This Sunday is exciting for football fans. It marks the end of another season and is one of biggest days in sport. But, baseball fans have a much different perspective on Super Sunday. Once the spectacle of the final football game of the season finishes, it is the unofficial beginning of the 2013 baseball season. In a little more than a week, the two most beautiful words a baseball fan can hear are finally a reality: pitchers and catchers. Those three words mean that the baseball season is almost here.
The next week will be excruciatingly slow. There are typically very few major transactions, although Roger Clemens was traded to the Yankees just days before Spring Training officially started. But, for the most part, teams are looking to avoid arbitration, signing veterans to Minor League contracts, and fill out the organization as efficiently as possible. Aside from Michael Bourn, most of the remaining free agents are surplus relievers and role players. Many times, teams can find value in those last minute signings. Those value signings have already begun to take place.
Pitch One: Martin Prado Gets Four Years, $40 Million
Technically, this is a three year $33 million extension as Prado was slated to make approximately $7 million or so through arbitration this winter. On the surface, the value of the contract is right in line with Prado’s production. Since becoming a regular in 2009, the right handed utility man has averaged .294/.342/.436 with 36 doubles, 3 triples, 12 home runs, 60 RBI and 7 stolen bases. In other words, he is a poor man’s Michael Young.
That’s not an insult or anything as Young had quite a bit of value in his prime. But, this contract has to be viewed within the prism of trading Justin Upton away. Upton is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons, which will cover his age 25 through 27 seasons. With Prado entering his age 29 season, the odds of him outperforming his contract are long. Upton is just entering his prime seasons. If he produces as expected, he will be one of the best bargains in the sport.
Not only did the Diamondbacks downgrade their talent, they did so without really saving much money. That lack of savings also doesn’t give them much of a chance to get more value for that money. Given the fact that Prado will be their primary third baseman, his value of position flexibility is also negated a bit.
Martin Prado is a good Major League Baseball player. He hits well, can play multiple positions, and is said to be one of the good guys. Based on that, his contract is more than fair. But, viewed through the prism of the trade and the salary extension, the Diamondbacks are not getting as much value and talent in the deal.
Category: FCP on OS