July 24, 2014
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about front-loaded contracts, qualifying offers, scouting umpires, pitcher command, and more.
The Bees, "Who Cares What The Question Is"
Cut audio of Ben trying to decide what his favorite score, while Sam laughs.
- Diamondbacks Headlines Contest
- Favorite score: Sam says 3-0, Ben says 5-4
Email Questions Edit
- Aaron: "There's been talk, at least among Cardinals fans, that the way Jhonny Peralta's contract is structured is beneficial to the team if he starts to decline. Not to complain, he's been great this year; his salaries for 2014-17 are $15.5 million, $15 million, $12.5 million, and $10 million. Unlike most contracts his salary goes down instead of up as he ages. This means he could be easier to trade or move to a different position if he can't cut it at shortstop anymore. So the question is, why don't more teams give players front-loaded contracts? Or at least older players, it probably wouldn't make sense to pay Trout less for his age 27 season than 26. That way the team pays more for the years the player is likely to be more valuable in and the player gets the same amount of money either way. Are players and agents refusing to accept those types of contracts in order to make it more difficult for the team to trade/bench/platoon them or is that just not the normal way to structure a contract, so it's just generally not done?"
- Vinit: "Let's say a team offered a qualifying offer to a player and the player countered with two years $20 million. The team refuses and they probably just want the draft pick and don't really care for the player; would the player have a case to file a grievance? It's my understanding that the spirit of the qualifying offer system is such, 'We're a small market team, this is the best we can offer you, if you get poached by a team with a bigger wallet we'll get some compensation.' But if the team is unwilling to negotiate past the bare minimum then the player would certainly have a case to make."
- Mike: "Sam and Ben, do teams scout umpires and how care in advance do they find out who is behind the plate? If they do scout the umpires, what adjustments if any do the teams employ?"
- Ranger (Seattle): "Ben and Sam, one of my favorite regular topics is can pitchers throw strikes, even when you know they really want to? However I have always been a little uneasy with the stat you generally cite because as you've mentioned every time there may be a selection bias. When you look at pitchers who've gone to 3-0 with the opposing pitcher in the box, perhaps they have poor control to begin with. I was thinking of some other situations where the pitcher is just trying to throw a strike. Maybe we can look up the stats in those and triangulate. How about a 2-0 on the pitcher? That's when I'd start aiming down the middle. You know he's probably taking anyway. How about a 2-0 or 3-0 to all batters with an 8+ run lead? Or a 3-0 to the number 9 hitter in the A.L.? Thanks."
Play Index Edit
Sam: "I wondered what their [the A's] best stretch has been this year by run differential and how that compares to the rest of the league".
Sam then looked at the best and worst 20 game stretches of run differential since 1988.
- The Diamondback Headlines Contest first appeared in Episode 498: The Astros' Draft Postmortem