In addition to the spectacular win on Opening Day, the Sox had more good news for all of us. Right after the game, they announced that they had agreed to a long term deal with Rick Porcello.
What great news!
After all, he’s a good young pitcher. He’s exactly the type of player you lock up while you can.
But, some people apparently weren’t so sure.
One tweet that came out almost immediately was that the 4-83 was more than the Sox first offered Lester. Which, even if that were a reason to be upset with the deal, isn’t quite true.
Yes, the Sox “only” offered Lester 4-70 in that Spring Training offer that has gotten everyone so riled up. But, as I discussed earlier, that offer was really just matching what other pitchers of his caliber received, after adjusting for his age. The AAV of the offer was the same as the likes of Cain, and Hamels, and Bailey. It was just lower total money because Lester was already 30 when the Sox were making the offer.
So, we should do the same with the Porcello deal. Compare it to Lester if you’d like, but adjust it for his age. Compare it to Cain, and Hamels, and Bailey too. But, adjust it for their ages too. Because once you do that, this becomes a monster deal for the Sox. After all, the latter three all signed big contracts in their twenties that carried them into their early thirties. $100 million type contracts. Those that have gotten a few years into it, Cain and Hamels, are starting to regret it. Now that both are older, they just aren’t worth the money anymore. So, if you look at the 5-6 year $100-115 million contract range that they all signed for, the first three or four are worth it, and the other two or three are albatrosses. The idea being that you’ll take the dead weight in order to get those good years. The Sox went another way. They’re only paying for the good years. Sure, they paid a slight premium. But, nothing as huge as adding on the two anchor years at the end. So, yes they offered more money to Porcello than they did with Lester. But, they were getting the better years of Porcello’s career too. (Plus, how do we know the first offer wasn’t 4-70, like Lester’s first offer was?) So, they slightly overpaid for prime years instead of vastly overpaying for decline years. How is that not brilliant?
Some people are pointing to the fact that Porcello hasn’t pitched for the Sox yet. How can they sign him to that money, they’re screaming, when you don’t know how he’ll pitch in Boston? I think it’s funny that these are the same people who have been insisting that the Sox need to trade for Hamels. Or should have signed Shields. Neither of them have pitched in Boston either. So, if you’re going to take a risk on a big contract, shouldn’t you take it on a young pitcher whose career is trending upwards? Isn’t that exactly where you take the risk?
Isn’t this the perfect contract?