Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Comparing Mega-Contracts: Tulowitzki vs. Mauer

The big news of the day in Major League Baseball seemed to be the eminent contract to be signed by Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies.  The reason this contract is such as big deal is the fact that this contract will keep him in Colorado through the 2020 season.  No, that isn't a typo.  He will be playing for the Rockies for the next ten years.
Tulowitzki is already signed through the 2013 season but this past season he was given his first Gold Glove and his first Silver Slugger award.  The Rockies wanted to make a commitment to him for the next decade.

The Twins handed out their own mega-contract during last off-season.  Joe Mauer was locked up to play for his home town team for the foreseeable future.
These players have some things in common.  They are both the face of their franchise, they each have won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and both teams have locked up their stars for most of the next decade.

Here is a break-down of the two mega-contracts:

Mauer (Age 28-35)
2011-2018: $23 million/season
Total: $184 million

Tulowitzki (Age 26-36)
2011: $5.5 million
2012: $8.25 million
2013: $10 million
2014: $16 million
2015-2019: $20 million/season
2020: $14 million (base w/ $6 million escalators)
2021: Team option $14 million w/ $4 million buyout
Total: $153-$167 million
  • Both players are locked up until their mid-30's
  • Both players play demanding positions on the field
  • Mauer will make more money but he has a more impressive resume
It seems that the Rockies jumped a little early to sign Tulowitzki. This seems to be a trend for this franchise.  In recent memory they went through a similar contract with Todd Helton.  For the most part Helton has lived up to his part of the bargain with the production that he has given the team.  But the team will also be paying sending checks to Helton until 2023 because they deferred some of his pay.  

Tulowitzki could turn out to be the best shortstop in the history of baseball.  Along those same line he could have a career ending injury this offseason and still be getting paid by the Rockies in 2021.  There is always risks with big contracts.

Needless to say Tulowitzki has a lot to live up to in the next decade, but so does Mr. Mauer.

Perhaps a Twins vs. Rockies World Series will be in the works over the next decade.  Anything is possible, especially when it comes to mega-contracts.

What are your thoughts on these mega-contracts?  Are they good for the game of baseball?

No comments: