Friday, December 10, 2010

If You're Saving Your Money For Something...

Well, the Bucs certainly aren't making any free agents wealthy. Maybe it's time that they made a couple of their home-grown players sweat the Bush tax cuts. For example, have you ever wondered what it will take to get Andrew McCutchen signed long term? Here's a couple of recent examples of contracts for players of similar age and talent:

-- The Reds just inked Jay Bruce to a six-year, $51M deal that will keep him in Cincy through 2016. He gets a $13M option in 2017 with a $1M buyout, a partial no-trade clause and the chance to earn more money with award bonuses.

The 23 year old batted .281/.353/.493 with 25 homers as Cincinnati's everyday right fielder in 2010.

-- D-Back Justin Upton's six-year, $51.25M deal will keep him in Arizona for all of his arbitration seasons and his first two years of free agency. The 23 year old signed the deal in March after a 2009 line of .300/26/86. He remains under team control through 2015, with very limited (4 teams) no-trade protection and no option year.

-- The 162-game averages for the three players, from Baseball Reference:

Bruce (3 years) .257/.327/.474 25-2B, 31-HR, 82-RBI, 80-RS, 5-SB
Upton (4 years) .272/.352/.471 32-2B, 23-HR, 80-RBI, 87-RS, 16-SB
McCutch (2 years) .286/.365/.459 38-2B, 17-HR, 68-RBI, 104-RS, 34-SB

McCutchen is 24 (he has an October birthday), and has a good chance of hitting his Super 2 arbitration status after 2011. A six-year deal after next season will keep him under Pirate control until 2017, and the FO have the Bruce and Upton contracts to serve as guides.

Will the Pirates step up to the plate for McCutch?


WilliamJPellas said...

They darn well better step up and sign him. If they do not, they are simply not serious about building a legitimate contender here in Pittsburgh. It's that simple.

Ron Ieraci said...

Wil, I disagreed, as you did, about dismantling the whole club and starting from scratch. But it was the road they chose, so I accepted that the play would be bad for a while and the salaries minimum wage.

But if what they've shown so far this season - their fourth - is any indication of the future, we're in trouble big. In fact, I think I've hit on the subject of tomorrow's post, lol.

WilliamJPellas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WilliamJPellas said...

You know I'm with you, Cap'n! That said, even with the current "plan", it's STILL possible (in a "if everything breaks just right and we're really REALLY good at what we do" sort of way) to win---again, the Marlins and Rays and to a lesser degree the Twins have proven it. In practical terms, that means that if the team is going to continue to load up the minor league system---and by the way, THAT is no sure thing, either---but if so, surely you could start making some kids-for-veterans-who-can-help-right-now trades instead of it always being the other way around.

But it still doesn't look good. I guess I'll just come out and say it: I've wondered for years how a businessman who owns a ski resort and a big stake in the dying newspaper industry is supposed to have the financial means even to compete with other small market clubs, let alone jump in the deep end with the big boys. If this is the "best" Bob Nutting brings to the table, he should do the honorable thing and sell the team immediately to someone with deeper pockets. He would cash out at a profit and he would unquestionably be the recipient of a lot more goodwill than if he continues on the current course.