Bargain Bin and A-Rod

November 6, 2007 – 2:22 pm by Matthew Glenesk

This just in, Alex Rodriguez wants to get paid.
Wait, you thought the Yankees slugger already got paid back in 2000 when he signed the most lucrative contract in sports history ($252 million for 10 years) with Texas, didn’t you?

Silly rabbit, a contract is only good as its opt out clause these days, and A-Rod is looking to get paid again. And why shouldn’t he?

Any team that signs A-Rod is signing arguably the best all-around player in baseball history, statistically speaking.

At 32-years old, he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down after another ridiculous regular season (.314 batting average, 54 HR, 156 RBI, 143 runs, 24 SB).

Wherever he lands, he’ll likely surpass the new home run mark set by Barry Bonds, instantly making him a national hero for no other reason than this country’s disdain for Bonds. Currently at 518 home runs, A-Rod would need about five seasons to get there, maybe four.

But buyer beware. Those who are willing to spend that kind of cash on A-Rod (the Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs and Angels are among those interested) know what you’re getting. You’re getting a great statistical machine. You’re not getting a leader. You’re not getting a winner. You’re getting Kobe without the rings. With that said however, you are still getting the best player in baseball. So is it worth it?

It is. In fact, signing A-Rod for the supposed $300 million over 12 years he’s looking for might even be a bargain. While the overall sum of money ($300 million) seems like a lot and it is, but it’s not all guaranteed and it’s not all up-front. It’s going to be a bigger than God number only because of the nature of the player and the length of the contract. Twelve years!? Who else can even float the idea of a 12-year contract at the age of 32?

But look at the annual figures. Heck, Rodriguez wasn’t even the highest paid player on his team in 2007. Jason Giambi took home $23,428,571 last year for his .236 batting average and 39 RBI in 83 games.

A-Rod made $22,708,525 last season.
Each one of Giambi’s RBI cost $600,732.
Each one of Rodriguez’s RBI cost $145,567.

Take a look at the game’s highest paid players and A-Rod’s astronomical demands don’t seem so astronomical.

Derek Jeter ($21,600,000) – 73 RBI
Each one of Jeter’s RBI cost $295,890.

Richie Sexson ($15,500,000) – 63 RBI
Each one of Sexson’s RBI cost $246,031.

Bonds ($15,533,970) – 66 RBI
Each one of Bonds’ RBI cost $235,363.

Manny Ramirez ($17,016,381) – 88 RBI
Each one of Ramirez’s RBI cost $193,367.

Todd Helton ($16,600,000) – 91 RBI
Each one of Helton’s RBI cost $182,417.

Andruw Jones ($14,000,000) – 94 RBI
Each one of Jones’ RBI cost $148,936.

Heck, the Dodgers paid Jason Schmidt $15.7 million last season and all they got in return was six starts and one win.

A-Rod’s outperforming his contract. Who would’ve thought that would even be possible?
Only time will tell is A-Rod’s new deal will be bargain or bust. But it got us thinking about some of the all-time best deals and duds.

Best bargains of all-time:
- Lousiana Purchase (1803)
A fledgling America, led by Thomas Jefferson, fleeced the war-spent French by paying just over $23 million (including taxes) for Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, much of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, some of New Mexico, northern Texas, portions of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Jefferson bought 23 percent of the U.S. at 4 cents per acre.

- Universal buying “Jurrasic Park” from Crichton (1990)
Prior to the completion of his novel, “Jurrasic Park,” Michael Crichton auctioned it off to the major movie studios for a non-negotiable $1.5 million fee and a substantial percentage of the film’s gross. Universal gave him an extra $500,000 to adapt the book to the screen and with the help of Steven Spielberg and $65 million in production costs, “Jurrasic Park” went on to gross more than $914 million.

- Pearlman cheating the Boy Bands
After spending $3 million to create and mold a new boy band in the likeness of the New Kids on the Block, Lou Pearlman presented the world with the Backstreet Boys followed by *NSYNC. The Boys and *NSYNC sold more than 150 million albums worldwide between them and made Pearlman abundantly wealthy. It was said Pearlman took more than 75 percent of the bands’ earnings. In a lawsuit filed by members of *NSYNC, they claim Pearlman and BMG took $300 million and left $7 million for the five band members. Justin Timberlake told Rolling Stone, “I was being monetarily raped by a Svengali.” Pearlman is currently in jail. Not for raping young boys’ bodies, just their bank accounts. But boy, does that man know how to swindle. So up until jail time, we’ll give Lou a thumbs up on finding a bargain.

Worst deals in history:
- Universal letting Costner do “Waterworld” (1995)
So Universal did well with “Jurrassic Park,” but the studio sure let out a thud with Kevin Costner’s shit-fest, “Waterworld.” Production costs for the film exceeded its $175 million budget, which at the time made it the most expensive film ever. It grossed just $88 million in the U.S. Can you say flop? Luckily for Universal the rest of the world has some affinty for American crap (the movie made twice as much overseas). No wonder, Jihadists hate us. If I spent my hard earned afghanis shining shoes to sit through a 136-minute spectacle of garbage, I’d be a bit preturbed too.

- AOL-Time Warner merger (2000)
AOL bought Time Warner for $164 billion in 2000. In 2002, the company reported a loss $99 billion, making it the largest loss by a company in history. Because of the loss, Time Warner was forced to sell a number of its assets including the WCW which was sold to WWE, the Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Thrashers (NHL) and Braves as were Popular Science and Outdoor Life magazines. Four years after the merger, Time Warner’s combined market capitalization was $84 billion, nearly $200 billion less than when the merger was announced in 2000.

- Mariners trade Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb (1997)
Sure Heathcliff (I think orange cat) saved 31 games for Boston in 1996 and was an All-Star with Philadelphia the year before, but come on! Lowe served as a do-everything for Boston saving 42 games in 2000 and won 52 games in his final three years as a starter in Beantown. Varitek, a two-time All-Star just like Lowe, has been the heart and soul for two World Series-winning Red Sox teams and has proven to be irreplaceable behind the plate. Heathcliff lasted a season and change in Seattle before retiring in 2000, just as Lowe made his first All-Star appearance.

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  1. 13 Responses to “Bargain Bin and A-Rod”

  2. A Rod is a joke….all that money and didnt help that Yankees

    By first time home buyer on Nov 6, 2007

  3. Your $ per RBI doesn’t even take into account that Texas paid something like 9 million towards ARod’s salary last year. So, the cost per RBI to the Yanks was actually much less.

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  4. And A-Rod did so well in the Post-Season, where both Todd Helton and Manny played in the World Series. So you can save $13 million a year with Manny and win a couple of World Series trophies. Priceless

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  5. But without AROD, the Yankees would have crapped out and not even made the playoffs. How about some other player that contributes to their $200 Mil budget get some hits and carry the team!

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  6. We only paid $.07 per acre to get Alaska from Russia, and Seward’s Ice Box is replete with oil.

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  7. AJ Pierzynski to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser to the Twins…rapeage!

    By Kurt on Nov 7, 2007

  8. Using team-dependent statistics like RBI and wins to value a player demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of statistics.

    OPS would probably have proven the same point in much more convincing fashion.

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  9. What pro sports needs is a good fan strike.

    By Anonymous on Nov 7, 2007

  10. is this the Boras blog? It certainly sounds like it, given the absolutely ridiculous statistical justification cited. If you want to use rbi’s as a measuring stick, how does A-Rod stack up in $ per POSTSEASON rbi?

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  11. as far as good/bad trades goes, how about the Herschel Walker trade?

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  12. Everyone seems to be stuck on who is the best value for the money when in reality none of these people should be making near this kind of money to play a stupid sport. You ever wonder why America’s pastime now costs more than the average family of 4 can afford to go to a game? Because they pay these sports figures way to much money to begin with. I say we boycot all professional sports until they come back down to Earth and patron college sports, where they don’t pay them near as much.

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  13. And Robinson Cano drove in 97 runs while making about $490,000.

    Cost per RBI: $5059.79

    In a far weaker lineup, Miguel Cabrera drove in 119 runs while earning $7.4M.

    Cost per RBI: $62,184.87

    Mike Lowell, another free agent 3B, drove in 120 runs while making $9M.

    Cost per RBI: $75,000

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  14. A-Rod isn’t out performing his contract. How about you do it by postseason wins.

    By tim on Nov 8, 2007

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