December 10, 2016

Details of how #Cardinals GM John Mozeliak overpaid for Dexter Fowler

Dexter Fowler: Get used
to him, Cards fans!
So, former Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler is now a Cardinal. So much for rumors, reported by Bernie Miklasz and others, that he did not want to play for the Cardinals. Also so much for rumors that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak did not want to give him a long-term deal, as in not above four years.

I guess 5 years, $82.5 million WITH full no-trade will make Dexter slobber all over Mo, Mike Matheny and whoever else needs slobbering.

But surely, St. John of Mozeliak would offset the no-trade clause (on the likelihood Redbirdster Dexter would accept a trade) by front-loading the contract, like he did three years ago with Jhonny Peralta.

You would be wrong.

Per Cot's Contracts, the contract is NOT frontloaded. Yes, it's not likely that Fowler would waive the no-trade. But maybe? Maybe, three years in, if he was "getting his" anyway, he might get more tired of one or the other of the M&M brothers?

Yes, we're in the land of overpays. And, if Keith Law thinks the Birds "got good value," I know the team didn't. Mark Saxon, also at Great Red Satan, says its a contract "some in the industry view as market-altering."  Count me as part of that; the full no-trade for a person on the back half of their career is indeed that. In fact, I will likely do an update on this.

Once again, we're in the land of overpays

It all started with the four-year/$110 million contract for Yoenis Cespedes, which was was itself an overpay under either the old or new CBAs

Then it got worse when it leaked that Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, via überagent Scott Boras, wants a 10-year, $400-million new contract. No, really. And now, Boras is boo-hooing that the new CBA hurts Latino players not yet inside the MLB system.

I had expected 4/$70 for Fowler, which would have been a little higher AAV, but a year shorter. All of that without a no-trade, of course.

I later wondered why the Cards didn't consider something like what the Cubs actually did, which set Fowler loose — sign former Card Jon Jay back to the team. I still wonder that. Is he another former Card with some sort of animosity toward the team? I mean, not everything in Shelby Miller's souring relations with the team before he was traded was his fault.

Adam Eaton sounded great in trade, but reportedly the Chisox wanted Alex Reyes as part of the deal. Before details of the Fowler signing were reported, I said I was glad Mo didn't do that. Now? Of the two options, trading Reyes and whomever else, as long as it didn't empty the cupboard, versus this? I think I'd rather he had pulled the Eaton trigger. Again, that's all pending who else might have been in the White Sox ask. I don't think I would have paid the Nationals' price. That said, Jim Bowden and his ugly wig at ESPN hate both Eaton and the trade, so he might not be that bad.

This isn't perfect. I wish they had kicked the tires further on Lorenzo Cain, if they didn't. Of course, maybe Fowler is in "buy me now" mode, and west on I-70, Royals GM Dayton Moore is NOT in "I'll trade now" mode. Ian Desmond seemed another possibility, one talked up by Mo just before he signed with the Rockies. What happened there? How did Mo let that fish get away?

Otherwise, per my scenario above, of a short-term flyer on Jay while seeing if Charlie Tilson or Harrison Bader or somebody else on the farm might be the longer-term center field answer Fowler's moderately better than Jay at drawing walks, maybe a touch better as a baserunner, but not as good a defender, which makes a deal with Fowler more puzzling yet, if it's for five years and partially because the team doesn't think Grichuk can patrol center. Why they think Fowler will help, I don't know. Even with allegedly having problems with balls straight over his head, Randal Grichuk is right now a better defensive center fielder than Fowler.

Hell, since Jimmy Edmonds is still around, why didn't anybody inquire this offseason if he could help Grichuk on going in or out on balls hit directly at him?

All still pretty head-scratching to a nagging blogger like me. With what may be a worse free-agent signing than Mike Leake. (No, Cards fans, I don't expect that one to get any better.)

And, nagging bloggers aside, the MSM St. Louis sports media will fawn over Mo's genius soon enough. Many have already started. Here's Derrick Goold, the dean, ignoring totally the Jay and Cain angles, talking about payroll the Cards have coming off the boards and more, with nary a question of "was this the best angle to pursue"?

Maybe that's why we nagging bloggers nag, Mo.

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