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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Jayson Werth's deal no bellweather

J.C. Bradbury mounts a (half-hearted) defense of the Jayson Werth deal, and Beyond the Boxscore fisks the defense. BtB's big finish:
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.