Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend: Overbay extended

The Jays have apparently signed Lyle Overbay to a 4 year extension worth $24 million. As always there is a good chunk in a signing bonus and he will make $7 million in each of his final two seasons, which were his first two free agent seasons. It seems like a relatively good deal to lock up yet another player, especially considering that Hillenbrand will make $6.5 million next season, and he has never had an OPS+ of 110 or higher and is sub-par defensively, although he can play 1B or 3B. I'm not sure about the money being tied up to a player on the second most left part of the positional spectrum and who's career high OPS+ was of 127.

He apparently has growing power, even at the age of 29 as he achieves his highest SLG of his career with .508. Bill James baserunning analysis, featured in The Bill James Handbook, has Overbay as a very poor -10, making him a double play risk. With his gap swing, could you imagine how many triples this guy would get with even average speed? The VORP/$ analysis seems to like this signing as it comes up with Overbay being paid $165,289.26 per 1 VORP with last year's numbers and even less with the three year numbers: $146,222.58 per 1 VORP. ZIPS also projects him to be the second best offensive player for the Blue Jays, although since they project him with more at-bats than Thomas, he may actually be more valuable.

There are now three players left going to arbitration: Alex Rios, Reed Johnson and Scott Downs, they should all be signed before arbitration since J.P. has never let a player get to that stage. The Jays are locking up almost all their position players, and control a player at each position for the next couple seasons (if Adams counts as a SS). I'll keep updating this with more stats and what not throughout the day...

ESPN has two articles on GMs today:

  • The first is by Jays friend Keith Law where he talks about desperate GMs signing players to contracts where the bulk of the cost to the franchise is after their own contract expires. He does have a blurb about J.P. about the Wells signing:
    You can even see moral hazard appearing in contracts handed out by GMs who aren't on the hot seat. The Blue Jays gave Vernon Wells a heavily backloaded extension through 2014 (assuming Wells picks up his three-year, $63 million player option), but more than two-thirds of the money comes due after GM J.P. Ricciardi's contract expires in 2010. By deferring most of the payments due, Ricciardi keeps more payroll in the 2007-2010 years available to pay other players, even if it means killing the team's financial flexibility in 2011 and beyond.
  • Meanwhile Sean McAdam writes about the Jays joining the battle at the top of the AL East. Good read for everyone and I don't think it's an Insider article so enjoy.

Some more ZIPS thoughts coming up too.

3 comments:

miker said...

Fantastic signing, if he does the same with Rios, it will be like the Hinske-Wells off-season a few years ago. One turned out to be a tremendous bargain, the other not so much. But in the end, locking up two players of this caliber is always a good move.

Anonymous said...

He's only a first baseman though...you can get those a dime a dozen..no?

jays said...

anonymous said it all when it comes to the downside of the extension. They didn't really need to extend those extra two years, cause what if he sucks by then? I think he's a great player, so let's throw all the research out the window, and hopefully he kicks butt because he showed he was a great hitter last year.