Wednesday, January 19, 2005

That's a Lotta Hooch

Johan Santana, 2004 AL Cy Young winner
34 starts, 20-6, 2.61 ERA, 265 Ks, 228 IP, 10.5 K/9, 156 hits allowed, 54 BB allowed, 0.92 WHIP, .192 opponent batting average

Age: 25
2004 salary: $1.6 million
2005 seeking: $6.8 million
2005 offered: $5 million

Roger Clemens, 2004 NL Cy Young winner
33 starts, 18-4, 2.98 ERA, 218 Ks, 214.1 IP, 9.2 K/9, 169 hits allowed, 79 BB allowed, 1.16 WHIP, .217 opponent batting average

Age: 42
2004 salary: $5 million base, $1.825 earned in incentives
2005 seeking: $22 million
2005 offered: $13.5 million

As someone who considers himself grossly underpaid, I feel compelled take up Johan's cause here. So you're telling me, the guy with the better stats in every single category, including the best second half for a pitcher in decades, is only asking for $7 million and the Twinkies don't even want to pay it? You're telling me that even if Johan gets his money and Clemens doesn't get his, Roger will still be making twice as much as the best young pitcher in the game? You're telling me that if Johan doesn't get his money and Clemens gets his, Johan will be making four and a half times less than a 42-year-old hurler? Maaan, that's the balls.

It's obvious that Santana is going to win his arbitration case. But now comes word that the Angels yesterday signed Jarrod Washburn to a $6.5 million contract, which may or may not seem that ridiculous, depending on who you are. But is it not silly that Jarrod Washburn (11-8, 4.64 ERA, .269 opponent batting average with only 86 Ks) will make pretty much the same amount of money as the guy who put up one of the most insane post-All Star breaks of all time? Dare I say, that's craisins.

On the other hand, Clemens made more than $10 million a year from 2001-2003, and took a 50 percent paycut to pitch for Houston for one year. And since the 'Stros lost some key cogs in the machine that got them to within nine innings of the World Series, the seven-time Cy Young winner is certainly entitled to some extra cash for last year's generosity and for his incentive to return to a weaker team this year. Right? But given a starting rotation that lost Wade Miller and may or may not have Pettitte's balky elbow for the entire year, Clemens is clearly in control here. He can demand whatever he wants to demand: His ballclub needs him a lot more than he needs the ballclub.

And that's the way it is with a Hall of Fame pitcher. He gets his money no matter what. You lost Beltran? Fuck you, pay me. Kent to the Dodgers? Fuck you, pay me. The bandbox in Houston can't hold a longball? Fuck you, pay me. He'll get whatever he wants in the end, and Johan Santana will be pitching lights out for about a third of the price. Gotta love the free market...


At 2:21 PM, Blogger ethan said...

the latest signings are all over the place:

bronson arroyo - $1.85 mil up from 330k
mark bellhorn - 2.75 mil up from 490k
julio lugo - asking 3.8 mil, drays offering 3.1
izturis - signed 3 year 9+ mil deal
jimmy rollins - 3.85 mil
polanco - 4.6 mil

and compare that with:
marcus giles - made 430k, asking 2.7, braves offering 2.1.
dunn - 4.6 mil
c. wilson - 3 mil

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

There he is, I expected you to be all over this story, Ethan.

Yeah, the market is all over the place right now -- I just can't see Placido Polanco making just a little bit less than Johan Santana. Doesn't add up.

You think Rocket pitches this year or no? For $18 mil (he's not going to arbitration, they'll do something before that), I bet he comes back. Might as well, the guy is still throwin' darts out there.


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