Upon Contract Years

Interesting article from Forbes:



18 Responses to “Upon Contract Years”

  1. Sherm Says:

    But the data could be skewered because many players perform poorly in the last year simply b/c they are done and over the hill by the time their contracts expire. Like Gary Sheffield last year, for example. Or Tom Glavine’s last year with the Mets. Posada next year. Or A-Rod eight years from now. Look at GMjr. He had a career year in his last contract year, but he was in his early thirties. He’ll suck for his next contract year at age 36. Or how about Carl Pavano? Big year for his Yankee contract. Not so big year 4 yrs later after years of arm troubles.

    To get a better idea, the study should just focus on players entering contract years during their prime years, as opposed to all players entering contract years. Very flawed study.

  2. Author Says:

    Sooooo, not interesting then?

  3. Sherm Says:

    I read it with interest, but concluded at the end that the data was overly broad, and the conclusion thus faulty. I would love to see the same study based only on players at or near their prime years (28-32) to eliminate stats from shot players in the last year of their last good contract.

  4. Author Says:

    Just curious, why is 28-32 prime time? Is it the mid-point of athleticism and experience? I’m just asking b/c its end of prime for basketball, and almost dinosaur for many FB positions.

  5. Sherm Says:

    That has long been considered the prime years of a baseball player’s career, with age 27 being the break through season for a young player.

    Baseball a total different animal than basketball or football.

  6. Charlie Says:

    Well, as someone who is a big fan of shooting down things long considered true, I was asking you for a bit more than that. Is there evidence to back up those being the prime years? Clutch has long been considered to be a trait players posess or don’t. RBI and pitcher wins were long considered valuable metrics….etc.

  7. Sherm Says:

    Yes. Statistics. Players’ best years are usually 28-32. I have never considered wins important. By the time I was 10, I knew to ignore that irrelevant statistic.

  8. Sherm Says:


  9. Charlie Says:

    Yes, statistics, I see. Care to elaborate, or should I just content myself with “statistics” being a sufficient answer that needs no further info? Where are you drawing these “statistics” from?

    A-rod’s numbers before 27 are pretty excellent
    Pujols has clearly been in his prime for years prior to his 27th.
    Joe D declined after 27 with the exception of his 1948 season.
    Babe Ruth crushed before and after 27-32.

    Is there something to back this claim up besides conventional wisdom?

  10. Sherm Says:

    I read along time ago that those years were statistically the prime years. Why would you challenge such a statement? If not 28-32, then when? And please don’t include the steroids era.

  11. Charlie Says:

    I’ve heard about that range too, but since you belong to the community that enjoys debunking “conventional wisdom” I figured you wouldn’t take a statement like that on faith/at face value.

    I’m still working it out, but I want to write something about the pitcher win being completely devalued. I get that it’s not the most reliable stat, and that other stats matter more. But I think something is lost if stats like wins, RBI…etc are eschewed rather than viewed along with more advanced matrices. Winning a game should not be viewed as meaningless, more like part of the story.

  12. Sherm Says:

    The point is that such stats are based on the performance of players around the player, rather than the performance of the player himself. I don’t ignore such stats. I just put them in the proper perspective.

    How about Big Pelf? The Mets have won six games. He has started three of them and closed out a fourth. He has pitched 19 consecutive innings without giving up a run.

    As for the prime years, the point remains that virtually every player has a free agent year where he is pass his prime. Do you think Tex will put up good numbers in his last year as a Yankee compared to his last year as an Angel? Such factor needs to be considered when making a fair study as to players’ performance in contract years.

  13. Charlie Says:

    I get the part about the prime and decline, I just wondered if there was a study that you could point me to re: prime ages.

    Pelf looks pretty good thus far. You will need him up top as your 2. Big Pelf is a pretty terrible nickname though. Big should be reserved for tanks like CC Prince Howard…etc. I also wouldn’t get too excited about the Nats Rocks and Cubs.

  14. Sherm Says:

    Rockies are one of the best teams in baseball, and Cubs are solid just not playing well right now (A-Ram, Soriano, Derrick Lee, Soto, Theriot, Byrd, Fuckudome). He’s Big Pelf because he’s 6’7″.

    I’m pretty certain that a Times article I read a long, long time ago documented the 28-32 prime years in view of HOF’ers’ careers. But I’m not aware of anything certain, and would not be surprised if year 27 was a “prime year.”

  15. Charlie Says:

    How about my boy Phil? Big Hughes dealing!

  16. Sherm Says:

    Nice game. Kid’s gonna be real good.

    Or I could be like you and comment that it was against the lowly A’s. 🙂

  17. Charlie Says:

    Lol. He had no hit stuff last night, but the ump had a big zone too. Still, nice to see that back, because that Texas game a few years back had me all kinds of excited.

  18. Sherm Says:


    Interesting read.

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