The Red Sox aren’t really a comfy topic right now. So here’s a second post on the Ryan Howard deal. Fangraphs compares Howard’s contract to other historic WAR (wins above replacement) and figures that a “reasonable” projection for Howard’s contract would have been right around 77 million dollars–far below the 125 million he’s ensured.
They also look more closely at the WAR numbers for top players in their mid-30’s and conclude:
So, you have a one-third chance of being Jim Thome, a one-third chance of being Frank Thomas, and a one-third chance of being Mo Vaughn.
Ryan Howard was paid like he had a 100% chance of being Jim Thome.
I’m pretty sure the title to this post says everything I have to say on the matter. Both players are beloved in their respective markets. Both players signed lucrative extensions after their 30th birthday. If there is a difference: Ortiz’s contract (12.5 million per year) is half of Howard’s contract (25 million per year)–and Ortiz was considered something of a bargain when he signed that deal. Compared to A-Rod’s monstrous contract for similar production, it seemed as if the Red Sox were locking up one of the game’s most dominant hitters for a nice price. Now Howard will essentially make the same money as Rodriguez. Questions regarding the wisdom of Howard’s deal are flying around before the ink even has a chance to dry.
If the 1/2 hour of ESPN I listened to on the ride to work is indicative of how today’s response to Howard’s deal has gone, then its probably cliche to remark that big, long swinging sluggers usually don’t age well. So, Phillie fans, I’ll say it again:
Here’s to hoping Ryan Howard ages better than David Ortiz.