If there’s a problem with reporting contract agreements, it’s how confusing deals can get with limited information. In nearly every instance there are rumors, followed by total length and dollar amount, followed by a definitive report.
The latter should be the focus and is often lost in the chatter of Twitter, blogs and news services all jumping out there to get a breaking story, first.
The reason that there are normally two stories detailing a deal is one is word-of-mouth at the high level, while the latter is normally driven from a filing with the league or the MLBPA.
Case in point the mega-deal with Troy Tulowitzki. With so much chatter, there was a purposeful manner here at BizofBaseball.com not to jump all over the story. The deal was reported as high as $174 million… then it was $160 million… Both are wrong.
The real amount is $157.75 million and runs to 2020 with a $15 million club option for 2021 ($4 million bouyout). That’s because Tulo had been guaranteed $25.75 million through 2013 under the $31 million, six-year contract he agreed to in January 2008.
There will be questions as to “Why now?” which Rob Neyer has already done. It’s a valid question. But, the reasoning may have to do with sending a message to the free agent market that the Rockies are open for business and going at it hard this off-season to make a run at the Giants in the NL West, and beyond (just ask Jorge De La Rosa).
What’s the real payday for Tulowitzki are esacaltors and other gravy in the contract. According to Jeff Euston at Cot’s Contracts, his salaries for 2020 and 2021 may increase by $6 million annually based on MVP votes, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers or All-Star selections and he gets a $2 million assignment bonus if traded. He can only be traded once during the contract’s life, something that will keep him wearing no more than two uniforms over the life of the contract.
According to The AP story, Tulo’s deal now ranks as the eighth-highest ever. The Rockies took on a risk wrapping up the All-Star SS in 2008, but much like the Evan Longoria deal with the Rays, it’s been a value deal and if projections hold, this extension for Tulo should be, as well.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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