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"Contract Year" Theory??

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"Contract Year" Theory??

Postby Secret Avatar » Fri May 06, 2005 3:05 pm

Seems the "contract year" theory is often invoked as a catch-all boogeyman to explain the sudden performance or decline of a player when no real explanation exists. My question is: does anyone have any REAL empirical evidence (stats, etc.) to support or disprove the theory. Put another way, is there any actual stats that shows a player in a "contract year" is more likely to have an abnormally strong year (relative to his career numbers) than players who aren't in a contract year?

Personally, I think the theory is bunk. Although it SEEMS that lots of players in contract years have great seasons, but I think that's only because those are the players that read about, the ones coming off big years and getting big contracts. You don't hear about the tens or hundred other players coming off lousy contract years who aren't making the papers with their shiny new contracts.

The theory seems to have some superficial appeal, to be sure. The idea that a player will work harder to perform better when it means a big payday makes a lot of sense. By the same token, though, the added pressure to perform must be huge, and I'm constantly seeing that excuse (too much pressure, bright lights, etc.) used to explain POOR performace. So to me, the argument cuts both ways in terms of making practical sense. SO the only thing left is the actual numbers. Anyone have anything?
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Postby wrveres » Fri May 06, 2005 3:09 pm

The theory is bunk, and we have had many, many articles and facts in here disproving it.

For every 1 player that someone claims had a contract year, I can name 10 that didn't.
Last edited by wrveres on Fri May 06, 2005 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jjigglers » Fri May 06, 2005 3:26 pm

It obviously doesnt work for the highly motivated players, but truthfully, there are a lot of players in the league that just want the dough, and your contract year is the best time to play your best.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stark_ja ... 66530.html
is a fairly interesting read, i think it's written during 2003.

http://games.espn.go.com/cgi/flb/edge/story?id=1983194
and this insider-only article that i cant read.
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Postby Yoda » Fri May 06, 2005 3:36 pm

wrveres wrote:The theory is bunk, and we have had many, many articles and facts in here disproving it.

For every 1 player that some claims had a contract year, I can name 10 that didn't.


Thank you. Finally a voice of reason.

Contract year theory is more or less an excuse rather than a reason for certain players having a career year.
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Postby SoxWillNeverWinAgain » Fri May 06, 2005 3:57 pm

last year alone it worked for Beltre and Beltran.. would have worked for Maggs had he not been injured.
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Postby jayman » Fri May 06, 2005 4:05 pm

I can see someone getting focused and working harder because their future is on the line.

But, the notion that after the pay day comes the player slacks off escapes me. The guy has to walk into a locker room with 23 of his peers and managers, he has to deal with the front office, the fans, and most importantly - THE MEDIA. I think he'd have a problem with people calling him lazy, a slacker, a dead beat, etc. etc. etc.

Beltre had a great season last season and I can't see his bad performance to this point not bothering him - he is human afterall.

That said, this dead beat better pick it up!
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Fri May 06, 2005 4:17 pm

my opinion is this: IF contract year theory exists, it would be extremely difficult to use it to gain a fantasy advantage. reasons being A) it is difficult to determing who or to what extent a player increased his strength and conditioning in the offseason and B) increased strength and conditioning may not necessarily translate into meaningful statistical improvement (i.e. there are many factors outside of the players control).

on a league wide basis, contract year theory does not seem to hold water. many players in contract years dont have significant improvements. since it does not appear to be valid on a league wide basis it is difficult to employ that strategy. it is possible that contract year theory exists on a personal level, but determining who that person is before the season starts would be very difficult.
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Fri May 06, 2005 4:22 pm

Now, I don't believe in the contract year theory because - well, because it's bunk.

But I wonder if there is a correlation btwn the contract year and games played - as players are more likely to play through pain.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Fri May 06, 2005 4:24 pm

SoxWillNeverWinAgain wrote:last year alone it worked for Beltre and Beltran.. would have worked for Maggs had he not been injured.


so out of all the players that were up for new contracts last yr only 3 of them played significantly above their averages in order to get paid big money? :-?
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Postby ocmusicjunkie » Fri May 06, 2005 4:29 pm

wrveres wrote:The theory is bunk, and we have had many, many articles and facts in here disproving it.

For every 1 player that someone claims had a contract year, I can name 10 that didn't.


You can't call it bunk. There is no statistical way to prove it as bunk.

Let me break this down, because I think you might agree:

It has been proven that, in total, MLB players do NOT play better during contract years.

HOWEVER, there are certainly single cases where it can have an impact. Like I've said over and over... if a player is out of shape, then decides to actually train prior to his contract year, this makes a HUGE difference. This is what I believe is true with someone like Beltre.
Help please:
http://www.fantasybaseballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1086524#1086524


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