Former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden has made himself quite a career since leaving the front office. As most of you are aware, Bowden has an Insider column for ESPN, plus he serves as the co-host of Inside Pitch, a show for MLB Network Radio. The show can be heard on Sirius XM Radio.
Today, Bowden spoke about long-term contracts. Well, the bad ones anyway. He started speaking about it when his voice started to raise in volume and he become a bit emphatic toward the end of this two and a half-minute clip. Give it a listen.
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Some noted quotes:
“Not good business deals.”
“I think this irrational spending that clubs are doing is an embarrassment, I really do. and I think it’s got to stop.”
And my favorite: “Stop giving bad deals!”
That last one may fall on some deaf ears, for sure. While I will concur with Bowden, some clubs may feel like this is still the way to conduct business.
There is the issue of the deal the Yankees signed with Jacoby Ellsbury. Not many folks thought that was a good deal, but Bowden’s on board with it since getting Ellsbury meant the Yankees wouldn’t have to give in to Robinson Cano. They were also able to add Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. The total for those three deals did eclipse what the Seattle Mariners gave to Cano ($283MM to $240MM), but if you look at it this way, the Yankees got three for one.
Ellsbury’s was the longest at seven years.
Do the Yankees have bad deals on their books? Sure they do, but saying no to Cano was the way to go.
The last two offseasons, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim swooped down to snag both Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. They seemingly come from nowhere to get both, but the deals – especially Pujols’ deal – haven’t provided the desired return for the club this far. Most likely never will.
Bowden also references how the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are two teams that shy away from these extended player contracts. Well, now the Red Sox do. But Bowden is onto something here.
When we hear on practically a daily basis of this player’s deal being an albatross or that player’s contract being bad, you’d think the mindset from teams that have executed these deals would change. With the quick turnaround the Red Sox had and the extended success the Cardinals have shown, it’s hard to fathom that rival clubs don’t see the light. Is it so hard to look at the rosters from the Red Sox and Cardinals and see their pattern?
Sure, it’s nice when your favorite team nabs a star free agent. In obtaining said star free agent, there’s a price with that, and the prices these days can be – and usually are – astronomical.
Quick question. How many Seattle Mariners fans are truly giddy about having to give Cano $240MM over the next ten years?