Monday, June 07, 2010

Jeff Suppan - Human Asset Bubble

Are we still debating if there is an asset bubble being inflated right now?  Because there should be no argument - we are deep into a sick asset price bubble.  My proof?  Jeff Suppan

"The Milwaukee Brewers released struggling pitcher Jeff Suppan on Monday during the final year of what was the richest contract in team history when he signed it.

The Brewers signed Suppan to a $42 million, four-year deal before the 2007 season, but he never pitched as strongly as he did in his three previous seasons in St. Louis. 

With the Cardinals, he won a World Series and was picked the NLCS MVP in 2006."

Now come on.  Jeff Suppan had a 4 year $42MM contract?  Seriously?  From a poor team like the Brewers?  Who the f*ck is in charge of the Brewers?   Jeff Suppan gets the richest contract in your team's history?  Yeah - I'm a little late on this one (like THREE YEARS late) - but I still can't believe it happened.  At no point was Jeff Suppan ever the kind of pitcher who you would build a franchise around at age 31.  You can look at the numbers yourself.  135-137 career win-loss record.  4.72 career ERA.  
But I guess I should lay off Suppan a bit, after all, as Brewer's general manager Doug Melvin explained:

"Melvin said that Suppan's contract after the 2006 season was in line with the big pitching deals of Barry Zito ($126 million, seven years), Gil Meche ($55 million, five years) and Ted Lilly ($40 million, four years).

"When you enter into free-agent contracts, guys, it's one of the riskiest things to do," Melvin said. 
"We all get excited about the free-agent people that are out there, but there are not a lot of free-agent contracts with pitchers that you do get the full length of performance.""

EXCITED??!  You got excited about Jeff Suppan?  WTF!  "Full length of performance???"  You could have at least gotten one year of performance...  AIYAHH. Anyway - let's look at the other guys mentioned.

Gil Meche 5 years $55MM?  I just threw up in my mouth.  Who knew a .500 pitcher with an ERA around 4.50 is now worth in excess of $10MM a year!  Amazingly, Meche also went ot a small-market team - the KC Royals, who must have been swooning over his 11-8 4.48 ERA season the prior year in Seattle. Jeezus.  What happened to sports?

Barry Zito was a big bust for San Fran - but at least 1) they're a big market team, who spends money like a big market team 2) he had some flashes of legitimate dominance in the years before they signed him (see: 2002) and 3) he's finally having a good year now in 2010. 

It sounds like the Cubs struck gold with Ted Lilly, who has put up some solid numbers for them in the last 4 seasons.  How the Cubbies foresaw this from Lilly's 2003-2006 ('03: 12-10 4.34, '04 12-10 4.06, '05 10-11 5.56  '06 15-13 4.31) numbers is beyond me though.  Chalk it up to good scouting!

I'm going to go back to my ignorant little world of NOT looking at sports salaries - lest I get fired up again...



Transor Z said...

Look at Tim Wakefield over the same period:

Better pitcher, less than half the money.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Tim Wakefield rules!

I still remember him pulling the Pirates back vs the Braves to have Drabek lose it in game 7. Now he is close to breaking the boston all time win number. Love it.

As far as salaries, dumbest fools anyplace are the Redskins with Haynesworth and now they want to play a 3-4 defense????? Might as well cut him.

Transor Z said...

Daniel Snyder is a champ db. We'll see if Shanahan can salvage something. Peter Angelos, same thing with the O's.

Daniel said...

Uh, not to beg to differ but in the immortal words of Jules, Allow me to retort: San Francisco does not spend money like a big market team. At all. We spent big money on precisely one player before Barry Zito and that was Barry Bonds. Aside from some smaller bouts of insanity (see Renteria, Edgar) Which is why we don't have any prospects in our farm system. Talk radio in the Bay Area is filled with callers whining about how we can't get anyone to come play in our park and its a combination of them knowing they can't get paid and the perception that its a pitchers park. Which is true for lefties. So we end up with players like Aaron Rowand who is our lead off hitter and center fielder. Who would maybe come off the bench on the Yankees. Maybe. Sigh.

Mark said...

Excellent post on this very subject on Joe Posnaski's site.