Lee bidding to be latest player to boost value with big postseason
Players can make tens of millions of dollars for themselves with one big postseason, and
It's been done before, and it will be done again.
"The poster child is probably
Beltran hit eight home runs in the 2004 postseason and wound up with a $119-million, seven-year contract. Before his gigantic postseason, folks were estimating he'd get somewhere between $60 million and $70 million. Those estimates might have been slightly light. But he surely wasn't getting anywhere near $100 million had he not dominated that October.
"There's certainly been a history of guys enhancing their value based on how they performed in the postseason,'' Braunecker said. "Every team is trying to add players who are battle-tested and have the ability to perform on the big stage.''
Rangers ace Lee is an interesting case, as he looks to be on the verge of becoming a double postseason winner. He made himself tens of millions already with last year's ridiculous postseason performance (4-0, 1.56 ERA) for the Phillies. And he could make himself even more this time around after shutting down the Rays 5-1 with seven innings of five-hit, no-walk, 10-strikeout ball in Game 1 of the ALDS.
But can you imagine what his market would be after the postseason Halladay is already having with his historic no-hitter in Game 1 against the Reds?
Before Halladay took a $60-million, three-year extension with Philly, Lee turned down a similar offer, believed to be for three years and somewhere in the mid-$50-millions from Philadelphia, who eventually traded him to Seattle. Word was, he was thinking about more than double that, maybe something close to
Now, word going around the game is that Lee might seek three times what Philly offered. In other words, Lee might try to match his old Indians teammate
Braunecker won't start negotiating now, but said, "Cliff Lee clearly established the basis of his value with his body of work. You look at the entire body of work, and he's a guy who showed improvement over the course of his career.''
But dominating postseasons don't hurt, either. "It would be hard to improve on his postseason performance last year. But couple that with any success this postseason, and it can certainly improve his value,'' Braunecker said.
While Braunecker won't talk about any early asking price, if Lee goes for Sabathia money, he will have to overcome the fact that Lee is three years older as a 31-year-old free agent. But Lee has a couple things going for him. For one, he's in better shape. For another, he's a craftier pitcher who doesn't rely on a high-90s fastball like Sabathia, so a bit of loss of velocity with age may not affect him as much.
Like Sabathia, Lee will benefit from the expected involvement of the Yankees. Sabathia used the fact that the perception was that he wanted to play in California to his advantage in negotiations with the Yankees. With Lee, there's no preference known, though there was a belief by some that he preferred to go to the Yankees at the trade deadline before the Mariners decided to send him to the Rangers instead.
The Yankees are probably the favorite for Lee going into the winter. They are known to love Lee (they offered
Here are some other teams that may make a play for Lee:
Pujols' $16-million option for 2011 was officially picked up by the Cardinals, not that anyone expected otherwise. But it is just a big reminder for La Russa that the Cardinals will be a threat again next year.
The Reds looked lost and beaten against Halladay in Game 1. It's only one game, yes, but it's demoralizing to know there's another one ahead against Halladay in this series assuming it isn't a sweep. That puts huge pressure on the Reds to beat
So before it's too late to pay a little tribute to the Reds and what they accomplished this year, it's time to commend them for a job well done. The Reds, let's not forget, beat out a stacked Cardinals team to win the NL Central.
Credit should go to GM
The move to acquire
Halladay made the Reds look like Little Leaguers while throwing his second no-hitter of the year. And one scout sees Halladay has a chance to do something many believe will never been done a again.
"If you ask me what pitcher has a chance to win 300 games, I'd say Halladay,'' that scout said.
The reasons he gave were: 1) durability, 2) pitchability, and 3) mechanics.
Translated out of scout-ese, what that means is that Halladay is a great pitcher who could last awhile.
"Even if he's throwing 88 to 91, he should still be effective,'' the scout said. "I'm not saying he's going to win 300. I'm just saying if I had to pick one to do it, that's who I'd pick.''
• Interesting to see how much money has been benched this postseason.
• Two names omitted from my list of managerial prospects was Cardinals coach
• The Brewers will likely "go outside'' the organization for their manager, according to the
• Sabathia's proclamation that
• While the Red Sox may try alternatives to simply picking up
• The Mets are off to a nice start interviewing
• The Reds may try to do something long-term with the consistent
• Among the controversial calls already in this postseason are a missed call on a catch by the Yankees'