Advertisements

Injuries To Pitchers Cost The Most Harm To Teams For Financial Flexibility

Zack Greinke makes $34.4 MIL per year with the Diamondbacks. It represents about 30% of their entire payroll. A lot of small market teams have laid off spending 9 figure contracts on Starting Pitchers because they are more susceptible to breaking down with long term injuries from their arms. 30 MLB Pitchers had Tommy John Surgery in 2015, and that comes with a 12 - 18 months healing period.

Zack Greinke makes $34.4 MIL per year with the Diamondbacks. It represents about 30% of their entire payroll. A lot of small market teams have laid off spending 9 figure contracts on Starting Pitchers because they are more susceptible to breaking down with long term injuries from their arms. 30 MLB Pitchers had Tommy John Surgery in 2015, and that comes with a 12 – 18 months healing period.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Player contracts are sure to hit well over he 4 Billion Dollar mark in 2016.  While the war is waged in the trenches of General Managers offices, the MLB will tell you that there is nothing wrong with the current system in baseball in terms of parity.

After all, the Kansas City Royals just won the World Series and they were not a top 10 salaried team.  The Mets also not in the top 10, were in the Fall Classic.

Record 9 figured contracts are being doled out like Benjamin Franklin’s are going out of style.

In 2015, $579 MIL worth of cash was paid out to guys on the Disabled List, and Pitchers took 57.7% of the pie in that category.  Starters were almost worth $248 MIL – and Relief Pitchers took down the other $86 MIL of that.

$334 MIL worth of payroll is about the sum for 3 average teams.  That is a lot of dough spent to guys that only pitch 30 – 34 Starts – or produce just 4 – 70 Innings worth of work in Relief.

Adam Wainwright will come back to the Cards for a full year in 2016 - after seeing yet another season lost to injuries in 2015. Wainwright still has 3 years left at a total of $58.5 MIL left on the books. At Age 34, Waino will look to 4 of the last 5 full years finishing in the top 3 for NL Cy Young Voting in which he has pitched. To date, he is 121 - 67 (.644) with a tight 2.98 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. If he can recover to form, it will make up for the team losing Lance Lynn to Tommy John Surgery for the coming year.

Adam Wainwright will come back to the Cards for a full year in 2016 – after seeing yet another season lost to injuries in 2015. Wainwright still has 3 years left at a total of $58.5 MIL left on the books. At Age 34, Waino will look to 4 of the last 5 full years finishing in the top 3 for NL Cy Young Voting in which he has pitched. To date, he is 121 – 67 (.644) with a tight 2.98 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. If he can recover to form, it will make up for the team losing Lance Lynn to Tommy John Surgery for the coming year.  Wainwright led all players in earning money on the shelf in 2015.

Adam Wainwright made the most money on the Disabled List in 2015, with his nearly $17 MIL worth of coin collected while he was on the sick bay.

Cliff Lee, Joe Nathan, Yu Darvish, Matt Cain, Justin Verlander and Matt Harrison represent 6 of the next 9 players who made $10 MIL or more on the Disabled List.

At the time of his injury in 2015, Homer Bailey was the 1st player to have a top 50 contract ALL – Time – and undergo the Tommy John Surgery.

As that epidemic continues to rise from year to year, you can bet your bottom dollar – that a massive pitcher, armed with a big pay day, will be on that TJ List.  Can you imagine if a Zack Greinke were to go down to a TJ surgery for the D’Backs?

Speaking of Greinke. He accounts for about 30% of the projected salary for the Arizona Diamondbacks budget in 2016.

$579 MIL of $3.9 BIL paid in total cash given to players equals about 15% of the total money allocated.

The point of this little exercise is to show exactly how small market teams can ill afford to have more than that same 15% of their total payroll invested in one Starting Pitcher.

Positional players just aren’t as risky to invest in long-term.  Sure you can never predict health to an extent, but these numbers paint a picture for every top brass in the front offices to see.

We have said for years that the best way to build clubs as small markets, is to be really bad for about 5 – 6 years, accumulate a bevy of young Pitchers, and construct your roster around Team Controllable chuckers that way.

I keep going back to the Billy Beane philosophy when he let Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder go.  The numbers are justified in not paying Pitchers past the 1st 7 years of their career.

It is not just the health of the Pitchers that causes the value of big contracts signed to cripple a club.  Performance is harder to duplicate for years upon years from throwers as compared to position players.

Starters or Relievers have smaller windows of being dominant across the league.  If you can be at your optimum level for 4 – 6 years, that is considered a lengthy run at it.  Guys who don’t pitch would need double that to be considered for the Hall Of Fame.

Statistically speaking, you have to give it up to the Mets, who were the clubhouse leader by far in days on the DL, with 1836 Days missed in covering 24 different players.  But at least they only came up 8th in total money given to hurt players – even though they were 411 Days ahead of the next club.

Teams like the San Francisco, Washington and Detroit were really decimated by key personnel at the ‘Meat Wagon’ in 2015.

Matt Cain, Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum out of the lineup for the greater part of the year added to the Giants odd seasons being non – playoff campaigns.

Jayson Werth, Denard Span, Stephen Strasburg, Nate McLouth and Ryan Zimmerman all spent a huge portion of their season either on the DL – or sagging through injury.

Detroit was without Justin Verlander for much too long.  Miguel Cabrera ate up $5 while on the shelf, and Joe Nathan never got off the mat in 2015 – costing the club $10 MIL to finish the year out with Tommy John Surgery.

The Mariners, D’Backs, Brewers, Astros and White Sox were the healthiest squads in 2015, and only the Astros made the playoffs, so it is not imperative to have your whole Roster healthy, but it certainly still doesn’t hurt your chances.

With about an average of 1 pitcher a year for each club having Tommy John Surgery, it is only a matter of time before a Starter on your squad will be on the shelf to this injury - and the team will have to withstand the hit on cash to pay him. This is why a lot of organizations in small markets are reluctant to sign Starting Pitchers to big deals on multiple years.

With about an average of 1 pitcher a year for each club having Tommy John Surgery, it is only a matter of time before a Starter on your squad will be on the shelf to this injury – and the team will have to withstand the hit on cash to pay him. This is why a lot of organizations in small markets are reluctant to sign Starting Pitchers to big deals on multiple years.

It simply means smaller market clubs are better off having four guys make $6 MIL a year – rather than pay one guy $24 MIL.  This way you can fight off several injuries.

I harken back to the A’s losing both A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker in 2014 in Tommy John Surgeries.  The team was not crippled by this because their Pitching Staff only cost the club $25 MIL that year. 

They were able to trade for Jon Lester, Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija half way through the year.  If both were making a lot of money at the time, this would not be possible.

Believe it or not, Shortstop was the healthiest position to play in 2015 – with them narrowly edging out the Designated Hitter, although there are double the Shortstops as there are at DH. 

Plus a lot of the guys not playing the field are making big coin as established offensive threats.  Nick Swisher was 50% of that cash – even though he headed for Atlanta to end the year.

So look for all of the bigger market clubs to continue to hoover the majority of the best Starting Free Agent Pitchers in the near future.

Miguel Cabrera is paid the most money annually for a position player as of now. He will be 33 years of age in next years season, and it officially starts an 8 year contract. Being in the American League, he can always DH later in his career. Positional player also don't tend to have mammoth falls in production as quick as pitchers do either.

Miguel Cabrera is paid the most money annually for a position player as of now. He will be 33 years of age in next years season, and it officially starts an 8 year contract. Being in the American League, he can always DH later in his career. Positional player also don’t tend to have mammoth falls in production as quick as pitchers do either.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

"<strong

To Subscribe and listen daily to  ‘Our Lead Personality’  Sully’s 20 Minutes Daily (every day since Oct.24, 2012) Podcast click here.  Guaranteed listening to the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast will be the best time you invest in online!

2016 MLB Previews: Team Salaries + SOTUs (MLB Teams State Of The Unions) Links Page here.

To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage. Like us on Facebook.

Advertisements

About MLB reports

24/7 MLB talk, news, and reports: If baseball is your passion, this site is for you! Follow us on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/MLBreports

Posted on December 24, 2015, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, tommy john surgery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: