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01-16

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 366: The Clayton Kershaw Contract
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-02

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2

Skewed Left: What the End of a Nine-Figure Contract Looks Like
by
Zachary Levine

12-12

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9

Bizball: Yankees' Focus on $189 Million Not Just About the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

10-18

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29

Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-30

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 32: Joe Mauer and his Contract Clear Waivers/The Demise of Erik Bedard
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-13

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10

Overthinking It: The Adam Jones Extension Revisited
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-13

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18

Overthinking It: The Rapid Aging of A-Rod
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-04

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2

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 MLB CBA: Minimum Salaries, the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

01-27

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15

The BP Wayback Machine: Money Poorly Spent, Now and Then
by
John Perrotto

08-24

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57

The Lineup Card: 11 Disastrous Acquisitions
by
Baseball Prospectus

02-04

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7

Transaction Analysis: Weekly Roundup, January 28-February 3
by
Christina Kahrl

08-23

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7

Contractual Matters: An Airing of Grievances
by
Jeff Euston

06-16

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13

Transaction Analysis: NL East Roundup
by
Christina Kahrl

01-30

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11

Transaction Analysis: NL East Roundup
by
Christina Kahrl

01-27

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8

Transaction Analysis: AL East Moves
by
Christina Kahrl

08-28

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Future Shock: And in This Corner...
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-17

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Transaction Analysis: Camp-Opening Roundup
by
Christina Kahrl

01-27

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Every Given Sunday: The Tribe Bounces Back
by
John Perrotto

08-19

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Lies, Damned Lies: Slotto Bonanzas, Part Two
by
Nate Silver

07-26

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Transaction Analysis: American League Roundup
by
Christina Kahrl

07-19

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Lies, Damned Lies: Ned's Report Card
by
Nate Silver

07-16

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Transaction Analysis: National League Roundup
by
Christina Kahrl

03-23

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Doctoring The Numbers: Worst. Contract. Ever.
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-20

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Bad Contracts
by
John Perrotto

02-10

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Transaction Analysis: NL West and NL Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

02-07

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Transaction Analysis: AL West Catchup and Recent AL Moves
by
Christina Kahrl

02-06

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Transaction Analysis: NL Central Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

02-01

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Transaction Analysis: AL Central Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

01-31

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Transaction Analysis: NL East Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

01-30

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Transaction Analysis: AL East Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

11-30

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Transaction Analysis: November 22-29, 2006
by
Christina Kahrl

08-24

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The Annuity That Changed Baseball
by
Brent Gambill

02-15

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Transaction Analysis: National League, December 15, 2005-February 11, 2006
by
Christina Kahrl

02-14

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Transaction Analysis: American League, December 15, 2005-February 13, 2006
by
Christina Kahrl

12-14

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Transaction Analysis: December 7-13
by
Christina Kahrl

09-08

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Transaction Analysis: September 1-7
by
Christina Kahrl

07-08

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Transaction Analysis: July 1-8
by
Christina Kahrl

06-16

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Transaction Analysis: May 24-June 12, 2005
by
Christina Kahrl

05-26

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Transaction Analysis: May 10-24, 2005
by
Christina Kahrl

04-12

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Transaction Analysis: March 29-April 4, 2005
by
Christina Kahrl

03-25

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Transaction Analysis: The Wests, etc.
by
Christina Kahrl

03-11

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Transaction Analysis: Offseason - The Centrals
by
Christina Kahrl

02-14

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Transaction Analysis: Offseason - The Easts
by
Christina Kahrl

09-17

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Transaction Analysis: August 30-September 15
by
Christina Kahrl

02-11

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Transaction Analysis: January 12-February 6, 2004
by
Christina Kahrl

01-16

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Transaction Analysis: The Wests
by
Baseball Prospectus

01-13

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Transaction Analysis: The Centrals
by
Baseball Prospectus

01-12

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Transaction Analysis: The Easts
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-25

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Transaction Analysis: October 13-November 19
by
Christina Kahrl

11-21

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The Danys Baez Situation
by
Doug Pappas

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Ben and Sam discuss Clayton Kershaw's extension with the Dodgers.

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The last years of nine-figure deals.

When a team signs a player to a nine-figure deal these days, it usually isn’t looking for the big payoff to come at the end. The end is a necessary burden—the consequence of locking in what might be a few more years of stardom in a sport where fewer and fewer stars ever hit free agency and there aren’t five—win players around every corner.

For the Giants and Barry Zito, though, there is some weight put on the end of the deal. With no rotation depth, the Giants are counting on Zito to show that even with his 2012 postseason performance exceeding his true talent, his 16 innings, three runs allowed, six walks and 13 strikeouts were at least a sign that there’s something there.

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A look at the multi-fold reasons the Yankees have for getting under the luxury tax threshold by 2014.

Taking stock of the Yankees this offseason is a little like watching The Walking Dead. With the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the left-side of the infield has decimated, and who knows how their future Hall of Fame closer, Mariano Rivera, will rebound from his injury last year? At a time when getting aggressive in free agency would be part and parcel for the Yankees, they are, instead, paring back. As strange as it sounds, “fiscal restraint”—whatever that is for the Yankees—has become a hot topic. In interview after interview, be it Hal Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman, talk of getting below “189” seems to find its way into the conversation.

For the uninitiated, “189” is a reference to MLB’s luxury tax ceiling of $189 million in player payroll that is set to hit in 2014. The Yankees have said that they are serious about getting under the figure by then, when the tax rate for the club would hit a whopping 50 percent for every dollar over that $189 million threshold. Last year, the Yankees had a luxury tax bill of $13,896,069, and they’ll certainly be paying again this year when the end-of-year payroll figures are released just before the holiday. As of 2011, the Bronx Bombers have paid $206,109,142 in luxury tax penalties, or 91 percent of the $227,119,157 total collected since 2003. It’s been painful to the Yankees’ wallet, so getting under that $189 million threshold is all about avoiding the luxury tax, right? In part, but there is something else to consider.

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October 18, 2012 11:26 am

Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players

29

Ben Lindbergh

According to reports, the Marlins may have interest in Alex Rodriguez. Where does he rank among baseball's most difficult players to deal?

According to a report published yesterday, Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have had a casual conversation about the possibility of a trade between the two teams involving Alex Rodriguez. While the Marlins could use a third baseman and Rodriguez has close ties to Miami, it seems unlikely that they would be willing to pay much of the money he’s owed, and although the Yankees would like to avoid the rest of A-Rod’s decline phase, they won’t want to give him away. Even if there’s little substance to this particular report, though, it could be the opening salvo in a series of A-Rod rumors that might make the rounds this winter.

A-Rod’s combination of age, salary, and disappointing performance would make him a nightmare to move, but where does his contract rank among the majors’ most difficult to deal? No contract is truly untradeable if a team decides it’s a sunk cost, but the dozen deals below would find few takers unless a team were willing to help pay the player’s way out of town. (Note: rankings mostly for fun.)

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Ben and Sam discuss whether a team should have claimed Joe Mauer, what he's worth, and what his future will look like, then talk about the end of Erik Bedard's stay in Pittsburgh and how sad it is when a guy who's always either good or injured goes bad.

Ben and Sam discuss whether a team should have claimed Joe Mauer, what he's worth, and what his future will look like, then talk about the end of Erik Bedard's stay in Pittsburgh and how sad it is when a guy who's always either good or injured goes bad.

Episode 32: "Joe Mauer and his Contract Clear Waivers/The Demise of Erik Bedard"

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August 13, 2012 9:00 am

Overthinking It: The Adam Jones Extension Revisited

10

Ben Lindbergh

When the Orioles extended Adam Jones, he was hitting like a player possessed. Now that he's back to being the old Adam Jones, have the deal's detractors been proven right?

The Orioles went 29-18 through May 25th. Since then, they’re two games under .500. You know about the crazy record in one-run games (22-6!), the related crazy record in extra-inning games (12-2!), and the other fluky factors (Pedro Strop’s BABIP!) that have kept a team with a run differential of nearly negative 50 in contention with six weeks of regular season remaining. But for those first two months of the season, something a little less fluky, if equally fleeting, was keeping the Orioles afloat: Adam Jones was on fire.

Jones wasn’t literally on fire. Lighting fires under players is most effective when the flames are metaphorical. In the NBA Jam sense, though, Jones’ bat was burning up. Through the end of May, he hit .314/.365/.618, with 16 home runs. Only Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion hit more over the same span. Jones’ career high for homers was 25, and he was on pace to blow by that before the end of June. I mentioned the Orioles’ record through May 25th earlier, not just because it made for a convenient arbitrary endpoint, but because the following day, they signed Jones to a six-year, $85.5 million extension. That day, May 26th, was a good day to be an Orioles fan, which is not something you can say about very many days since, oh, 1997 or so. The O’s were in first place, Adam Jones was by far their best player, and he’d agreed to be in Baltimore until 2018. If you looked closely, there wasn’t a lot to like about the 2012 Orioles. But there was plenty to like about Jones.

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July 13, 2012 12:00 am

Overthinking It: The Rapid Aging of A-Rod

18

Ben Lindbergh

Alex Rodriguez had an extraordinary prime, but he's aging much more like an average player, and that's not good news for the Yankees.

When Major League Baseball’s All-Stars convened in Kansas City earlier this week, one notable name was nowhere to be found: Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been an All-Star 14 times, more than any other active player. He leads all active players in career value, according to traditional stats (HR, R, RBI) and advanced stats (WARP) alike. Only a handful of players in history have done as much to help their teams win. But career accomplishments mean only so much. To be considered one of the best players in baseball, you have to continue to play like one. And lately, A-Rod hasn’t looked a lot like an All-Star.

Rodriguez won his third AL MVP award in 2007. Since then, his performance has declined in five straight seasons. Most players can expect to see their numbers take a tumble after an MVP season, but A-Rod’s decline goes beyond routine regression. He’s not coming back down to earth. He’s falling off the face of it.

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Digging deeper into the new CBA.

In Part One of this series on MLB’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the focus was on the changes to the draft system. Today, we look at changes to minimum salaries and the soft-cap via a luxury tax on total player payroll.

Each time a new labor agreement is reached in professional sports, there is invariably the question of, “Who came out on top?” You might be able to say the needle swung slightly one way or the other, but in the end the only real winner is “compromise.”

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Prince Fielder's new deal has albatross potential, but the Tigers hope it doesn't turn out like one of John's picks for the worst contracts of the free-agent era.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

As your mind reels at the size of Prince Fielder's payday, take a look at this list of 10 free-agent deals that didn't work out well for the teams that handed them out, which originally ran on February 20, 2007.

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In honor of Adam Dunn, the BP Crew lists player acquisitions that backfired.

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February 4, 2011 1:30 pm

Transaction Analysis: Weekly Roundup, January 28-February 3

7

Christina Kahrl

Moves to laud and lament, given your bent.

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August 23, 2010 8:00 am

Contractual Matters: An Airing of Grievances

7

Jeff Euston

History does not favor the Mets in their contract dispute with Francisco Rodriguez.

Two weeks ago, Francisco Rodriguez threw a perfect ninth inning against the heart of the Rockies’ lineup, closing out the Mets’ second 1-0 victory in four days. The appearance marked K-Rod’s 45th game finished this season, putting him on pace to reach 100 games finished for 2010 and 2011 combined, an achievement that would guarantee the $17.5 million option for 2012 in his contract.

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