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The three year plan

Discussion in 'Miami Marlins' started by Nny, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. ...

    ... Sun

    Unfortunately, the entire concept of "front-loading" is ridiculous.

    Which is why no one has ever done it and no one ever will.
  2. MarlinsLou

    MarlinsLou Bonifaciennes Unite!

    I guess you could argue, if an owner is willing to spend X on a guaranteed contract he will be willing to do it in any given season so it doesn't matter when playing in a world without a salary cap, but you are very wrong if you do not think there are serious and real tax implications where owners don't want to approve overall payrolls over a certain level or inversely, players getting funds up front as a serious enticement in signing a deal or picking one deal over another. Say for example the Yankees front loading a deal to combat against Texas' natural advantage of no state income tax. It can balance the scales if the team can handle the money up front.

    The sport is becoming smarter and more competitive. You're going to see all sorts of unique deals soon and teams using payroll strategy to attempt to get a competitive edge over other teams. The arbitration buyout has only been around about 10-15 years, that was never going to happen 20 years ago. I'd be cautious speaking in absolutes. And saying that, the Marlins should absolutely attempt to deflect Stanton and Fernandez. It's smart payroll strategy and keeps things manageable so there is payroll consistency, and not fluke insanely expensive years where the owner may be reluctant to add that extra money. Let alone the added benefit of having the backend of guys contracts being cheaper and therefore an easier trade if that is a scenario down the road.
  3. ...

    ... Sun

    Well, certainly there are tax implications in the equation of FL/TX/WA versus other states (plus cities) with an income tax.

    But, it only applies to half of all games -- the home games. As for the other 81 games, you're subject to the vagaries of the schedule-makers on a year-to-year basis over the term your multi-year deal. Somewhat, but not totally predictable.

    You may have a 10-year deal, but the inter-league play rules may change mid-contract, as they just did and you might wind up playing more (or more highly) taxed games than you thought you would. Or, you might get traded from the NL to the AL or vice versa. Or from division to division within a league.

    I don't know if any agent has been smart enough to have demanded a contractual compensation provision for his player if he was adversely affected tax-wise by a trade or by a mid-contract MLB rule change or a scheduling or alignment change. Some players surely were.

    All of which means that the Marlins, Rays, Rangers, Astros and Mariners can offer a little less money and be competitive. A MLB franchise in South Dakota, Alaska, Nevada or Wyoming could join our little 5-team state-tax-free club if such a thing ever comes into existence.

    This paper suggests that the zero-state-income-tax advantage is on the order of 2-3%:
    http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1209.pdf

    Which makes perfect sense. State/city income taxes run 4-5-6% on the road games you play for the 5 zero state-income-tax teams in FL/TX/WA. Half taxed and half not taxed results in a 2-3% advantage.

    Clubs in places with state and/or city income taxes have to pay a little more for the same talent. The Yankees are well aware of this, as is everyone else in states with state and/or city income taxes. They've been paying their tax penalty for decades. It's a 2-3% factor that has been widely understood for many years.

    But, there is no salary cap in MLB, and until there is there is no chance that any multi-year game-playing or other distortions due to it will take place. Absent some rule change, no owner in their right mind will front-load any contract. Owners aren't stupid. They will continue to back-load both their cash and risk as much as they can. If someone sticks their neck out and tries front-loading, the other 29 owners will laugh because under the existing rules, it's just a silly thing to do.

    One could say that a 24 mill contract as 8-8-8 is "front-loaded" to the extent that it should have been done as 7-8-9 or 6-8-10, but that's about as far as it will ever go. And that already happens. We did it with Buck as 6-6-6. Nobody is ever going to pay a Stanton or any comparable talent 25-20-20-15-15-10 or 20-18-16-14-12-10 (just examples of front-loading) to make him more attractive on the back-end or for any other reason.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  4. Nny

    Nny JohNNY

    Now it is a special case, but A-Rod's is front loaded. 157m the first 5 years (~31.5m per), 118m the last 5 years (~23.5m per).

    He does have an extra 30m in HR incentives to bring the contract to a more even stand point though. But it's unlikely he'll hit all of them (Would have to average over 27 HR the next four years, and he's averaged less than 14 the past 3). Hell, it's questionable if he'll even hit two of the milestones (he'll have to average 15 HR to tie Ruth's 714).
  5. Nny

    Nny JohNNY

    Yeah, it's really hard to justify the Furcal signing if you're not building to win in 2014. Signing a 36yo who hasn't played in a year with a combined 83 OPS+ the two seasons prior to that is just...

    If you're going to sign somebody in a building-for-the-future, it should be young risk signs like McGehee/Jones. Polanco and Pierre at least made more sense last year since we didn't have young guys to even play at the start of the year. Now they just spent 3.5m for someone who likely won't help us this year and blocks someone who might help us in the future.

    Oh well
  6. Nny

    Nny JohNNY

    If Addison Reed can net Matt Davidson, I'd think it wouldn't really take more than Cishek to get Franklin.

    It's definitely what we need to aim for when trading him though. Preferable a SS, but with so many SS options in the next FA class it'd more important to get the better IF player even if it's a 1B instead of a MI.
  7. Nny

    Nny JohNNY

    It's important not to look at Alvarez and Eovaldi as front line starters because then one will likely be disappointed. Both both have been in the major for 3 years now and have shown the ability to be average SP, with a ERA+ that'll probably hover around 100 going forward. And there is most definitely value in average SP.

    This also goes for Heaney. It's generally the smart thing to be conservative when projecting. It's better to project him as an average SP than as a front line because it's more realistic that that'll be the outcome. There are few aces in the majors yet a lot of top SP prospects for a reason.

    The biggest thing to me is that they stay injury free. You never know with SP in that regard, and both had issues last season.

    Turner and his career 4.64 FIP is a different issue though.
  8. el penguino

    el penguino Marlin

    The Cardinals signed Peralta to a substantially front-loaded contract. I don't see the rest of baseball laughing at them for that, probably because they realize that Peralta will likely see his production diminish by 2017.
    MarlinsLou likes this.
  9. FutureGM

    FutureGM All Star

    Teams would probably prefer to sign front-loaded deals, but the players have leveraged themselves into backloading.

    I think a lot of things have to be assessed after this season:

    -Is Cishek still around?
    -Did the young pitching staff regress? (I have to imagine based on how common that is that at least one will have a down year)
    -Is Moran ready to step in for 2015 as a permanent third baseman?
    -Do we have a long-term first baseman? (Not sure if it's realistic to convert one of the outfielders to 1B or not, probably not)
    -Figuring out second base, since we don't really have long-term options there unless you are high on Dietrich for some reason.
    -Are we going to see Hech continue to be the starting shortstop if he continues to not hit at the MLB level again?
  10. Giancarlo Stanton

    Giancarlo Stanton Grasshopper

    I like your outlook on things. However, I'd like to see us go after a great FA.
  11. MarlinsLou

    MarlinsLou Bonifaciennes Unite!

    This needs to play out for sure, but I'm not worried about the pitching.

    I would imagine Cishek (and Dunn) are 99% gone in June/July and that nets at least a very good young position player who is MLB ready in 2015. That is going to save Loria $2 mil this season too. The bullpen can easily survive with Ramos, Capps, pick 3 of Caminero/Koehler/Wittgren/DeScalfani/Dyson/Sanchez and pick 2 of Jennings/Dayton/Olmos/Flynn/Conley. They can have a huge flameout rate and still have a likely above average pen club controlled pen for 4-6 seasons. There are some other ancillary arms like Brice and the 2013 crop that could emerge too. They are in good shape here.

    As for the young starting pitching regressing, it's always a possibility, but they have so many arms projected to be 3/4 starters right now and MLB ready by the end of this season (Alvarez, Eovaldi, Nicolino, Turner, DeScalfani, Flynn, Conley) that you have to imagine at least two of them work out. That's all they 'need' as you imagine Fernandez, Heaney, and likely # 2 pick in 2014 draft (Rodon, Hoffman) are the rest of the 'long term' rotation and that is in place by the end of 2015. I think the most important thing here is Heaney becoming the next Bumgarner. That's the big "if" for me with all the pitchers, as if that happens, that could turn this group from good to great. The second most important thing is hoping from that group above more than "2" make it, so maybe they could trade one or more of them for some help offensively. I think that is something to hope for, not count on though, when penciling in the team.

    It's just a question of who makes it for the staff, not an if like the bats. They have safety in numbers with the arms (especially if they take a SP #2 in draft which I think is smart) to make this work.

    As for the bats, Moran and Hech, those are wait and sees like you say. So are Yelich, Ozuna, Marisnick, and Dietrich too. And hell Stanton staying healthy for 150. They absolutely have no longterm corner infielder across from Moran in the system. Who makes it? That's the # 1 question. Could be great if Yelich and Moran become above average and they get solid starters out of Marisnick and Hech, or they could just get 1 or 2 average guys. Should be interesting.
  12. Wild Card

    Wild Card Batting Third

    The good thing is they just have so many arms, even if they sniff a competing team, they can deal for an impact bat at anytime.
  13. Hotcorner

    Hotcorner Teal Avenger .

    so at least short-term, seems like the only thing on the to-do list (addressing the Stanton issue goes without saying) is to look at dealing Cishek & Dunn and get back a good young IF. Other than that it's just wait & watch to see which kids make it.

    and it would seem that the best way to fill the 1B hole long-term is for Marisnick to just hit his weight. They'd love to put him out in CF, then you shift one of the other OF to 1B.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  14. BenderRobot

    BenderRobot Hello! VIP

    I do agree mostly with this (and it'd be Yelich or Stanton most likely). Marisnick hitting his weight would be fine, but it has to be with power, not what he was doing. Only 4 XBH in 109 at bats in his time up. All comes with adjustment, of course.

    Issue there, though, is playing time. If Ozuna and Yelich are doing well, and Stanton is healthy and producing, where do you put Marisnick to give him the ABs? I guess AAA for the time being.
  15. Hotcorner

    Hotcorner Teal Avenger .

    Yeah I give him all 2014 in AAA. Or at least most of it. Hell for that matter I'd start Ozuna down there too but that won't happen. (Do the Marlins even remember that we have a AAA team?)

    He's still developing, only 22 and was another one of the pointless call-ups the Marlins made last season. He was doing just fine in AA Jax then they promote him and basically wasted the second half of the season. Agree with you on the power - I was just speaking in general. (Come to think of it, hitting .225 would suck because he's not gonna walk much either). But whatever, if Jake gets a home run stroke going (Matt Dominguez anyone?) I'd take it & run.

    The defense is there, no need to rush the bat.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  16. BenderRobot

    BenderRobot Hello! VIP

    Yeah, the .225 would suck, but if it comes with some power (15 homers and maybe 25-30 doubles), then that'd be fine at the bottom part of the lineup. Think Alex Gonzalez 2004.
  17. MarlinsLou

    MarlinsLou Bonifaciennes Unite!

    You just keep whomever in AAA for right now. 2014 is all about development, they ain't winning the pennant. Marisnick and/or Ozuna could use time in the minors so I don't think that is an issue even if everyone is excelling. Saying that, longterm if all 4 of them work out and they don't trade one, I agree that Yelich or Stanton move to 1B as the weaker defensive options. Stanton and Yelich's core value is going to be their hit tool, so moving them to 1B would have much less impact as the team as a whole. Marisnick and Ozuna's value are going to be tied to their defense, especially Marisnick in CF. If they turn out to each be .250/.310/.400 hitters, they are probably 2.5+ WAR starters with their expected defense, which wouldn't translate to the infield. If they slug .450+ plus, Marlins are looking real good.

    We'll see what happens, but they'll all get 600+ PA this year if healthy. It'll be interesting to see what they do if they all work out. But I imagine someone sucks or gets hurt and makes the choices easy.
    BenderRobot likes this.
  18. MarlinsLou

    MarlinsLou Bonifaciennes Unite!

    That's what I would do. My organizational top 3 priorities from now until July 31st would be:

    1. Sign Stanton longterm, 6/$90 and try and put as much of that as possible in 2014-2016. Full no trade clause 4 years.
    2. Sign Fernandez longterm, 6/$40 and team option for $15 mil, which is more than what Bumgarner got in very comparable circumstances (Bumgarner has a guaranteed 5/$35, or 7/$53 with team options)
    3. Trade Cishek/Dunn (and maybe Furcal, G. Jones, McGehee, and anyone else not important depending on circumstances) for infielders and arms at deadline

    It's just wait and see who works out on absolutely everyone else and reassess after the year. I expect 1 of these things to happen.
  19. BenderRobot

    BenderRobot Hello! VIP

    I'd personally want to keep Cishek, although if we can get a really solid middle / corner infielder (first base, moreso), then I'd be all for it.

    Lou - who would you have close in the event of Cishek being dealt? Ramos?
  20. MarlinsLou

    MarlinsLou Bonifaciennes Unite!

    I have a conceptual problem paying Cishek around $6.5-7 mil next year (2015) for 70 innings pitched, when they have an absolute slew of legit RHP arms (Ramos, Capps, Caminero, Wittgren, Koehler, Dyson, Sanchez, Urena, and DeScalfani) in the high minors. I think the only way you pay for saves is if everything else on the team is taken care of and there is extra payroll (clearly a situation Marlins are not in, but someone like Oakland may be in right now who are acquiring high price relievers like Johnson and Gregerson, etc.). Secondly, I think Cishek's throwing motion is a time bomb so if they can get a good young infielder for him, that's less risky moving forward. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying his arm is going to blow out and I like Cishek a lot, but given the circumstances, he's probably worth more in trade for this team come July (I'd trade him now for the right deal though).

    As for next guy for saves, let performance dictate it, although you'd imagine Ramos and Capps are next up. I'm really not concerned with the pen at all nor who gets the saves. I'm more into the big picture. They probably can field an above average bullpen and fill their entire bullpen with current arm talent on the team and system for between $5-7 million per year for at least the next 5 seasons. Which is incredible to think about when LOOGYs like Boone Logan are making that per season in free agency and top closers are making double that per year.

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