This is the first of two brief follow up posts (I was going to label them "Part II's" but they really aren't thorough enough to qualify...).
I wrote about the shifting economy in Major League Baseball and how deals are shifting towards younger players with longer, more reasonable deals. ESPN's Buster Olney (one of the reason's I'm a paid Insider subscriber) had a terrific article today. Olney opened by reinforcing my premise:
... Everything that happens seems to reinforce two essential hypotheses. No. 1: You almost never realize anything close to equal return in signing veteran players to long-term contracts. No. 2: The perceived value of young players keeps rising and rising and rising.
And then he added insights that I never could:
The industry trend, as we have seen, has been toward player development, toward drafting and shaping young players and eschewing big-money deals, and nothing that has happened this year has changed that. Some executives already have come to strongly believe the following:
• By the end of Miguel Cabrera's contract with Detroit, his $152.3 million deal will be viewed as a major mistake. • Over the duration of [Johan] Santana's contract, he will not be the kind of pitcher that the Mets paid for.
A couple things that strike me about this:
1) I love the use of the word "industry". That's what it is. And the dollars are large enough to support it.
2) Neither Cabrera's nor Santana's contracts were widely second-guessed in the off-seasons... in fact, many analysts lauded the deals.
3) The "collision course" between big veteran deals and youth extensions has happened seemingly instantly. The result is likely a very different trade deadline (now a few weeks away) and off-season free agency. Players like CC Sabathia and Mark Texiera turned down monster contracts in the hopes of getting $200m plus this off-season... those deals likely won't happen and may be well off.
All of this, in my opinion, is good for the baseball. Keeping an open-'marketplace' in tact, baseball is going to see small market teams effectively compete and to build for long-term success. Meanwhile, if the economic standards indeed shifts, there will be major consequences for striking major deals that don't work... which is a good thing.