What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Just thought I'd rehash the number from the contracts of some other pitchers. CC Sabathia got seven years for 161 million -- the largest contract for a pitcher. He was 28 when he got that deal. The most any pitcher has ever received per year is 23 million. Johan Santana got just below that number over six years (6 for 137.5 million). Here's the full list of the highest per year deals for pitchers in MLB history:
1. C.C. Sabathia, $23,000,000 (2009-15) 2. Johan Santana, $22,916,667 (2008-13) 3. Roy Halladay, $20,000,000 (2011-13)4. Carlos Zambrano, $18,300,000 (2008-12) 5. Barry Zito, $18,000,000 (2007-13) 6. Jake Peavy, $17,333,333 (2010-12) 7. A.J. Burnett, $16,500,000 (2009-13) -John Lackey, $16,500,000 (2010-14)8. Justin Verlander, $16,000,000 (2010-14)9. Jason Schmidt, $15,666,667 (2007-09) 10. Felix Hernandez, $15,600,000 (2010-14)11. Derek Lowe, $15,000,000 (2009-12) 12. Roy Oswalt, $14,600,000 (2007-11) 13. Mark Buehrle, $14,000,000 (2008-11)14. Roy Halladay, $13,333,333 (2008-10) 15. Ryan Dempster, $13,000,000 (2009-12)16. Chris Carpenter, $12,700,000 (2008-11) 17. Bronson Arroyo, $12,500,000 (2009-10) 18. Kevin Millwood, $12,000,000 (2006-10)
So where should/will Cliff Lee fall on this list? He's arguably coming off one of if not THE best stretch of anyone on that list. However, when he inks that contract, he'll be a full four years older than CC was when he signed for 7 years @161 million.
I think an AAV of $21-22 million over five years is my absolute limit. Regarding the age thing, I guess the one thing you can argue in his favor is that he's a better bet to age nicely than a high-strikeout, high-walk pitcher might be (or at least that's what David Gassko's THT research indicated previously) -- not that Sabathia's a high-walk pitcher, mind you, but yeah.
I'd pay him $1 more than Halladay ($20,000,001). Halladay has 3 years left on his contract. I'd tack on a fourth year (2011-14) and see if he'd bite on that.
I heard this idea talked about on the radio and thought it was interesting: basically they were talking about the future of sports contracts including ownership shares of the team. Now I'm no expert on how this would work and I'm sure the union has some provisions that make this an unrealistic idea, but Cliff is a guy I would be very interested in trying to do something outside of the box to get a deal done. If the team is valued at about 600 million, give him 10% of ownership for about 60 mil, and give him another 60 million cash for 6 years. Basically all that to say I'd give him about 6 years 120, or whatever it takes to get a deal done. Either get a deal done or make the Yankees way over pay.
I think I might be alright with a five year deal for Sabathia money (5 for 115). If we had to go six years, I wouldn't go any higher than 6 for 125 with a significant portion being deferred.
I'd offer 4 yrs, $90M with a vesting option for a 5th year at the same AAV for starters. I'd be willing to go 5 years, $110-115 with an innings pitched over the 4th-5th years for a vesting option on a 6th year to get it done. Don't forget that Lee will want a no-trade clause. It's risky, but this front office has shown no lack of testicular fortitude.
OMG, cheaper beers at the ballpark says Greeny! Cheaper beers equals well over 8 billion unique fans coming to the Ballpark a year, so lets go ahead and get Lee at 30 million per season.
All kidding aside, I don't think we can put any amount on him until the season is done. There are so many variables in this.
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