SportsProf

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sign of the Times for Baseball

Being a workhorse starter, an innings eater, isn't what it used to be. Gone are the days where an innings eater, such as a Steve Trachsel, could show up and ink a multi-year deal at millions per year. If you're not convinced, check out this post on espn.com about Nationals' starter Odalis Perez.

Prior to the 2008 season, Perez inked a one-year deal for $850,000, contingent upon making the club. Perez made the Nats, was their opening day starter, and posted decent numbers for a bad team. The club's GM, Stan Kasten, recently said that Perez did a great job for the team.

But not so much so that the Nats upped the ante. In fact, they got Perez to agree to the same deal that they offered him before the 2008 season. And now, as the article points out, Perez has regrets. He's late for camp and wants to renegotiate.

In social circles, there are jokes that 50 is the new 40, that 40 is the new 30, and, I suppose, that a similar parlance is hitting baseball circles. For example, in the case of Bobby Abreu, a one-year, $5 million deal is now the same as a 3-year, $24 million deal that Abreu might have gotten before the economy tanked. Such are the times in Major League Baseball. The superstars will continue to get the big money, but 90% of the remainder of the player population might find out that the new paradigm will hit their wallets significantly.

As it already has hit Odalis Perez.

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