What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
So, if the 40-60-80 value scale of percentages of WAR production holds true for the arbitration awards for CJ, Josh, and Nellie, it might be interesting to guess how the different sides might proceed in their offers/demands.
CJ (3rd yr of arbitration) 80% of 4.4 WAR ($17.6M value per Fangraphs) would be about $14M! I'm thinking if he wants to win, he might be thinking of asking for $12M and the Rangers would offer probably $9-10M (it would be great if they could sign a 3-yr deal for about $36M, but I'm thinking his agent will get him a 1-yr, $10.5M deal).
Josh (2nd yr of arbitration) 60% of 8 WAR (worth $32.2M!) should earn about $19.3M. His injury history/bad-boy past might give pause to the judge, however. I think his agent will propose $16M, and JD will counter with $13.5M. I think this one might turn into a 4-yr deal for $60-65M this month, though it might bite the Rangers if Hamilton's health goes south.
Nellie (1st yr of arbitration) 40% of 5.1 WAR ($20.4M of value) computes to about a $8.2M arbitration award possible. I think Cruz can probably ask for something close to $7.5M and the Rangers will come in at $6.5M. If he's smart, JD will sign him to a 5-yr deal worth about $50M, because Cruz is going to get expensive quickly if he stays pretty healthy.
Of the three, I think CJ should be the priority, because he'll go for the dough next off-season if he can't get a deal now. But CJ may hold out, roll the dice, try to produce another good yr and become a superbly hot commodity next off-season. Wilson has never struck me as being afraid of the challenge of finding a new opportunity elsewhere.
Josh, if I'm JD, needs to come into camp looking very, very motivated and focused before I think of negotiating with him long-term. He's tough to predict mentally AND physically. But again, I have a feeling all the new money in this ownership group might eventually lead to a decision to give Josh a 4-yr deal.
Cruz still has a couple more yrs of control, so he's not critical yet. I think he's the least risk for a long-term deal because he is just a tremendously strong athlete who will transition well to DH if he loses his wheels at any point. He always seems to be in amazing shape, despite the hamstring issues.
One reason I don't believe CJ will get more than about $10-11M in arbitration is he really doesn't have a track record as a starter yet. He might very well ask for $13-14M, and he might actually win the argument in front of the arbiter, given what a great yr the team had and their record in games he started.
CJ 9MillJosh 12MillNelly 5.5 Mill
That is some quantum jump: 3 to 4 x the 2010 salary increase. Whether they are warranted or not, that is a rare jump. So if we go with 3x then it is 10-10- and 5. Best would be a 3 to 4 year deals in a 12-12-9 average range equates to 3 years 39 and 3 years 30.
CJ and Josh are more of a priority than signing Beltre or another SP (Lee, Greinke, etc). Both should be signed to contracts 2 years into free agency.
The Rangers do not have the talent in-house to adequately replace CJ Wilson in 2012 and Hamilton in 2013.
Under no circumstances would I give Josh more than 4 years, and probably not more than 3. He's going to break down at some point, and when it happens, it will be almost overnight. And that's just his body. His substance abuse problems are a totally different issue...
The problem with signing any of them to a long term extension now is their values are at an all time high. True if they continue performing at the same level as last year you will have locked down a few great players for the team's core, but if they don't and fall back some then you're stuck paying them for their career year numbers.
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