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The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!

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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 10:25 AM Post
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More like Yel-ick, amirite?


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 10:32 AM Post
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Wait, maybe Smell-ich.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 10:51 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
Jopal78! said:
Unless you truly believe a team should never pay market rates for players I don't understand the gripe with Ryan Braun. Sure, he had a lot of nagging injuries that kept him out of the lineup, but when he was healthy he produced.

According to baseball reference Braun had a career WAR of 47.1 in 14 seasons and earned 144 million dollars in his career

Matt Holiday had a career WAR of 44.5 in 15 seasons and earned 159 million dollars.
Justin Upton has a career WAR of 32.7 in 15 seasons and has earned 173 million dollars
Andrew McCutcheon has a career WAR 46 in 13 seasons and has earned 114 million dollars.
Magglio Ordonez had a career WAR of 38.8 in 15 seasons and earned 133 million dollars (in an era with somewhat lower player salaries).

Unless the argument is: the team would have hypothetically been better with a hypothetical collection of players playing for the amount of money the Brewers spent on Braun, I don't understand the complaint. The Brewers paid market rate for an above average slugger and while he was injured more than anyone would have liked, he produced on par with other star quality outfielders of his era.

Its similar with Yelich, there's an inherent risk in signing veteran players to long-term market rate contracts. Star quality veteran players simply don't sign cut-rate contracts or short term deals. Philosophically, if someone believes a team should just have a revolving cast year to year and not play with any veteran players that's fine, but otherwise complaining that the Brewers paid market rate for a player seems like an exercise in shouting at the clouds.


I don't care what his career WAR is, almost all of it was prior to the extension. We paid Braun over $100mil over five years for him to average 1.7 WAR, that is what matters. What he did prior to that extension just doesn't mean anything. We could have paid Braun like $40mil over 9 years for 35ish WAR. Now THAT would have been amazing. They didn't do that though. They gave him $100mil+ half a decade before he would hit FA as a 32 year old.

Of the five seasons of that extension Ryan Braun failed to have a WAR over 1.0 three of the years (via Bref). Another year was only 1.7 WAR. That is terrible, any random OFer off the street can give you 1.7 WAR a year. Tyrone Taylor had like 1.5 WAR this year. Keon Broxton did that twice for us.

I am glad Ryan Braun wasn't Vernon Wells...or apparently Christian Yelich, but it really just wasn't a wise decision and really didn't end up that great.


Well said. There was a time when all players got paid for what they did as opposed to what they'll probably do in the future. I think there is some argument to be made for doing that when a the team got the good part of the players career on the cheap. In that sense maybe the Yelich contract is more acceptable than Braun's. It also might help attract other free agents because the team in known to reward it's players. But that doesn't make either of their actual contracts any better from a pay for production standpoint.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 11:25 AM Post
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For what it's worth, Hiura didn't strike out even once in the NLDS.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 11:27 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
Jopal78! said:
Unless you truly believe a team should never pay market rates for players I don't understand the gripe with Ryan Braun. Sure, he had a lot of nagging injuries that kept him out of the lineup, but when he was healthy he produced.

According to baseball reference Braun had a career WAR of 47.1 in 14 seasons and earned 144 million dollars in his career

Matt Holiday had a career WAR of 44.5 in 15 seasons and earned 159 million dollars.
Justin Upton has a career WAR of 32.7 in 15 seasons and has earned 173 million dollars
Andrew McCutcheon has a career WAR 46 in 13 seasons and has earned 114 million dollars.
Magglio Ordonez had a career WAR of 38.8 in 15 seasons and earned 133 million dollars (in an era with somewhat lower player salaries).

Unless the argument is: the team would have hypothetically been better with a hypothetical collection of players playing for the amount of money the Brewers spent on Braun, I don't understand the complaint. The Brewers paid market rate for an above average slugger and while he was injured more than anyone would have liked, he produced on par with other star quality outfielders of his era.

Its similar with Yelich, there's an inherent risk in signing veteran players to long-term market rate contracts. Star quality veteran players simply don't sign cut-rate contracts or short term deals. Philosophically, if someone believes a team should just have a revolving cast year to year and not play with any veteran players that's fine, but otherwise complaining that the Brewers paid market rate for a player seems like an exercise in shouting at the clouds.


I don't care what his career WAR is, almost all of it was prior to the extension. We paid Braun over $100mil over five years for him to average 1.7 WAR, that is what matters. What he did prior to that extension just doesn't mean anything. We could have paid Braun like $40mil over 9 years for 35ish WAR. Now THAT would have been amazing. They didn't do that though. They gave him $100mil+ half a decade before he would hit FA as a 32 year old.

Of the five seasons of that extension Ryan Braun failed to have a WAR over 1.0 three of the years (via Bref). Another year was only 1.7 WAR. That is terrible, any random OFer off the street can give you 1.7 WAR a year. Tyrone Taylor had like 1.5 WAR this year. Keon Broxton did that twice for us.

I am glad Ryan Braun wasn't Vernon Wells...or apparently Christian Yelich, but it really just wasn't a wise decision and really didn't end up that great.


What get's left out is 2016 when he had a WAR of 4.3. From Braun '16-'20 he had a WAR of 7.9 (Bref); Fangraphs is more generous at 8.4.

Frangraphs calculates that in the winter of 2020 a win in free agency cost 9.1 million dollars (Of course every website has a different computation as it's mostly speculative). Nonetheless by that Metric (7.9 WAR x 9.1 or 8.4 WAR x 9.1) you get 72- 76 million dollars. It was simply not as un-wise or foolish as you suggest.

If you're sour because you would have preferred a conglomeration of assorted free agents or Keon Broxton, Tyrone Taylor, Domingo Santana etc. to provide that 7.9 to 8.4 WAR for less money, I suppose that's a fair point. It, however, ignores the volatility from year to year in those players and is certainly speculative.

That the Brewers chose to extend a consistent known commodity at a market rate is what most teams try to do; and often before said player reaches the end of their contract. It's no different with Yelich; and in both cases we can be positive the team appreciated the risk they might be left holding the bag before offering the extensions in the first place.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 11:49 AM Post
Posts: 26758
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

Yes, teams do extend players early but most teams do NOT extend a player 3-5 years out from their prospective free agency when said player will be in their 30s when the extension years hit. It's one thing to look to buy out arbitration and potential free agency years of a young 0 to 3 year player like they did with Freddy Peralta. However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.

When a player is numerous years away from free agency, the biggest thing standing in the way between the player and free agency is the uncertainty of time. That uncertainty is why many players like Peralta preferred to take guaranteed money now and avoid the potential consequences of the uncertainty. When you extend a player years away from free agency, you assume the entire risk for that period of uncertainty. There is no way of knowing how the market value for that player between the time when they sign the new contract and when it actually begins. In Braun's case, that lapse was FIVE full seasons. In Yelich's case, it was three.

Look what happened in those 5 years with Braun -- injuries, two PED scandals, one 65 game suspension, and a whole lot of regression.

The 3 years with Yelich have been riddled with even more regression. What would Yelich's market value look like right now? Note, the Brewers would STILL have an option on him for this year. Even after all that has happened, Yelich would STILL not be a free agent yet.

Any way you slice it, the Brewers backed themselves into a corner unnecessarily with the Braun extension. Again, Ryan Braun was not a free agent for another 5 years when he signed his extension.

Rather than learning from the experience, the Brewers instead quite literally doubled down on it with Christian Yelich. And now they're paying the price, both by the amount of sunk cost that is going into Yelich and the continuous forcing of Yelich into high leverage spots in the order that he is no longer qualified for.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:00 PM Post
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adambr2 said:
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.



It is the only way small market teams can keep generational players. If one wants to argue they should never try to do that, I think that is probably fair based on how these usually pan out. But if you wait until say, 2 years out from FA the player is not risking as much by playing it out and is less inclined to sign. He can wait for a number that the small market team has no chance to match.

This doesn't really matter for the Dodgers and the big kids on the block. They can just wait for FA or a year before and do it then and eat the cost. They can afford to buy out the risk of waiting.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:12 PM Post
Posts: 16234
Jopal78! said:
What get's left out is 2016 when he had a WAR of 4.3. From Braun '16-'20 he had a WAR of 7.9 (Bref); Fangraphs is more generous at 8.4.

Frangraphs calculates that in the winter of 2020 a win in free agency cost 9.1 million dollars (Of course every website has a different computation as it's mostly speculative). Nonetheless by that Metric (7.9 WAR x 9.1 or 8.4 WAR x 9.1) you get 72- 76 million dollars. It was simply not as un-wise or foolish as you suggest.

If you're sour because you would have preferred a conglomeration of assorted free agents or Keon Broxton, Tyrone Taylor, Domingo Santana etc. to provide that 7.9 to 8.4 WAR for less money, I suppose that's a fair point. It, however, ignores the volatility from year to year in those players and is certainly speculative.

That the Brewers chose to extend a consistent known commodity at a market rate is what most teams try to do; and often before said player reaches the end of their contract. It's no different with Yelich; and in both cases we can be positive the team appreciated the risk they might be left holding the bag before offering the extensions in the first place.


It doesn't get out...it is just over 50% of the production he provided. You can use the Fangraphs number....but I don't know that 1.8 instead of 1.7 makes it any better.

The $ per WAR thing is just inaccurate, they are a million problems with it and it makes no sense in most cases. No one is paying Mike Trout $70mil a year and 1 WAR hitters aren't making $9mil. It totally ignores the fact, at many positions like OF, anything under 2 WAR gets to be pretty easy to find. Lorenzo Cain gave 2.6 WAR in 2019 largely based on defense. WAR calculations would have valued Cain at $23.5mil...I mean do you not see the problem here? If you want OF defense and a sub .700 OPS you could go pay someone a few million tops.

The Brewers also weren't signing a known commodity. Signing 32-36 year old Braun based on what he was doing at 26 is blindly gambling. You don't even have the slightest clue what you may get. Maybe signing someone two or less years before free agency, but five years? That isn't banking on a known commodity. The amount of things that could go wrong in half a decade on and off the field is long. I mean even signing someone in FA can be a total gamble on what you get because of age.

In the end I really don't care that much about the Braun deal, but I don't understand insisting on trying to sugar coat it with fluffing up his production based on past contracts and using unrealistic WAR $ stuff to rationalize how much we spent on him. It just wasn't very wise in retrospect or at the time.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:22 PM Post
Posts: 26758
OldSchoolSnapper said:
adambr2 said:
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.



It is the only way small market teams can keep generational players. If one wants to argue they should never try to do that, I think that is probably fair based on how these usually pan out. But if you wait until say, 2 years out from FA the player is not risking as much by playing it out and is less inclined to sign. He can wait for a number that the small market team has no chance to match.

This doesn't really matter for the Dodgers and the big kids on the block. They can just wait for FA or a year before and do it then and eat the cost. They can afford to buy out the risk of waiting.


Yes, I would argue that they should never try to do that.

Use your capital to lock to lock up young potential stars early in their career for their primes (Peralta, Braun's first contract). Supplement with short-term veteran deals where you think you can find a market inefficiency (Grandal, Moustakas, Wong, Eduardo Escobar).

Don't blow a quarter of your budget for the next decade on one guy just because he's currently the face of your franchise.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 1:52 PM Post
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adambr2 said:

Yes, I would argue that they should never try to do that.

Use your capital to lock to lock up young potential stars early in their career for their primes (Peralta, Braun's first contract). Supplement with short-term veteran deals where you think you can find a market inefficiency (Grandal, Moustakas, Wong, Eduardo Escobar).

Don't blow a quarter of your budget for the next decade on one guy just because he's currently the face of your franchise.


I cannot quibble with your philosophy, although I think it places equal pressure on the front office of a team like Milwaukee to act almost perfectly or wind up short handed in the talent department, than it would filling out a roster around one major star.

Mainly because the number MLB players signing pre-arbitration extensions in 2021 is few and far between compared to what it was 5-10 years ago. In most instances the players taking those extensions have been the foreign born players who signed for little bonus money as kids (Freddy Peralta, Ronald Acuna, etc). Moreover, I'm sure there were posters advocating for an extension for Keston Hiura after 2019, and often times young successful players lose it overnight and struggle to find it again.

As for finding potential market inefficiencies teams get burned all the time. For every Grandal there is a Jackie Bradley Jr., or Josh Lindblom.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 1:55 PM Post
Posts: 560
I hate the $8-$10 per WAR figure used to justify a contract. Free agents get paid $3 to $5 million per historical WAR, more or less. Because so many long-term contracts become completely abhorrent beyond all comprehension, people use those contracts/results and calculate a totally bloated figure. When you can't trade guys like that without including boat loads of cash if at all, I don't see how the figure can be used to judge what somebody is worth.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 1:56 PM Post
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We are screwed with this contract I do not see him bouncing back anytime soon. This has the possibility of being Hosmer bad. Heck Chris Davis bad even maybe.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 2:28 PM Post
Posts: 26758
Jopal78! said:
adambr2 said:

Yes, I would argue that they should never try to do that.

Use your capital to lock to lock up young potential stars early in their career for their primes (Peralta, Braun's first contract). Supplement with short-term veteran deals where you think you can find a market inefficiency (Grandal, Moustakas, Wong, Eduardo Escobar).

Don't blow a quarter of your budget for the next decade on one guy just because he's currently the face of your franchise.


I cannot quibble with your philosophy, although I think it places equal pressure on the front office of a team like Milwaukee to act almost perfectly or wind up short handed in the talent department, than it would filling out a roster around one major star.

Mainly because the number MLB players signing pre-arbitration extensions in 2021 is few and far between compared to what it was 5-10 years ago. In most instances the players taking those extensions have been the foreign born players who signed for little bonus money as kids (Freddy Peralta, Ronald Acuna, etc). Moreover, I'm sure there were posters advocating for an extension for Keston Hiura after 2019, and often times young successful players lose it overnight and struggle to find it again.

As for finding potential market inefficiencies teams get burned all the time. For every Grandal there is a Jackie Bradley Jr., or Josh Lindblom.


Yes. They won't always hit on the market inefficiency attempts. But the JBJs and Josh Lindbloms won't cripple you.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 14, 2021, 8:49 PM Post
Posts: 8649
MilwaukeeBeers said:
We are screwed with this contract I do not see him bouncing back anytime soon. This has the possibility of being Hosmer bad. Heck Chris Davis bad even maybe.


I'm confident you're going to be very wrong with that post.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 15, 2021, 6:53 AM Post
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DHonks said:
MilwaukeeBeers said:
We are screwed with this contract I do not see him bouncing back anytime soon. This has the possibility of being Hosmer bad. Heck Chris Davis bad even maybe.


I'm confident you're going to be very wrong with that post.



Just curious, what about his last two seasons leads you to believe he will be wrong?

I think there is a 50/50 shot he is correct, sadly...

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 20, 2021, 1:44 PM Post
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turborickey said:
DHonks said:
MilwaukeeBeers said:
We are screwed with this contract I do not see him bouncing back anytime soon. This has the possibility of being Hosmer bad. Heck Chris Davis bad even maybe.


I'm confident you're going to be very wrong with that post.



Just curious, what about his last two seasons leads you to believe he will be wrong?

I think there is a 50/50 shot he is correct, sadly...


Agreed. If I was a betting man, I would *not* be comfortable betting on a bounceback. The thing that kills me is I don't know why. Is it a mental hurdle from kneecap? Other nagging injuries? Something more nefarious as Yu hinted at?


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 20, 2021, 9:43 PM Post

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adambr2 said:
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

Yes, teams do extend players early but most teams do NOT extend a player 3-5 years out from their prospective free agency when said player will be in their 30s when the extension years hit. It's one thing to look to buy out arbitration and potential free agency years of a young 0 to 3 year player like they did with Freddy Peralta. However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.

When a player is numerous years away from free agency, the biggest thing standing in the way between the player and free agency is the uncertainty of time. That uncertainty is why many players like Peralta preferred to take guaranteed money now and avoid the potential consequences of the uncertainty. When you extend a player years away from free agency, you assume the entire risk for that period of uncertainty. There is no way of knowing how the market value for that player between the time when they sign the new contract and when it actually begins. In Braun's case, that lapse was FIVE full seasons. In Yelich's case, it was three.

Look what happened in those 5 years with Braun -- injuries, two PED scandals, one 65 game suspension, and a whole lot of regression.

The 3 years with Yelich have been riddled with even more regression. What would Yelich's market value look like right now? Note, the Brewers would STILL have an option on him for this year. Even after all that has happened, Yelich would STILL not be a free agent yet.

Any way you slice it, the Brewers backed themselves into a corner unnecessarily with the Braun extension. Again, Ryan Braun was not a free agent for another 5 years when he signed his extension.

Rather than learning from the experience, the Brewers instead quite literally doubled down on it with Christian Yelich. And now they're paying the price, both by the amount of sunk cost that is going into Yelich and the continuous forcing of Yelich into high leverage spots in the order that he is no longer qualified for.


I agree with this take.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 26, 2021, 6:30 PM Post
Posts: 3073
JackNicholson1974 said:
adambr2 said:
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

Yes, teams do extend players early but most teams do NOT extend a player 3-5 years out from their prospective free agency when said player will be in their 30s when the extension years hit. It's one thing to look to buy out arbitration and potential free agency years of a young 0 to 3 year player like they did with Freddy Peralta. However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.

When a player is numerous years away from free agency, the biggest thing standing in the way between the player and free agency is the uncertainty of time. That uncertainty is why many players like Peralta preferred to take guaranteed money now and avoid the potential consequences of the uncertainty. When you extend a player years away from free agency, you assume the entire risk for that period of uncertainty. There is no way of knowing how the market value for that player between the time when they sign the new contract and when it actually begins. In Braun's case, that lapse was FIVE full seasons. In Yelich's case, it was three.

Look what happened in those 5 years with Braun -- injuries, two PED scandals, one 65 game suspension, and a whole lot of regression.

The 3 years with Yelich have been riddled with even more regression. What would Yelich's market value look like right now? Note, the Brewers would STILL have an option on him for this year. Even after all that has happened, Yelich would STILL not be a free agent yet.

Any way you slice it, the Brewers backed themselves into a corner unnecessarily with the Braun extension. Again, Ryan Braun was not a free agent for another 5 years when he signed his extension.

Rather than learning from the experience, the Brewers instead quite literally doubled down on it with Christian Yelich. And now they're paying the price, both by the amount of sunk cost that is going into Yelich and the continuous forcing of Yelich into high leverage spots in the order that he is no longer qualified for.


I agree with this take.


I think about everyone was happy with the Yelich extension at the time. Most didn’t see it as a major risk since Yelich could have regressed somewhat like Braun and still be an All Star/above avg. player for most of the contract. It’s tough being hard on Stearns and Attanasio at all for this one since no one saw this type of drop in production happening. The ones complaining now are largely the same ones who applauded it then.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 26, 2021, 6:33 PM Post
Posts: 26758
rickh150 said:
JackNicholson1974 said:
adambr2 said:
Paying market rate is fine when you have to do it for an asset. Paying market rate unnecessarily is wasteful and foolish.

Yes, teams do extend players early but most teams do NOT extend a player 3-5 years out from their prospective free agency when said player will be in their 30s when the extension years hit. It's one thing to look to buy out arbitration and potential free agency years of a young 0 to 3 year player like they did with Freddy Peralta. However, extending players like Braun and Yelich on their last extensions is something different entirely and is rarely done with good reason.

When a player is numerous years away from free agency, the biggest thing standing in the way between the player and free agency is the uncertainty of time. That uncertainty is why many players like Peralta preferred to take guaranteed money now and avoid the potential consequences of the uncertainty. When you extend a player years away from free agency, you assume the entire risk for that period of uncertainty. There is no way of knowing how the market value for that player between the time when they sign the new contract and when it actually begins. In Braun's case, that lapse was FIVE full seasons. In Yelich's case, it was three.

Look what happened in those 5 years with Braun -- injuries, two PED scandals, one 65 game suspension, and a whole lot of regression.

The 3 years with Yelich have been riddled with even more regression. What would Yelich's market value look like right now? Note, the Brewers would STILL have an option on him for this year. Even after all that has happened, Yelich would STILL not be a free agent yet.

Any way you slice it, the Brewers backed themselves into a corner unnecessarily with the Braun extension. Again, Ryan Braun was not a free agent for another 5 years when he signed his extension.

Rather than learning from the experience, the Brewers instead quite literally doubled down on it with Christian Yelich. And now they're paying the price, both by the amount of sunk cost that is going into Yelich and the continuous forcing of Yelich into high leverage spots in the order that he is no longer qualified for.


I agree with this take.


I think about everyone was happy with the Yelich extension at the time. Most didn’t see it as a major risk since Yelich could have regressed somewhat like Braun and still be an All Star/above avg. player for most of the contract. It’s tough being hard on Stearns and Attanasio at all for this one since no one saw this type of drop in production happening. The ones complaining now are largely the same ones who applauded it then.


Nope, I didn't like it then for the exact reasons I just stated.


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Offline  Re: The struggles of Yelich and Hiura - Let the numbers talk!
Posted: October 26, 2021, 8:08 PM Post
Posts: 3073
Yet, adambr2, you are not most.


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