Kris Bryant’s deal with the Rockies surprised just about everyone

We’ve had months to think about Javy Báez who will play his next long stretch of seasons with the Tigers. Anthony Rizzo is back with the Yankees, where we have already seen him play. So it’s kind of like Kris Bryant signing with the Rockies this week was the most recent, whoa, this is going to be weird to see thing. Bryant, in purple, is hitting towering home runs at Coors Field for years to come. Weird, but hey, good for him. I only wish him success, except when he faces the Cubs, of course.


Even if I didn’t have a clear idea of ​​the size or size of Kris Bryant’s eventual contract, whatever you asked me to guess wouldn’t have been particularly close to the huge contract he has ended up getting the Rockies: seven years, $182 million. Couple that with his refereeing earnings, and it looks like Bryant got a bit more than him. would like would have gotten had he accepted the extension offer made by the Cubs several years ago (the details of which were never entirely clear). Good for him. Surprising to me.

I wondered if I was just way off in my assessment of the suitors’ caution, given the recent injuries and the fact that Bryant was 30, or if the Rockies were just going above and beyond to close the deal. I’ve asked people in “industry” and the consensus seems to be something: wow that was a surprisingly big deal. ESPECIALLY from the Rockies.

Kris Bryant’s contract will probably be the one that will be remembered for years as the most surprising of this second part of the offseason, which does not mean that it will definitely be a bad business when all is said and done, it’s just completely shocking.

You also see this reaction in the media. Buster Olney summed it up with a crank reference to 11:

Patrick Mooney referenced confusion around the baseball industry as to the scope of the contract (while noting, correctly, that the deal made perfect sense from by Bryant perspective). During a roundtable on the deal, other writers for The Athletic used words and phrases like “weird”, “puzzled”, “the math is not good for this deal”, “the Rockies n ‘were not careful enough’, etc. .

In FanGraphs’ analysis of the deal, which it describes as “difficult to understand,” the comments related to the projections are scathing:

(Those bad projections are) for Bryant as a left fielder, since the Rockies have reason to be pleased with Ryan McMahon’s stellar defense at third base last year. Throwing Bryant to third overall doesn’t change much, with an extra 0.2 WAR in three of the first four seasons, but some of that comes from the back. The valuations for both projections: $67 million for the left-field version and $70 million for third base, both more than $100 million less than the investment the Rockies just made. Sweet fantasy Moses.

I asked Dan if he could recall any similar examples of projected valuations far lower than actual transactions, and he cited the $200 million+ pacts of Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Alex Rodriguez ( post-opt-out), specifically recalling Pujols’ is valued at $131 million for his 10-year, $240 million contract. On Ryan Howard’s $125 million five-year extension, ZiPS was “only” $75 million below. What these contracts all had in common is that they came from a time before analytics permeated the front offices. The only recent contract Dan could recall that had topped ZiPS by such a wide margin was Eric Hosmer; with Dan valuing Hosmer’s opt-out at $17 million, his estimate rose to $81 million for what he treated as a $161 million deal (instead of $144 million ). None of these contracts, even contemporary ones, have aged well. With that in mind, if Bryant’s deal is well above projections, yuck.

Ken Rosenthal focused on the particularly bizarre disconnect between the Rockies’ recent behavior and this deal:

(S) Some in the sport expressed amusement – ​​or was it exasperation? .

Part of Monfort’s mission on the owners’ bargaining committee was to keep wages low. With the Bryant deal, he gives the sport a boost again. Just 13 months ago, he traded Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals and included $51 million to cover his remaining warranty.

Yes, Arenado wanted to leave, but let’s not forget why he was so eager to leave: Monfort fails to lead his team with a coherent vision, as evidenced by his team’s lost nine seasons over the past 11 years.

ESPN called the deal “shocking,” rated it well above expectations, and rated the move at C- from the Rockies’ perspective. (Again, another data point, though, which Kris Bryant did very well for himself!)

Razzball razzed:

Either way, the summary here is that the deal makes little sense to almost anyone outside of the Rockies’ exhausted front office. To that end, you feel good that Bryant got his huge payday even after everything that happened with the Cubs. I don’t quite understand the deal — and it’ll be weird seeing Bryant play for the Rockies for the next seven years — but I’ll just back Bryant to make the Rockies look like geniuses.