Posted at 9:22 PM on September 12, 2006
by Ben Tesch
In case you don't pay attention hockey, New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro just signed a 15-year contract. DiPietro's deal is believed to be second only in length in North American sports to the 25-year pact Magic Johnson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981.
I looked into this a little bit, because there happens to be a blog just about baseball contracts. Here are the longest contracts on each team (not including extensions worked in later):
This leads me to this question: Do you think we will ever see a contract like DiPietro's in baseball? 10 years is the max right now. Will the right combination of loyalty and monetary risk ever coincide that a 15-year (or even 25-year) deal would ever happen? Would you sign anyone playing right now to that kind of contract? Pujols? Howard? Liriano? A-Rod?
What's wrong with Kendry Morales?
You'd have to be an idiot to sign a pitcher to a 15 year contract, that's a definite.
I would guess that the rate of salary inflation in baseball is higher than any other sport. So there's no incentive on eithre side for that long a contract. Owners aren't going to want to commit to something that long and playes aren't going to want to lose the opportunity to be a free agent in a spiralling salary model; they can get the cash up front.
What's wrong with Kendry? Seems like an awfully big contract for a guy who hit .240 with 5 HR and 21 RBI and got sent back down to AAA. He just doesn't quite fit the profile of the bigger name stars on the list.
Sure, pitchers would be a very big gamble, but wouldn't you have been quite the amazing GM if you signed Greg Maddux for 15 years on the cheap in 1988? 18 straight years of double digit wins, 15 gold gloves, 4 Cy Youngs, etc.