that, and I guarantee that Luhnow is having that discussion with each of the agents for the Astro's core group. It certainly sounds like none of those guys are interested in signing a team friendly deal in exchange for giving up some of their free agency years, but we'll see.

    The Cards wisely decided to cut bait when Pujols was at the end of his extension. The closest that I've seen the Cards coming to opening the checkbook wide open was with Holliday. That was for $120M. For Altuve, Bregman, Correa and Springer, we're talking about guys who will likely command $200M each on the open market, if they maintain their current levels of production. Some are predicting that Correa may be closer to $400M. McCullers and Keuchel will probably get over $200M each. Comparatively speaking, I don't consider the contracts given to Dexter Fowler and Molina to be opening up the checkbooks, at least under the current landscape of free agency. Anyway, I'd be surprised if more than one of these guys is signed by the Astros to a long term deal.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Market value is market value.

    Pujols did sign early, but it wasn't for peanuts (7 years/100million). They also attempted to extend him to a $200+ million dollar deal. Molina (5 year, $75 million... followed by 3 year/$60 million) and Wainwright (5 year/$100 million) have had big extensions as well.

    Not sure where you're getting your crazy estimates on the pitchers... Keuchel won't get that much, both in guaranteed years and $/year. There's enough questions as far as his long-term health goes. McCullers is still 5 years away from free agency, which is an eternity for a pitcher with injury concerns.

    In the end, the Astros have a ton of payroll flexibility... and teams that are designed to have a prolonged stretch of winning do sign core players to extensions.

    The Astros also have the huge advantage of being able to offer early extensions/buyout arbitration years.... which gives them a chance to secure some post-arb years at a better rate. The player gets closer to fair market value now... rather than 4-5 years later... and the Astros get exclusive negotiating rites during those years.
     
  7. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    The idea that Keuchel or LMJ would get $200M is crazy. I'd expect Keuchel to similar to what Arrieta gets this offseason. LMJ would have to stay healthy and consistent to even see $100M.

    Really, after last year's relatively sane free agency (outside of closers), I'm not sure what to expect. I think teams are clearly concerned with the luxury tax and it will help reign in some of the contracts.
     
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  8. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    They offered $210M over 10 years. They got lucky Pujols turned them down. Turns out their original 5 year offer basically would have been the perfect contract for his remaining usefulness.
     
  9. DaChamp

    DaChamp Member

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    Correa's agent has previously said that he's making enough off of endorsements where he doesn't feel the need to sign a deal before he becomes a free agent. Altuve will only get one bite at the free agent apple due to his age, and he's given the Astros enough team friendly years where he's not giving a hometown discount. Hence why he fired his agent and signed with Boras this past year. Springer was pissed about being left in the minors for 1.5-2 years past when most teams would have brought him up, and he wouldn't agree to the Astros requests to sign a Singleton-type contract before being called up. So I don't see that one happening either. I don't blame the Astros for gaming the system with him, they wanted him to be on the same track as the rest of the core. Who knows, maybe they get Bregman to bite on a deal where he gives up a year or two of his free agency years. Anyway, we'll see. I'd be surprised if more than one of these guys signs a long-term deal with the Astros. Crane is not known as a guy that is willing to spend big money on long term contracts. Quite the opposite.
     
  10. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    Correa has said he's open to an extension for right price if prior to entering arbitration.

    On Springer, he was upset about not being brought up earlier, but Astros didn't hold him back an abnormally long term (i.e., other teams have done similar things to preserve a year of club control). Some teams would have brought him up in 2nd half of 2013 instead of when Astros did in early 2014, but at worst it is closer to half a season than 1.5-2 seasons. The Springer thing was magnified because the Astros were tanking, there was no one of note in the Astros OF, and holding Springer back unnecessarily fit the narrative that the Astros were incompetent and didn't care about people.

    Players don't like being in the minors when they feel they are ready and I don't blame them. I also expect MLB clubs try to keep the OTJ training to a minimal in the majors. Now that Springer is in the MLBPA, he has the power to work against the the veterans in the MLBPA that have sold out the younger players.
     
  11. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Who is going to pay for the parade, lol. We still got that invoice coming. I’m going to guess $704,329 in parade costs, personnel, police, and damage.
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Sounds like you're just going to stick with your stance till they prove you otherwise.

    The Astros haven't had a player worth extending/re-signing in the Jim Crane era thus far. They've spent fairly on some free agents thus far. You underestimate the lure of the current core, and how they'll be filling seats and selling merchandise for Crane for years to come (which in many ways can off-set the price of extensions).

    You also overestimate how 'easy' it is to replace this sort of core by the minors. Yes, Tucker is on the horizon... and he represents the last of the high draft pick guys (that all credit to the front office on them... most teams miss on top 5 picks... the Astros seemingly have gotten it right 3 out of 4 times). Ask the Rays if they thought they would only have one legit chance at a WS after sucking for 10 years? Ask the A's if it was all that easy to replace three super-stud pitchers?

    By all accounts, this core is special... they just won the freakin World Series. I'm not for overpaying guys on the decline... but the hope is that 2, if not 3, of the current core 4 get extended beyond their arbitration years... and its really not that much of a long shot.
     
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  13. Buck Turgidson

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    So *this* is the offseason talking point? Gotta talk about something.

    How do they pay for people they don't have to pay for yet?
     
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  14. Nook

    Nook Member

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    This.

    Enjoy the next few years.

    The Astros won a World Series and this group has a really good shot to win another over the next couple years.

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see the team EXPAND payroll the next few years to maximize the next few seasons.
     
  15. Buck Turgidson

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    edit....apparently my new phone went nuts last night.
     
    #35 Buck Turgidson, Nov 14, 2017 at 2:19 AM
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 9:46 AM
  16. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    How many offseason threads have followed a World Series Championship? Does have a tendency to change the narrative. There would have been more to talk about had we lost :)
     
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  17. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    We could expand the conversation slightly to what the makeup of the core should be going forward. The core as it is consists of 3-4 bats. While I really like all of them, I think a #1 pitcher needs among them. Verlander via age will be trending the wrong direction and there may be difficulty in thinking of DK in that role as well. Way to early to pencil in Whitley although eyes will certainly be looking in his direction. So for those those may agree with me, our core in 3-5 years may look like:

    1) #1 TOR Pitcher
    2) Altuve
    3) Correa?

    Two names conspicuously missing. I think its Pollyanna thinking to assume we are going to pay more than 3 guys top dollar (>$20-30m/year) on long term (4+ years) deals (over $100-150M in total).

    This line of thinking forces one to wonder what happens to Springer and/or Bregman. You could save one by putting them as one of your core3.

    But it amounts to this. Can anyone imagine us winning future WS championships without out at least one TOR pitcher? Oh, make that 2 in reality. Then it gets even tighter. Dont know the answer. But I do know we are not going to spend $120M-150M on 5 guys.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    What the hell? He spent all of 2.5 yrs in the minors. You think most teams would have brought him up after half a season in single-A baseball?
     
  19. Phillyrocket

    Phillyrocket Member

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    Was thinking about this earlier reading the Stanton trade rumors. You could empty the farm for him as well as sign some relievers not offer big deals to the core 4 and just go for broke for the next 2-4 years. Imagine 3 or 4 parades before the financial implosion and we lose basically everyone. You can make a pretty compelling argument that this is the way to go though as fans we want guys like Altuve to retire as Astros
     
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