Roto Imbeciles
Fantasy Baseball for the Roto Enthusiast
Saturday, July 16, 2016: Ian Desmond was offered a contract and I believe it was for 7 yr/$107-mil before the start of the 2014 season. Desmond was also offered the $15.8-mil qualifying offer from the Nationals after the '15 season. Ian Desmond is still a free agent. And, after a subpar 2015 season, Desmond won't sniff anything close to $100-mil. “Greed…is good.” According to corporate raider, Gordon Gecko, greed is the motivating factor in human behavior. In examining the dynamics of baseball, one would be forced to agree. But what exactly is greed good for? First glance reveals that greed allows fat-cat agents to negotiate outrageous contracts not only for the big stars but also for the slightly-better-than-mediocre player who is up for free agency. After all, what a particular talent for throwing or hitting might yield depends on what the market will allow, and we all know that a free-market is at the heart of a capitalist society. Do you remember Jody Reed? He was a little better than marginal middle infielder who played with a number of teams in the '80's and '90's. He played 6 seasons with the Boston Red Sox hitting .280 with a .357 OBP. He even led the AL with 45 doubles in 1990 utilizing the Green Monster at Fenway. Reed signed with the Dodgers in 1993 for $2.5-mil and hit .276 in 445 AB. The Dodgers seemed to like Reed so after the season the club offered him a 3 yr/$7.8-mil deal. On the advice of his brother-in-law agent, Reed turned down the deal. Jose Offerman was the Dodger SS at the time and between the 37 errors and his penchant for late throws to the second baseman, Reed may have been in fear for his life. The Dodgers ended up trading young SP Pedro Martinez to the Expos for 2B Delino DeShields. After Reed's "gaffe," he played with Milwaukee (.271) in 1994, 2 seasons in SD and, for $675,000, 52 games with the Tigers in 1997 batting .196. In the final 4 seasons of Reed's career, he earned $2,875,000. By not signing the Dodger offer Reed lost almost $5-mil. He finished his career with 1231 H, 566 R, 392 RBI, and a .270 BA. After the 2000 season, Juan Gonzalez was offered an 8 yr/$148-mil deal by the Tigers. Never known as the smartest man in the world, Gonzalez rejected the offer. This is a guy that was married 4 times before his 30th birthday. Apparently, he didn't like the cavernous dimensions of Comerica Park. Gonzalez played 5 more seasons on three 1-yr contracts and one 2-yr deal earning a total of just over $38-mil. Another "smart guy" was Nomar Garciaparra, who in 2003, rejected the Red Sox 4 yr/$60-mil offer. Garciaparra felt he was worth as much as A-Rod and Jeter but no one else thought so. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs in 2005 for $8-mil. Between 2005 and his last season in 2009, Garciaparra earned just over $33-mil. Believe me, I’m not messing with the Great American Way. However, I think that greed might be good for another less obvious reason: those insatiable ball players who are holding out for the contract of the century often find themselves priced out of their own market, and forced to accept a less lucrative deal because the clock has run out. They learn that the knife of greed can cut both ways and teach a golden lesson in the bargain: sometimes the market just ain’t there.




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