So... Blake Parker just signed with the Minnesota Twins for $3.2 million. That’s cool, I suppose. He was projected to make right around that had the Angels chosen to tender him a contract, but the front office has elected to direct those funds toward a more worthy reliever instead. Cam Bedrosian will be tendered a contract, and the deadline for each sides’ respective figures is January 11th. This gives the parties ample time to hash out a lifetime contract for the legendary bullpen arm.
A contract of such magnitude is unprecedented for a player so early in their career as a major leaguer, even one as incredible and game-changing as Cam. It is important, then, to keep in mind that much of this will need to be speculative.
Here is a cursory glance at a few factors that we considered when figuring the amount of leverage both sides have in a mega-deal that keeps the 2010 first-rounder in Anaheim where he rightfully belongs.
- He is going into his Age 27 season. This dude is right in the middle of his prime and we have the chance to lock him up for all time!
- He has three years of arbitration left and is projected for 1.7 million in 2019.
- He is from Georgia, and you just know that the Braves would love to steal yet another top pitcher from us.
- The Yankees exist and are always in the game when it comes to competition for top free agents. Plus, he’s been cutting his fastball usage and elevating his slider usage! It's safe to say that Cashman would pounce on an opportunity like that.
- Bedrosian knows where his strengths lie, and this guy managed to limit his infield hit rate to a miniscule 3.5% in 2018! He’s going to want to get every cent out of that type of performance!
- From June 1st through July 11th in 2018, he raised his stock into the exosphere! He allowed only 1 run across 18.1 innings. If you take that rate across 17 runs allowed, he would have pitched 308 innings. What a freaking workhorse!
Let’s start by examining player similarity scores and go from there.
I must admit, I’m not exactly a history buff, so sometimes I see all-time greats like the above and don’t recognize the name. It’s embarrassing, but I had to look up Braden Looper’s page. It did not disappoint.
Though his career was tragically cut short due to collusion from the Cubs and Father Time after his age 34 season, Looper was the real deal. He had a 4.15 ERA in the National League during the height of Barry Bonds’ second peak, so when you adjust for the era, he probably would have only given up 1 earned run per 9 innings! He ended up with approximately 24,476,000 dollars over the course of his ephemeral career, which was mostly just peak years, to be honest. When adjusting for inflation, that number gets higher. This will help us figure Bedrosian’s final tally.
So let’s do some calculations.
Bedrosian is estimated to earn about 1.7 million this year. What a steal. If he continues the same phenomenal play he has thus far produced, he will likely be somewhere around 2.3 million in 2020 and 3 million in 2021. Thus, a little over 7 million buys out his arb years. Assuming that Bedrosian will need some serious moolah to be swayed to stay with Arte given the tough competition vying for the righty Rembrandt, the dough is going to start ramping up after this.
During Looper’s age 30-34 seasons, he earned around 19 million. We can assume that Bedrosian will not suffer the same pitfalls Looper did prior to his age 30 season though because he is our foundation and our rock, and we can trust him. Thus, after adjusting for inflation, we can probably assume around 50 million would be a fair price. We know this for two reasons:
- His estimated arbitration numbers are around 1.5 times Looper’s.
- Looper’s age 30 season set him back quite a bit in terms of finances, and we can safely bet that no setbacks will be experienced during Bedrosian’s tenure as an Angel. He is a model of consistency.
A fair price isn’t going to buy loyalty though. Bedrosian will expect restitution for the bought-out arbitration years. The Evil Empire is just a call away, after all. Let’s bump the number up to 65 million paid out during this time frame for the greatest setup guy of a setup guy of this or any generation.
Typically in larger contracts like these, the pay does not go down as the player’s dance with degeneration increases its tempo. Bedrosian is not a dumb man however, and his agent is no less intelligent. He is fully aware that the pay up to this point is going to keep him in Anaheim for the rest of his playing days. No one will match these numbers, and he certainly does not want to hit free agency at age 35. It is now time to ease off the gas and secure a living for his great grandchildren.
Through the last eight years of his lifetime deal (through age 42), he will take a steady decline in pay, receiving an average of 2 million less per year, resulting in an additional 64 million earned.
Here is a table of his projected salary should he take a lifetime deal with the Angels.
Looks solid and completely unlike a pattern which would have been done for simplicity’s sake.
136 million over 16 years at an 8.5M AAV. Hard to argue with that.