Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Aaron Crow about to Be Vindicated?

From Buster Olney:
Sources: Crow to sign with Royals
The Kansas City Royals are on the verge of an agreement with their No. 1 draft pick, pitcher Aaron Crow, for a major league deal that will pay him between $3 million and $4.5 million, sources said.

Crow, a right-hander from the University of Missouri, was picked in the first round by the Washington Nationals in 2008, but did not reach an agreement. He re-entered the draft this year, and was selected 12th overall by the Royals.

Crow grew up in Kansas, about 60 miles west of Kansas City. For him, the fact that he could sign with the team closest to his hometown was a pivotal factor.

Crow will start playing in the instructional league.
It's been looking like Crow and his agents at the Hendricks Agency really botched things last year and that he was going to end up with less money and a lost year.

Olney's report suggests that might not be the case. There's a big gap between $3 million and $4.5 million, but if he gets something on the high end of that range and ends up close to home, he'll feel ok about the whole thing I bet.

As I've said before, whatever happens with Crow, it's not a win for the Nationals unless Drew Storen's turns out to be as good or better than Crow.
  • Update: Here's the scoop. Basically, he's getting about half a mil less than the Nationals' final offer, though it's a major league contract, which, well, you know that whole story. Anyway, it's structured in a way that makes it seem like he's getting $3 mil plus another $1.5 million in incentives, but really that's about what he'd get earning a minimum wage. I guess this is supposed to be face-saving, but it's not really. Aaron ate crow. Nationals fans can now feel good about someone else's pain, I guess, since there's nothing else for us to celebrate.


Deacon Drake said...

The Royals were supposedly not budging from 3M. Then again, they are the Royals.

Positively Half St. said...

It's hard to see how he is vindicated, honestly. Even if he gets what he asks for, one could believably say he cost himself a year of development, and therefore one of his earning years at the back end of his career.

I can't help but think that the number is somewhere in the middle, and therefore not significantly different than what the Nats offered. Describing that range is almost certainly a face-saving move for Crow and his agents.

Now Crow is welcome to be mediocre, at best, as far as I am concerned.

Steven said...

If Crow gets 4.5 mil, I think most financial advisors would say he did the right thing. An extra mil in the hand now is better than the chance of more money 4+ years from now.

dcusimano123 said...

Even if he gets $4.5, he still will end up losing money over the long run - assuming he's as good as he thinks he is. He's one year older, and his arb clock/free agency clock is now one year farther out. Assuming he signs for $4.5M, that's $1M more than the Gnats offered.

He's lost (essentially) 1 1/2 years of "clock" - I would imagine had the Gnats signed him last year he would be up now. There's an awful amount of risk involved in getting that extra million.

Steven said...

Cus--you forget that sometime in the next 4-5 years we will run out of oil, climate change will completely go off the rails, and we'll run out of drinking water, triggering global resource wars and the collaspe of the world economy.

Spend all your money now, people! Armageddon is coming, and you can't take it with you!!

dcusimano123 said...

Well, that's true. I thought it was earlier than that. That's what all the clowns on the Mall last weekend said.

hoo said...

Everyone lost in this except for Drew Storen. Crow lost Cash, the Nats a pitcher and the Hendricks credibility.

I'd guess the deal is closer to $3.5 million. from the Royals Ladson equivalent.
The Royals and first-round Draft pick Aaron Crow are reportedly on the verge of agreeing on a Major League contract, but a top club official said Thursday that although the sides have been talking, no deal had been reached.

However, sources indicated that Crow, taken 12th overall in this year's First-Year Player Draft, was about to agree to a Major League contract worth $3 million plus incentives. If he signs, he would go immediately on the Royals' 40-man roster.

HH said...

Fans take this stuff way too personally. Crow got his money one way or another and if he becomes a 15-game winner, he isn't going to care whether he held out or not or signed with the Nationals.

If he doesn't, he's not any worse off.

He could have improved his value by going back into the draft. It didn't happen but he still gets the same money.

He's got a 75% chance of not making it and he didn't really lose anything by holding out.

The Nats aren't any worse off either because they got Storen.

HerbyN said...

i'm very comfortable with the storen for crow swap. not only was storen signed for less, just from a character standpoint i'm happy taking my chances with him over the over-hyped and unproven crow... also, all reports from storen's brief experience in the minors indicates that he at the very least could be a very reliable set-up man or closer for years to come. good riddance to crow....

Anonymous said...

I think vindicated is way to optimistic a word based on that report.

Vindicated? Not at 3M, not at 3.5M. Maybe at 4M or 4.5M, but even then you have to calculate the back-end loss.

It is clear this is not a "win" for the Nats, no matter what Crow signs for.

But I am amazed at how hard you are rooting for this to be a win for Crow and his agents. They screwed up too. His agents did not do him a service, they did not do him any favors and he has still lost out on time. He is NOT more advanced now then a year ago, and is not now closer to being on a major league roster.

Nats lost (regardless of what Storen does, I agree),


Even if he ends up with more, the risk was really not worth it when combined with the loss of service time and the risk of injury.

So that is my two cents.

Steven said...

I root for the players. What I can't understand is why anyone roots for the owners.

Anonymous said...

You don't fire a first round pick on a setup guy. If that's his ceiling, he's not all that. Sabathia got $161 million, Johan Santana $137 million, K-Rod $37 million.

Unless Crow is a bust, he's more valuable than Storen. Nats lose again.

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

I root for the team -- or as Seinfeld would put it, for the laundry. I want the players to do well when they're on my favorite team. When they're elsewhere, who cares?

hoo said...

"I root for the players. What I can't understand is why anyone roots for the owners."

How about the fact that if payroll's are huge then so are ticket prices? There needs to be a balance. Cheering for a player who has demands way over market value simply b/c he's a player and not an owner doesn't make much sense.

Whatever the feelings on Bowden, I think the Nats are both losers and vindicated by this. Crow is just a loser, less money and pitching for a small market, hopeless franchise.

It's a good thing to criticize the Nats for being so cheap that the team blew the new stadium goodwill. But at the same time, you can hammer Crow for being dumb.

HH said...

Aaron Crow is from Kansas. He went to college in Missouri. He gets to sign with the Kansas City Royals which he is probably happy about.

Apparently Crow developed his change up in the year off and was good enough to post a 3-0 1.06 ERA in the independent league. If he did add a good change up, he did as much as he could have done in the minors.

“Everything went well, just about as good as I was hoping it would,” said Crow, “I was pleased with how everything turned out.”

I'd say the guy came out a winner.

I don't pay that much attention to draft choices because they have such a low success rate.

In reading more about Crow, this guy looks like he was well worth the signing bonus and I'm guessing it's the Nats that are going to be sorry in this one. This guy is a heck of a prospect.

Looks like he got $3 million for signing but gets $4.5 million if he makes to the bigs.

It's hard to argue that Crow came out the loser in this deal.

HerbyN said...

i personally feel that a rivera-type 8th inning guy or a top closer is way more valuable than a #4 or #5 starter (which is what most 1st round starting pitchers end up being, that is if they even make the majors at all). in any case, i simply like Storen better. character-wise and he, by all reports has great stuff and an awesome stikeout to walk ratio. crow came off as a bit of a prima-dona punk to me. and i know i could be wrong, just my vibe on him. we got (hopefully) our franchise #1 starter this year and maybe our closer (storen) for the foreseable future. if that's what we end of getting when all is said and done from what was originally our 2008 and 2009 first round selections, the Nats should be happy. if Crow is happy also where he is now. god bless him, but as another post mentioned. he's on another team now. we should move on and not cry over spilled milk.

Bland Moniker said...

It looks like Crow's deal is worth $3 million. It goes up to $4.5 million if he spends each of the next three years in the majors. Unless I'm missing something, this means he lost money by not signing with the Nats (I mean that in absolute terms, nevermind lost service time, salary and development from his year in Fort Worth). The MLB minimum is $390,000. If he was a Nat with a $3.5M bonus in the bank and played 3 years at minimum (1.07M), he'd make just over the 4.5M this contract offers.

HH said...

This is what the Kansas City Star says:

"For example, if he pitches in the minors all of next season and then in the majors all of 2011 and 2012, he’ll get $4.25 million."

He throws 96 mph (and has been clocked at 98) and was 13-0 in the Big 12, a very tough baseball conference.

Some scouts say he'd already be in the majors if he had signed last year.

If he is as good as he thinks and scouts think, he has a pretty good chance at coming out ahead on the deal plus he gets to play for his regional team.

And he didn't put 180 innings on his arm throwing his slider at age 22 so he may be better off by sitting out.

In the end, if he is a quality major league starter, he is hardly even going to remember that he was once drafted by the Nationals.

I don't know why the Nationals didn't just give him the same type of deal. He seems to have been well worth the money. He's not too far behind Strasberg.

They didn't get a bad consolation prize in Storen and maybe it will work out for them.

But this guy looks like the real deal to me. He could easily make the jump from AA in a year. I wish I hadn't read up on this guy.

Steven said...

@hoo--prices are set by supply and demand. Players' salaries have nothing whatsoever to do with it.