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"Contract Year" Theory??

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Postby BigMusky » Fri May 06, 2005 5:26 pm

Contract year 2001

Smoltz started 5 games going 3-3 and recorded 10 saves in 60 IP. Signed three year deal and returned to be a dominant closer. Was this move to the bullpen made because it was a contract year and new he could not be a starting pitcher anymore and had to prove his value some way?

Jason Schmidt 2001

Was traded from Pitt to SF with an expiring contract. Finished out the season by lowering his ERA 2 runs! and whip 0.5 points. Got a four year deal out of it with a 6-1 record in SF. Became Cy Young candidate in coming years.

Barry Bonds

2001 was a contract year when he broke the HR record for a single season. Never touched that again but still dominant


So here are three cases where a player raised there game during a contract year and kept it there. These guys all stayed on the same team.

I have not found anyone who's stats deterioted without injuries being a part of it yet.
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Postby BigMusky » Fri May 06, 2005 5:33 pm

Brett Boone is the best case I have found so far. He had an incredible year with Seattle in 2001 and then dropped off the following years.

but this seems to be an exception rather then a norm for the 2001 one class.

So it seems a contract year can definitely motivate a player to play through the nicks and bruises and get on the field and make something happen...but to substantially raise ones game for a single season does not seem likely as something controlable by a player. There maybe something to the conditioning discussion made before, but I would point to other factors being the source of decline in stats after a trade.

here is the link I used to find out 2001 contract info.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2001/1127/1285370.html
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Postby ocmusicjunkie » Fri May 06, 2005 7:50 pm

Yoda wrote:
ocmusicjunkie wrote:Yoda, how does my theory make no sense?

Player A is at 75% of his performance capacity for his first four years in the league, because he doesn't really train as hard as he could. Right now he's a .280/25/80 player. He realizes this isn't going to get him much money, and decides to really get motivated prior to his contract year. He drops 15lbs of bulk and adds muscle. He now runs faster, is stronger, and reaps the benefits. After the contract is signed, he reverts back to whatever sort of training he was content with for the first four years.

Is that SO hard to imagine? Because you know people do the same thing at their own places of work. If a promotion opportunity is coming up soon, they work harder. Few people are motivated enough to continue trying to impress once they are there.

Obviously, this can't happen for many MLB players... because the majority of super-talented MLB players already break their backs working hard every day. That's why the statistics measuring this across the board aren't going to work. Someone like Helton or Pujols isn't going to change a thing during their contract year, because they already are in peak form.

All I'm saying is that there are most certainly some cases where it applies.


Have you ever thought about how impossible it is to become an MLB baseball player? Think about it for just a second. There are 750 active players at any given time. About half of them are fighting for their jobs desperately b/c if they slip just a little bit, there are about 10 other guys who can replace you in a NY minute.

So no, your theory makes no sense. The fact that you can name maybe 5 players of 100+ free agents to be had a career year is a mere coincidence. Not the reason. Understand?


That's a load. Your argument is basically that it's so tough to be a pro baseball player, that everyone must already be in the best possible shape they could attain?

How do you explain guys like Javy Lopez a couple seasons ago, or "Pudge" this year? Basically guys who spent forever in the league, then suddenly made a drastic change in the way they look. Obviously, they played for a long time as pros without getting into the best shape they could.

Then look at all the players in MLB who are just tubs. These are guys who OBVIOUSLY do not take care of their bodies. Yet, they are still pros. Mo Vaugh and Cecil Fielder come to mind as guys who made it through their whole career without getting into shape.

What you are saying makes no sense.

There are only two ways my argument could be wrong. 1) You don't believe a fat contract would motivate people to train harder or 2) You somehow think physical fitness has nothing to do with playing baseball. You address neither of these issues thus far.
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Postby Yoda » Fri May 06, 2005 8:04 pm

ocmusicjunkie wrote:

That's a load. Your argument is basically that it's so tough to be a pro baseball player, that everyone must already be in the best possible shape they could attain?



How is it a load? 750 people out of 6,519,207,831 people in the world today are MLB players. Half of 750 are marginal players whose jobs are threatened by younger, faster and better players. You are seriously telling me that these players can just coast through their career?

Look, you are the only person in this thread that won't accept the fact that career year does NOT = contract year. I'm sure what you are saying is true for a very small percentage of players but can you say that is in fact what brings out the best in players? Go through the thread again and you will find that the answer is absolute no.
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Postby davidmarver » Fri May 06, 2005 8:10 pm

Yoda wrote:
ocmusicjunkie wrote:

That's a load. Your argument is basically that it's so tough to be a pro baseball player, that everyone must already be in the best possible shape they could attain?



How is it a load? 750 people out of 6,519,207,831 people in the world today are MLB players. Half of 750 are marginal players whose jobs are threatened by younger, faster and better players. You are seriously telling me that these players can just coast through their career?

Look, you are the only person in this thread that won't accept the fact that career year does NOT = contract year. I'm sure what you are saying is true for a very small percentage of players but can you say that is in fact what brings out the best in players? Go through the thread again and you will find that the answer is absolute no.


While I agree that a contract year theory does not exist, there are exceptions to every rule. Some players just need an extra kick in the rear to perform better. I don't know if Beltre is this type of person; very few people do. That's why trying to pick up contract year players for fantasy purposes is a futile attempt to one-up on your opponents. Do not, however, count out the fact that for certain players it is motivation.
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Postby Yoda » Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 pm

davidmarver wrote:While I agree that a contract year theory does not exist, there are exceptions to every rule. Some players just need an extra kick in the rear to perform better. I don't know if Beltre is this type of person; very few people do. That's why trying to pick up contract year players for fantasy purposes is a futile attempt to one-up on your opponents. Do not, however, count out the fact that for certain players it is motivation.


Ummm who is counting it out? What other motivation is there to become a professional player other than to make a crap load of money? There is fame, glory, playing the game that you love, etc. But the ultimate reason why any of us work is to make money is it not?

The bottom line is, players play for big contracts all the time. Not just when it is convenient to them or when they feel like it. Sorry that is just ridiculous.
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Postby HOOTIE » Fri May 06, 2005 11:44 pm

The same irrelevent threads appear monthly. There is no proof contract year exists. Beltre proves nothing, other then the odds say out of 150 free agents, some will have a big year. The fact Beltre was sick 2 years, and lost 40 lbs, then had to regain it, then started hitting the ball the other way, i suppose had no bearing?
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Postby Fpower » Sat May 07, 2005 11:30 am

Yoda wrote:How is it a load? 750 people out of 6,519,207,831 people in the world today are MLB players. Half of 750 are marginal players whose jobs are threatened by younger, faster and better players. You are seriously telling me that these players can just coast through their career.


That's just completely illogical. You don't believe in the existence of players who possess enough talent to play in the major leagues without training and working to the fullest of their abilities? Mickey Mantle partied like a rock star his whole career and took horrible care of his body. Staying out drinking all night doesn't constitute the optimum training regime IMO.
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Postby baseballnewb » Sat May 07, 2005 12:06 pm

Yoda is wrong, there are loads of ballplayers that are not in the best shape they could be in. Its one of the things a good fantasy manager looks for in spring training, guys that came to training camp in much better shape than previous years.
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Postby DK » Sat May 07, 2005 1:27 pm

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