Now Arenado Has North America's Richest Annual Athlete's Salary
Published on 27-Feb-2019 by Alan Adamsson
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The wacky world of MLB's free agency has taken another interesting twist.
Both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout oughta be feeling warm and fuzzy about it, too.
The market's been suspiciously slow this off-season, but it seems the San Diego Padres' mega-deal with Manny Machado has unfettered its high end, if nothing else.
We now have a new leader in the clubhouse.
When measured in terms of Average Annual Value (AAV), Nolan Arenado is now the new king of big-bucks contracts.
The term superstar came into common usage back in the 1920s as a way to define Babe Ruth and his impact on not just the game, but North American culture. By inference, dude was larger than life, ie- one didn't need to be a baseball fan to immediately recognize who he was.
The term's tossed around too loosely these days -- hell, it's not a given that Trout would qualify -- and to casual sports fans, odds are they only know Arenado for an inning or two at the All-Star Game.
By any statistical measure, though, dude's a certified mega-star, and now he's getting paid like one:
Any team extending an offer like this is making a statement that their farm system's ready to produce a contingent of elite players in the very near future.
John Hart created the concept of a core four when he GM'd the Cleveland Indians in the 90s even though the Yankees got more dynamic mileage out of it.
Machado's expected to anchor San Diego's version of it when the likes of Fernando Tatís Jr, Luis Urías, and Francisco Mejía arrive sometime this season.
Colorado's overall farm system assessment currently comes in at No 18, but they're farther along than the Padres, coming off a playoff run that returns key pieces.
So, they're chuffed in Denver. Now, what does this do to Harper's situation?
Rhetorical question. It'll probably make him even richer.
Could it be that the Phillies' stupid money could get gazumped by a late Dodger or Giant push?
Going back to the deal that agent Scott Boras hammered out with Philadelphia for Jake Arietta, it's possible that dude could do a swellopt for Harper, too:
Do tell, Scott! “It’s a ‘swellopt.’” A what? “For the club, if the player performs well, the club can opt in (contract swells). For the player, if the club doesn’t opt in, the player has the choice to continue with contract (swell) or opt out. It’s a swell option for both.”— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2019
However that goes, the über-winner in all this is gonna be Trout.
New Jersey born and bred, baseball's best player year after year was a Phillies fan in his pre-pro days. He's who the Phils really need to stockpile their stupidity for.
Bidding for his services will surely bring out the big brands.
While that table's being set now, it's still too early to speculate how crazy the reality's gonna be. Suffice to say this class of players is securing their families for generations to come.
Maybe that means their legacies will then become more of a top priority. Rings are priceless.