Blue Jays: Spending wisely on contracts during the rebuild
One of the things that I am really enjoying about our current regime is how each of their moves has a purpose, well thought out and not just throwing big money contracts because they can.
Have you ever heard the term, enjoy the reaps now, pay for the sins later? Well guess what, we are paying for them now.
Let’s stomach this for a brief second here, we are paying Troy Tulowitzki a cool $20 million this year to play for the cash strapped down on their luck New York Yankees. Forget for a brief second that they are one of the richest franchises in professional sports, but there Blue Jays are paying approximately $20 million just so he can play for our Lex Luthers of the AL East.
It had to be done, the Jays needed to do lt so guys like Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. can get their playing time. Now, imagine you are the Rogers cooperation, I can guarantee you their first words are not going to be “Gosh Gee Wilikers, well its only $20M, could be worse I guess.”
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Enter Russell Martin and the Dodgers, well, I guess L.A. is in the same boat as the Yankees so we will send them Martin and what the Heck, we’ll pay his salary too. I would argue about keeping Martin, he truly is exactly the type of clubhouse leader a rebuilding team could use. Totally not related, but I am sure our Rogers’ bills will be going up after all of this.
NOW. Why am I saying that the Jays are spending money wisely when in two circumstances they are supporting two MLB franchises? Simply, they are creating opportunities for what will be arguably the most important rebuild in franchise history. The talent that will be coming in from the MiLB system will be unreal and they are coming. The Jays will be grooming what we hope will be our own generational superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
But you are probably saying, “But hey Marc, isn’t this article about smart contracts?” and I say of course it is, which leads me to example number one.
David Phelps: what is not to love about this contract? A one year $2.5M with a bonus structure and a club option for 2020. Contracts like this will be essential for the Jays as they start to build. We have all heard expectations are they could contend for a playoff spot in 2020, but I am going to be more realistic and say 2021, and let’s not put more pressure on these kids than needed.
Signing contracts like this will allow the team to experiment with bounce back players that could theoretically plug some holes until they’re are ready to spend the big bucks on key additions. I can already hear Rogers supporting this plan. I know its exciting to hear the Blue Jays name in big-time free agent pursuits, but why waste a couple years of their contract, also possibly finding out they are not exactly what you need until this young team is ready.
Another good example is Matt Shoemaker, didn’t have the greatest year last year, but prior seasons have shown that this man can pitch. At $3.5M here is another example of either buy low, sell high, or see what he can do as a future number three or four in the rotation following this season. If he exceeds expectations then they could negotiate another contract with him at the end of the season, and if he does not, then the Jays are at least not handcuffed again with a bad contract. Also there is another bonus tier in place based on innings pitched.
Personally I think both of these additions will provide great value for our young team, they have a lot to prove and will be pitching for jobs in 2020. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are now running with their plan, and I think we should be excited about what the future will hold, as long as the money will be spent wisely, and stupid trades are not made.