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View Full Version : The Era of the Urlacher Deal?


the1tab
05-15-2008, 01:34 PM
Brian Urlacher is mad @ the Bears because, at a young age, he signed a long term deal for what, at that point in his life, was big money. Are we now seeing a trickle down of this deal (and others like it) into baseball? Young studs getting decent, but not outrageous money earlier in their careers than expected for longer than expected? In mid April you might recall that Evan Longoria, the young 3B in Tampa, got a multi-year contract for decent money after 6 major league games. Scott Kazmir is also apparently close to, if not done signing, a long term extension. Last week Florida handed Hanley Ramirez a decent, but not shocking, long term deal. Today, Ryan Braun reportedly got an 8-year, $45 million extension from Milwaukee (per ESPN.com). He's played one full year in the bigs. Are mid market teams going to start offering big year, good money deals to studs younger and younger to keep them around longer? This makes a ton of sense as a GM and as a franchise, but I'm shocked at how many young players (and their $$ hungry agents) are jumping at the chance to get locked up for so long. You would have to think that a guy like Braun, even with his defensive woes, is looking at a substantially bigger payday in 2-3 years than the under $7 million per he just got. And Hanley Ramirez? Heaven help us in determining what he might be worth in 2 years. I like that contract figures are coming down. I like that players are showing some loyalty to the franchise that "brought them to the dance." But I am struggling to figure out why a player & agent would lock in at only decent money until they're 30 years old in an industry that has, at least since Ryan Sandberg broke the bank in 1990 & then the Bonds deal w/ San Fran, been about the biggest bang for the buck possible. I guess I'm pleasantly surprised to see small market teams locking in good players long term so they can continue to compete.

kittle42
05-15-2008, 01:38 PM
Hmm...maybe these teams have somewhere between 50 cents and 1 dollar.

DumpJerry
05-15-2008, 01:38 PM
I wouldn't call this the Era of the Urlacher Deal for the simple reason the NFL does not have guaranteed contracts and MLB does. This means a football player's career with his team can be terminated mid contract with much less financial impact than a baseball player's career with a team. Look at Frank Thomas. The Jays cut him in April and have to pay him a boatload of bucks anyway.

This is more a situation where baseball teams recognize who the core of their team will be for the next 6-10 years and want to lock it in so they can spend their time on other weak points.

voodoochile
05-15-2008, 01:41 PM
Take the guaranteed money with a chance to still sign a good long term deal after it expires.

Nothing wrong with wanting financial security as soon as possible. Even after taxes and agent fees, these contracts guarantee a player will never have to work a day outside of basebll in their lives. Or risk it and maybe get injured or have the league figure you out and presto, no more money.

Look at Crede as an example. If his back wasn't repairable, he'd be out a ton of money with his year by year approach.

I agree it is good for the league too and the players get the chance to build some fan loyalty and that in turn can lead to endorsement contracts.

In all other leagues, by the 4th year a player is eligibile for big money, but in MLB the player is still going through arbitration (which can be big money or can be a total headache). These contracts are in line with what other leagues would be paying a guy to sign that length of contract early in their career but once established. It's about time...

Steelrod
05-15-2008, 05:11 PM
It seems that we always hear about players wanting to renegotiate a long term deal when they improve, but don't ever hear squacking from those who don't.
Do you think Frank Thomas, Jim Edmonds, Uribe, etc. want to renegotiate their deals?

Viva Medias B's
05-15-2008, 10:53 PM
Brian Urlacher is an oaf. I've been saying that for a long time, and what he has done in recent months only substantiates that.

DSpivack
05-16-2008, 02:28 AM
These deals also aren't really sacrificing free agent years, right? They're replacing yearly arbitration with a long-term contract? If that's the case, I don't see the downside for the player.

doublem23
05-16-2008, 02:48 AM
These deals also aren't really sacrificing free agent years, right? They're replacing yearly arbitration with a long-term contract? If that's the case, I don't see the downside for the player.

This (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3256452).

btrain929
05-16-2008, 09:44 AM
Parking Lot?

DSpivack
05-16-2008, 01:01 PM
This (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3256452).

But wouldn't the player who signs the contract still be making more over the length of it? Howard got $10 mil in arbitration, but the article says he got $900,000 and $355,000 the previous two years; that's $11.255 million over three.

soxfanreggie
05-18-2008, 10:39 AM
Think present value: a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.

If you can sign a huge deal like this after a couple of years, you're going to lose your first few non-rookie type contracts, but you're going to have been making bigger money, guaranteed money, and still be able to sign another huge contract when you're still young.

I think guaranteed money is the biggest thing. Like you said Voodoo, rather get it now than have a chance not to later. Some players have big money from signing bonuses, but that "big money" is a few hundred thousand or a couple million. This is multi-millions per year, even after taxes/agents/lawyers. Best idea for these players: lock up a couple of those million into safe/stable investments that will be there over time. No need to double your investment in a year or two when you all ready have multi-millions to your name.

Spivack, I think someone like Braun is sacrificing at least a few years with an 8 year deal. Some players aren't cutting into that many FA years but some are. These players signing 4-6 year extensions are signing them usually after 2 or 3 seasons.

LongLiveFisk
05-18-2008, 10:56 AM
I always said that's the chance the player takes. You want the long term deal? Fine, but you better be willing to deal with it if the market changes. I don't want to sound like I'm all for the owners here, but when it comes to this stuff the players seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. I don't agree with that.

voodoochile
05-18-2008, 11:19 AM
I always said that's the chance the player takes. You want the long term deal? Fine, but you better be willing to deal with it if the market changes. I don't want to sound like I'm all for the owners here, but when it comes to this stuff the players seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. I don't agree with that.

The title is a bad comparison. Football money isn't guaranteed like baseball is. Urlacher would probably be less vocal if the team was going to definitely pay him every dollar on the contract. Odds are they won't, so he starts asking for a renegotiation now to add more guaranteed money to the contract. Often these long term contracts get drawn up because it's the only way to get the signing bonus to fit the salary cap then down the road the player is essentially playing a string of one year contracts and if something goes wrong they end up cut with no safety net. ALso, teams heavily weight the end years of the contract to make it look big, but rarely end up paying the final 3 years at 13M/season or whatever. The players know that, so the whine fest to renegotiate starts much earlier than in baseball...