The title of this blog post was my reaction today when I saw these two tweets from Ken Rosenthal.
Alright, I’ll be perfectly fucking honest, my actual response was this.
Anywho, White Sox twitter was abuzz and this was with good, happy, horny stuff, not the usual lately of arguing over Nick Madrigal and his prospect status (partially my fault, partially Tom Fornelli’s fault) or yelling about what goofy nickname it is okay to call the White Sox best prospect (partially my fault, partially Tom Fornelli’s fault). NOPE. This was unadulterated joy. I’m still feeling that fucking buzz as I write this blog post and NO, it is not the Goose Island White Sox Golden Ale that I chose to open up to provide me added inspiration to analyze the contract. I promise.
Unadulterated joy it was, as one of the most beautiful things to come from all of this is the amount of folks that went back in time to remember that James Fox actually busted open this case just 2 short weeks ago.
James Fegan was just one of many of you awesome mutherfuckers in this great community we call White Sox twitter to do so. So happy for James Fox today!! Alright, time for me to stop gushing and get on to the cold, calculated, anal ysis.
Yoan Moncada had a great year last season and this season promises to be just as good, or so we hope. Moncada was heading into his final year before he’d have the benefit of salary arbitration, which would allow him to ever so slowly creep up towards his market value of pay. This year however, he would’ve had to take a contract in and around the league minimum. The website Spotrac had him listed for $627k, so we’ll go with that nominal amount. The contract he negotiated today buys out 2020, all 3 of his arbitration eligible season AND his 1st free agent season (possibly his 2nd, with the team option). In trying to value his arbitration seasons, I gathered a listed of the other best 3b on the planet that have gone through their arbitration seasons and started there.
Let me know if you think, Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado and Josh Donaldson are a good comp set for Yoan Moncada? (Truth be told, the analyst in me thought I was slightly overshooting with all 4 of these studs as comps, but fuck it, this is Yoan Moncada and we spare no expense for him).
Below is a table showing each years earnings in arbitration for the 4 players. I then average those amounts, and add a 10% increase to each year (because inflation and shit like that).
The yellow totals are what we are going to use to help comp Moncada’s arb years (we’ll round them because round totals make me happy). Now for the Free Agent years, I feel like since we are pissed about the whole Manny Machado thing, we’ll use his $30M per year as a proxy. Of course high end salaries will increase in 4 years, but also we can’t assume Moncada will get the highest end salary in 4 years, we gotta build in a little conservatism. I think.
Below is a table that shows “Hahn’d Moncada” which is the real life version of him that took another Rick Hahn style extension vs “Imaginary Moncada” the one that I am performing vulgar projections on to estimate his pay.
What a great deal of savings that is for the White Sox!?!?!? WAIT. WHAT? The White Sox are basically paying him market value? Huh? Before the club option, it’s basically a wash?
That can’t be right. Can it? Okay, let’s do a little sanity check, just to make sure we haven’t lost our fucking marbles. This is the Lord’s Year of 2020 and the 2 highest position player year 1 arbitration raises went to………..
Cody Bellinger $11.5M
Aaron Judge $8.5M
I have “Imaginary Moncada” at $7M in year one (which would be next year). Does that make sense? Well, Bellinger was the Rookie of the Year in his first season and the MVP last season, so I don’t think Yoan Moncada has quite that resume to demand that much in year one, right? What about Judge? Okay, Aaron Judge narrowly lost the MVP in 2017, so he doesn’t have that kind of hardware. Judge has however racked up 17.8 fWAR in his first 3 pre-arbitration seasons. Moncada currently stands at 8.9 fWAR for a career, which means to rack up as much value as Judge (and deserve $8.5M to $9M next season), he’d need to rack up an 9 fWAR season. WOW!!! Maybe I’m not that far off, but let’s take another stab at this with even more aggressive assumptions.
Let’s assume all those greatest 3b of the last decades arb raises averaged + 20% increases AND we’ll just assume that Yoan Moncada will get $35M in his free agent years, because why not? Let’s see what that does.
In this second scenario, it looks like the White Sox would be gaining effectively a 12% discount from “Imaginary Moncada” before the team option (which is of good value on its own from both a monetary and optionality standpoint).
We are starting to draw a bit of a trend line on Rick Hahn extensions of recent vintage, whether it be Bummer, Robert or even Jimenez from last season. The White Sox are willing to go close enough to the perceivable market price as we sit today to get deals signed. This may be a showing of good faith or a speculative bet on the future market place or possibly a little bit of both, but after analyzing several of these deals I am left thinking that the White Sox might be trying to show the free agent market place their willingness to commit to even their young in house talent as a way of showing just how serious they are about contending. Then again, maybe it’s just the Goose Island White Sox Golden Ale talking…