Scott Rolen Signs Extension, Milton Bradley to M’s

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Former Toronto Blue Jays Scott Rolen signed an extension with the Reds today. In the final year of his current contract Rolen was due $11 million. The new contract changes the structure up a bit, calling for a 2010 salary of $6 and 2011 & 2012 salaries of $6.5 million, along with a $5 million signing bonus spread out over the three seasons. Effectively the Reds signed a two year extension for 2011 & 2012 for a total cost of $13 million or $6.5 mill a season.

Reds Reporter shared the following WAR analysis. They space the signing bonus out at $1.7 million per season.

$7.7 M in 2010 @ $4.5 M/WAR = 1.7 WAR
$8.2 M in 2011 @ $4.7 M/WAR = 1.7 WAR
$8.2 M in 2012 @ $5.0 M/WAR = 1.6 WAR
Total contract value: 5 WAR over life of contract.

Rolen has averaged around 3.0 WAR over the past three seasons. Although, as we’ve seen this off-season, only ultra premium offensive players, inning eating starters & relievers receive ‘fair’ WAR value. Star or regular level non-pitchers tend to earn less than WAR market value. For instance Nick Johnson just signed a one year deal with the Yanks for $5.5 million total, even coming after a part-time 2.4 WAR season.

Was this a good deal? I’m torn. On one hand Rolen could really produce if healthy. If. The money seems fair. On the other hand Rolen would probably be a type A free agent in 2011. What do you think?

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The ridiculous rumor of Milton Bradley to Toronto can be put to bed, as he was dealt to Seattle for $9 million & Carlos Silva. Financially the Cubs will save about $7 million total from the cash and contract swap, although from a production standpoint they’ve given away a semi-productive player in Bradley for a write-off in Silva. While I don’t ever believe AA was in, kudos anyways on avoiding this headache.

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While the John Buck signing is getting all the play I’m personally more interested in seeing Ramon Castro in a Jays uniform. CHONE, one of those nerdy sabermetric systems, actually prefers Castro to Buck, pegging Ramon at 2.4 WAR in 150 games vs 1.8 for Buck.

Buck just strikes me as a failed prospect that’s never produced at the MLB level. Castro on the other hand is a defensive minded catcher with a nice three year combined OPS .777 in just under 500 plate appearances.

In total the Jays will pay $3 million in 2010 for Barajas level production between Bustro. On the plus side we’ll get a Type B draft pick for letting Rod walk. Once again, kudos to AA.

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  • Mark

    Not sure why the Reds re-signed Rolen other than to justify that awful trade. They’re not contending the next couple of years. They literally need everything to fall into place – Harang’s bounceback, Arroyo to pitch like he did in 2009 and be as lucky as he did, Bruce’s bounceback, Volquez rebounding, Rolen staying healthy…

    Asking for Bruce/Harang to bounceback is reasonable, but all of those things? Seems like a lot of if’s. And they still have Dusty, don’t they?

    I’m pretty high on Castro too. The bat might not be anything special but the 09 catcher defense rankings had him @ 1.3 runs above average, which is pretty good for his limited play time. If he hits as well as Buck than he’s the better guy, cause Buck’s a horrible C.

  • Astute comments Mark.

    I’m with you, I don’t see the Reds contending this upcoming season. The division is weak but the overall pitching staff (rotation/pen) isn’t going to take them to the promise land. I wonder if the timing has anything to do with a holiday season ticket push.