Wednesday, May 7

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Just saw this article and, though it's not directly Tribe-related, is relevant to the club.

The Indians, in recent years (and during its mid-'90's heyday), have made deals with young players that sweeten their early club-controlled years with security and overpayment in exchange for relatively bank-friendly later years. Quite to the contrary, Braves 1B Mark Texiera is opting out of that scheme, and seems headed for a giant free-agent payday this offseason. He recently turned down $140 million (read that again, if necessary) over 8 years from the Rangers and is seeking far more (over $20MM per season for >8 seasons).

Speaking honestly, I hope his plan fails. I want him to end up with $0, or at least a lot less than he initially turned down. This mercenary attitude towards sports annoys me, as does Texiera's self-admittedly greedy attitude. I'm not typically this vindictive, but I really hope Texiera's production takes a sharp downturn this season, making him far less attractive on the open market.

There are some funny quotes in the story. Like to hear two? Here they are:

1) "I think we'll have a better sense of [the negotations] when the season's over," Braves GM Frank Wren. Read as: we will never, ever, sign this guy.

2) Texiera, regarding the Orioles: "The Orioles are close to my heart." Read that as: I will sign with the Orioles as long as they offer >$1 more than every other team.

Why pretend? I feel like I've said this before, but why not just admit you will take the offer from the highest bidder even if it means playing on Jupiter? I'm sure at some point he'll say he's just looking for a "fair" deal, which simply means he'll take the most money possible, wherever that may be.

What interests me is: will he really make as much as he's expecting as a free agent? Only a handful of clubs are able to pay what he and his hardball agent (without actually looking and basing my whole article on the headline, I guarantee it's Boras or Rosenhaus...OK, looked it up, it's Boras) will demand. Free agent signings like his are almost always plagued with injury and declines in performance, and I think maybe most teams have learned their lesson by now. Sure, it only takes one, but in today's managerially-strict MLB is there even one club looking to sign Texiera for $898 million guaranteed over 37 years? Even the ├╝ber-rich Yankees have reexamined their free-agent model.

The funniest thing would be for Texiera to end up with less than his peers who elected to take a stable route with the club they've always played for. I know it's early in the year, but his OPS is 150 points lower than his career average. He'll end up with a pile of cash no matter what, but I think/hope he'll settle for fewer $$$$$$ than currently occupy his gilded dreams.

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