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A different take on baseball's most valuable player

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Michael Echan, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Michael Echan

    Michael Echan Member

    Was going through Olney's blog today and clicked on the link he posted to John Romano's piece on Evan Longoria and why he thinks "Longo" is baseball's most valuable player--or as he called it, the most valuable asset. Here's the piece:


    What I like the most are the parameters Romano sets up to qualify for this "title."
    • Playing ability and make-up (obviously)
    • Position and age
    • "Team-friendliness" level of contract (years & dollars)
    • Importance to success of team (somewhat subjective, though)
    • Marketability

    Basically, he's giving his answer to this question: who would you want to build a team and marketing campaign around, but also has a highly economical contract?

    I have to agree with Romano that Longoria is, overall, is baseball's most valuable commodity. No doubt, the ability is there, but I can see him becoming a leader in the Rays' clubhouse (where he'll be until 2016), good-looking guy with a smooth name and is already featured in a national ad. I can imagine Troy Tulowitzki jumping into this conversation, too, but I think Longoria is still the best fit. What say the peanut gallery?
  2. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    If Longoria can expand his first two months last year into a full year, he'll make Pujols look like Pujols during the Bonds era.
  3. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    Hard to argue against that. And now that I've looked it up, I think Longoria's contract is one of the best (for his team) in baseball. Who's his agent? Master P?

    And if I'm reading Cots right, it looks like TB signed him to a 6-year deal two weeks into his career. Is that right?
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    There's only one problem with this assessment. The franchise Longoria plays for. There is a real and unhappy limit to how much marketing value any player -- even Babe Ruth -- has in the Tampa Bay market.
  5. Michael Echan

    Michael Echan Member

    Very true, but can anyone name me a young, bargain superstar who plays in New York, Boston, Philly, Chicago or LA? Two years ago, maybe Jose Reyes enters into the conversation, but his injuries and team turmoil have downgraded him.
  6. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    The Dodgers have a couple, actually. I think Andre Ethier has to be in this conversation.

    Ethier in 2009: 31 HR, 106 RBI, .869 OPS
    Longoria: 33, 113, .889

    And how about Dustin Pedroia?

    Sort of along the same lines, there has been some discussion about Jason Heyward and his franchise value in the Atlanta market. Granted, he's yet to play in his first MLB game, but the preemptive signing approach may well be in play. If they start him in Atlanta on Opening Day and he is as good as advertised, they'll almost certainly sign him to a moderately big contract in the next couple of years (they did the same thing with Brian McCann and made offers to Jeff Francoeur, who should've taken the money) to avoid losing him to free agency later on. One theory is they'll wait a couple of weeks before calling him up to add almost another full year to the service-time calendar for free agent eligibility. It's an interesting debate that falls right in line with whether to play for a championship in the current year or build for potential down the line.
  7. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    There's someone in Cleveland who's doing alright for himself
  8. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    Until baseball puts a set of criteria for voting the MVP, I could give a crap about that award. I think it's stupid that with one award given to a player as "most" anything in a league, a guy who pisses into a cup three times a day for drug testing could hit 78 HRs, drive in 200, hit .398 but because he plays for a team of eight Mark Belangers and the 2009 Nats pitching staff, is 20 games off the pace in May some chucklehead would not consider him for MVP.

    If folks think you can only be MVP on a playoff team, fine, but there needs to be a "Best Player" award to honor, you know, the best player.
  9. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Jacoby Ellsbury or Dustin Pedroia in Boston?
    Maybe Robinson Cano in NYY land.
    Ryan Howard in Philly, even though his arb money is pretty huge.
  10. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    That's correct. A few people thought they were crazy to commit that much money and that long a contract to him when he had basically just been called up from the minors.

    It was a risky move, but it's the sort of move teams like the Rays have to make, especially when they are as certain as they were of what Longoria was going to mean to the franchise, in order to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox.
  11. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

  12. Michael Echan

    Michael Echan Member

    Pedroia is a very good candidate in this conversation. WS champ, ROY, MVP, well-respected and admired in the clubhouse, known to handle the high, inside fastball fairly well...all at a decent price. Ellsbury, not so much. He has yet to win any awards, let alone make an All-Star team, and his defense (at a less-than-premium position, no less) isn't very well regarded. Cano is interesting, but the Yankees aren't reliant on his success, and his concentration has been known to ebb and flow.

    Also, I get a sense of that with the players who are in the middle of this conversation have their own "moments" or times when they were absolutely dominant. With Longoria, it's his two HR game in the ALDS. Pedroia, Game 7 of the '07 ALCS. Tulowitzki--though lacking any ASG appearances or hardware--had a blistering last two months in '07 to help push Colorado into the playoffs, then played at a whole other level for most of last season.

    Ethier has certainly had his moments (six walk-off hits, four of them HRs) and dominant stretches, but it feels like he's not an impact player when Manny Ramirez isn't in the line-up. I haven't seen any stats to support this idea, so I may be wrong. Not only that, but right field isn't seen as a vital position compared with the middle infield, and there's little mention of Ethier being a unifying force or source of motivation for the Dodgers, either.

    As incredible and dominating Howard is, I feel his two drawbacks in this argument are his contract (signed a three year, $54 million deal in '09) and lack of overall skills (average, strikeouts, defense, base-running). But PLEASE don't get me wrong: Howard is one of the top players of today and someone who I would want to represent my ballclub. I just feel Longoria is a better selection, given the qualifications Romano listed.
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