MLB 2019: Can't Hurdle the Turtle


Watching Ken Burns baseball documentary is almost enough to make you hate the sport, but damn, it is true that every spring there is a certain happiness that comes from knowing that the season is just around the corner. It was that feeling he tried to capture I think.


You mean his “New York Baseball” film? :)


I chuckled.


Bryce Harper has agreed to a deal with the Phillies. Our national nightmare is over.

(You will all be stunned to discover that Jon Heyman’s phone first broke this story. Guess he gets it back now that Boras is done with it.)


13 years, $330m total guaranteed.

NO opt outs. I hope Bryce likes cheesesteaks!


13 years. Dang.

So this takes him to his age-39 season or thereabouts? Surprised he’d go for that instead of like a 5-6 year deal done in his early 30s when there’s still time to sign another long-term contract.

Still. That’s fuck you money, and guarantees his place on an MLB roster until he’s 39 damn years old. Get yours, Bryce!


Not a whole lot of MLB contracts get to celebrate a bar mitzvah.


So he rejected 10yrs at $300M to sign for 13 years at $330M? Lower AAV to play for longer? Sure I guess.

Without looking it up, I’m guessing this is the longest contract ever given to a player.


As a Dodgers fan, I wanted him in LA. However, also as a Dodgers fan, I didn’t want him in San Francisco (woulda been fine with him going to Padres though for the future payroll hell they would be in with both him and Machado). So, I guess I’m ambivalent? Good on him and Manny for getting that cash though.

I guess he figured he’d be unlikely to get a deal at 25m per in his late 30s, so better to take it now.


Tied with Giancarlo Stanton


Thank God it’s over.


Well yes and no.

I guess it depends on what you expect from the next TV contract/ collective bargaining agreement. Year on year salaries have tended to rise. So in 5-7 years $25-30 mil per year may not be crazy money, it may just be ‘solid veteran’ money. Who knows, maybe we have a $40 mil AAV man by then.

But then again, maybe the last TV deal represents some kind of peak, a sweetheart deal they won’t top next time due to streaming and the general decline of OTA broadcasts. Maybe in 5 years the top end of the market is only $20 mil.

This seems like a good deal from Harpers end, as money in the bag is of potentially more value than more money later, but also potential for less due to changing market conditions.


I reserve the right to eat a king-sized crow casserole, but I would be very worried about Bryce Harper’s base. His range collapse in the OF over the last 2-3 seasons is scary.

At any rate, as a fan of a team with a fanbase idiotically demanding their team bid on Harper, I’m so glad that this contract is so insane. I mean, you can now see why the Cubs, Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels and others wanted very little part of this nonsense, even at the end. Per Boras, the instructions from Harper were to get him a deal that would secure his services for the remainder of his career. Guessing that was part of the negotiation off the bat, and all of those teams were happy to walk away and say “Call us if the years get smaller.”


It seems like a pretty good deal for Harper in that it’s reported to be front-loaded, so he gets a bunch of his money sooner. Better for whichever team has him in 8 years, of course, since those later low-productions will cost less.


Yeah. I’m not upset at all by the Cubs sitting this one out. Those are crazy years. Granted I was also ecstatic about the Hawks signing Hossa to the same type of long term deal. But that one also immediately paid off, and he more than earned it ultimately. So I don’t know. Maybe it works out in the end. I just don’t see those types of deals in baseball being great ideas.



Honest and agenda-less question: since MLB stepped up their drug testing and since the advent of good HGH testing 5-6 years ago, have we gotten many, if any of those ridiculous Steve Finley/Luis Gonzalez seasons where a guy past his age 30 season suddenly seems to figure it out and starts hitting a ton?

It just seems like in recent years, the age 36 or older starting MLB regular is becoming a bit of a dinosaur.


There are guys that still produce at 36+ but mainly in the DH roll which doesn’t help Harper. Nelson Cruz, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre come to mind.


I would bet a lung that the NL will have the DH before Harper sees his age 36 season.


Well, if not, they could always just plant him over at 1B when he gets too old/injury-prone to play OF.

Also, I’d guess the way pitching staffs are handled nowadays aren’t really favorable to aging hitters. 7th-8th-9th inning specialists have become more of a thing lately. The number of 95+MPH pitches a hitter sees is about double what it was a decade ago.