- Perhaps there are a lot of fantastic reasons that contract got so high, but I think the crowd has this one right. It doesn't matter if they eventually get what they paid for (unless you're a Nats fan), the problem is that they paid more than the market was willing to currently bear, and in so doing have somewhat upset the balance of the entire Winter Meetings and every contract after this. It may eventually look like a fair deal, but it's a bad contract now.
I've heard this argument before, that this contract or that contract will "upset the balance" of future contracts (if not the entire space/time continuum).
I'm not so sure.
Ryan Howard's five-year, $125 million extension was supposed to upset the balance, but I'm not sure that it has. Adam Dunn, 10 days older than Howard and of similar value, just signed a four-year deal for $56 million.
Barry Zito's seven-year, $126 million contract was supposed to upset the balance, but I'm not sure that it has. If it had, you would see lots of league-average pitchers earning $18 million per season.
Some contracts, I'm sure, do make a difference. It's logical for Albert Pujols' agent to use Alex Rodriguez's contract as a negotatiating tool. It's logical for Cliff Lee's agent to use CC Sabathia's and Johan Santana's contracts as negotiating tools.
But if you're representing a player like Jayson Werth, and you run around saying your guy has to get $126 million because Jayson Werth got $126 million, you'll get laughed out of the room. As Werth's deal proves, it takes only one. But that doesn't mean there are two.