December 09, 2016

Looks like #Cardinals WILL overpay for Dexter Fowler (updated)

So much for rumors, reported by Bernie Miklasz and others, that Cubs free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler 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.

Derrick Goold at the Post-Dispatch and others are reporting a 5-year, $80-million deal is in the offing.

Oh, it's even worse. 5/$82.5 WITH full no-trade.

On salary, it may not be a huge overpay, especially if Mo front-loads the contract, like he did three years ago with Jhonny Peralta. But, he only gave Peralta four years. And, unlike with Peralta, per Cot's Contracts, the contract is NOT frontloaded.

Yes, we're in the land of overpays. And, if Keith Law thinks the Birds "got good value," I know they 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.

Overpay.

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 be a higher AAV, but by "just" $1.5M per year. (Update: at $82.5, not $80, the AAV is equal.) I later wondered why the Cards didn't consider something like what the Cubs actually did, which set Fowler lose — sign former Card Jon Jay back to the team. C'mon, Redbird fans, you'd have taken him, even with recent injury concerns, at 1 year, $8 million. (Is he another former Card with some sort of animosity toward the team?)

Adam Eaton sounded great in trade, but reportedly the Chisox wanted Alex Reyes as part of the deal, and I'm glad Mo said no, if that was true.

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.

Otherwise, per my scenario, 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, Grichuk is right now a better defensive center fielder than Fowler.

Makes me wonder yet more if Mo doesn't have some tiff with Jay or vice versa.

And, of course, Mo will blame naggers among social media users and bloggers for riding his case over this. Yep, that's me.

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