Saturday, January 27, 2007

Middle Relief Pitchers Being Shown the Money---NY Times

"In an era when starting pitchers last fewer innings, middle relievers have become more important. A manager needs one or more pitchers to get him from the starter to the closer.

  • With an increase in competition for good relief pitching, teams are offering relievers more money. That is a welcome development for a group that has always been the lowest paid on the field."
  • Murray Chass quotes players' union figures showing the "average salary" up slightly. But growth for the top 10 or 20 contracts spread over 30 teams is probably much higher. Teams are showing they can win relying more on a bullpen and less on starting pitching.

"Average salaries for other players ranged from $2,793,608 for second basemen to $5,872,629 for third basemen. First basemen and designated hitters were also over $5.5 million, and starting pitchers and outfielders were just under $5 million.

The Baltimore Orioles did more than their share this winter to raise the average salary of relievers.

They signed Danys Báez to a three-year, $19 million contract; Jamie Walker for three years and $12 million; and Chad Bradford for three years and $10.5 million."

  • These examples are more illustrative of the point.

"The Mets signed Scott Schoeneweis for three years and $10.8 million.

The Angels signed Justin Speier for four years and $18 million."

From the NY Times article by Murray Chass, 1/28/07, "Middle Relievers Moving Toward Front and Center"

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