MLB: MAY 11 Angels v Rays

Evan Longoria is now in his seventh season with the Rays which means he would have been a free agent after the season if he had not signed a long-term contract six days into his big league career or the subsequent extension added on later.

Over at Business Insider, I took a look at how that decision to grab some security early in his career cost Longoria over $100 million.

Evan Longoria’s Historic Contract Will End Up Costing Him More Than $100 Million

That is actually the conservative estimate.

I spoke with Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com who knows baseball contracts as well as anybody. Dierkes said that if he was Longoria’s agent heading to free agency, he would probably seek a 10-year, $300 million, which would be bigger than the record $275 million contract signed by Alex Rodriguez.

The reasoning is that Longoria would have been a relatively young free agent (29) with potentially six “elite seasons” on his resume. That puts Longo ahead of Robinson Cano, who was 31 and a lesser player when he signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners.

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If Longoria would have received a 10-year, $240 million contract this winter, he would have eventually earned $262 million in his career by the time he was 39. That number goes up to $322 million if he were able to land a $300 million contract.

Instead, Longoria will get $151.5 million by the time he is 38 under his current contract.

Longo got security. But he also lost $100-150 million.

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6 Comments

  1. Casey says:

    Poor guy...oh wait

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  2. JMN says:

    Only so much money you can spend. I don't think he would notice much of a difference from $122 million to $322 million. So he still is banking so much his grandchildren won't have to work provided the right investments are made and not have to deal with the hassle of a big market team and their media. Just ask Carl Crawford how that went.

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  3. Dave L says:

    Longo signed his extensions at the 2 points in his career when his bargaining power was at its lowest. First when he was just being called up and second when he was in the 4th year of nagging battle with a hamstring issue when it was at worst manifestation in loss of mobility and loss of playing time.

    So the Rays took risks at both points, the first being that he would be a successful MLB player at all and second that he wasn't damaged goods. So Evan chose security over trying to maximize his earnings which entailed some risk.

    Cano signed his extension at age 31 but had come off of successive years of 8.1- 5.7 - 8.4 and 7.6 WAR and has been the best 2nd baseman by acclamation for many years playing a slightly higher defensive premium position.

    Longo has posted years of 8.1 - 7.5 - 7.4 - 2.5 and 6.7 WAR recently and chose to sign his extension while in the midst of the injury prone 2.5 season.

    Longos 10.0 dWar aids his overall WAR over 6 years. While Robinson's is only 6.2 over 10 years. So his is more due to his offensive abilities and WAR which are more measurable than defensive WAR up to now.

    Longo has been regarded as in the Top 3 to 4 third baseman since his first year but not the unanimous best for any length of time.

    The sheer fact of being drafted by the frugal Rays instead of the profligate Yankees has cost Longo dearly to this point as well. Using comparable years of ages 22-29 seasons Evan has netted $22M while Robby hogged down at least $43M.

    The one mitigating factor which isn't realized until the career is over is that trascendental players who spend their entire career in one city achieve a legendary status in that city which they can take advantage of for the rest of their lives. Guys like Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett have near 100% positive name recognition in their respective baseball cities which they can use to their advantage in business or marketing of their brand into their twilight years.

    That also can await Longo. For Cano, in New York he will be known as flashy guy who actually left us?!?! Or in Seattle as the guy we paid too much for and got old too fast on us.

    And for players who dont always save wisely as young men, those post retirement bonus earning potential as beloved local legend can be a life saver.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      Puckett was not well liked in Minnesota at the end of his career due to a divorce and multiple charges of sexual harassment. He moved to Scottsdale, Arizona when his career end. Frank Deford wrote an excellent article about Puckett in SI in about 2003.

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    • AJNO says:

      great points, greats stats, and well written all the way around.

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  4. ken says:

    Right now I'd bet at least one Rays fan besides me wishes Longo would start to earn that paltry salary. :(

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