Sunday, December 07, 2008

Player Comparison

Here’s an interesting player comparison between two All-Star first basemen with Gold Glove caliber fielding. Both went to college and both had played all or parts of six seasons in the big leagues before the age of 29.

Player A: 904 G / 3414 AB / 566 R / 989 H / 203 HR / 676 RBI
Player B: 821 G / 2921 AB / 582 R / 973 H / 186 HR / 623 RBI

Player B had been to 3 All-Star games, won 2 Gold Gloves and won a batting and RBI title all before the age of 29. Player A has been to one All-Star game and won 2 Gold Gloves. We are talking about two very, very comparable players here.

Player A is Mark Teixeira who is currently seeking a 10-year contract through his agent Scott Boras. That contract would tie a team to Teixeira for better or worse until age 38.

Player B is Todd Helton who signed a 9-year contract with a one-year 2012 team option (or $4.6 million buyout) in 2003. Essentially Helton’s contract was 10-years in length. Essentially Helton signed his long-term deal at the same age Teixeira is seeking his.

Seeing how comparable the players were up until their age 28 seasons – it would stand to reason that Helton could serve as a preview of what to expect from Teixeira. Oh and if you want to discount Helton due to the Coors Field effects also keep in mind that is probably more than off-set by the fact that Helton remained very healthy in the first 5-years of the contract (averaging better than 151 games per season). Many people view Helton’s contract as an albatross that the Rockies have had to carry these past few years. Will Teixeira’s contract be viewed in the same light a few years hence?

Buyer beware.

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