As someone who has wasted hundreds of dollars buying lottery tickets, I’ve always asked myself if I would take the annuity or the lump sum. Sure having the millions laid out in a bed and rolling around in them like a pig sounds like a wonderful afternoon, but is it worth the stability of having a couple hundred thousand a year for 30 years?
Bryce Harper and Scott Boras had to answer that question last week. For Boras it was simple, more years and more money means bigger commission. Harper, however, had the chance to take the Dodgers’ reported $45 million per 3 years. It would give the former MVP a huge payday while keeping him closer to his native Las Vegas at the risk of an injury that could cost him a future mega deal at the age of 30. Dodgers fans are irritated to say the least, and I’m sure the boo birds will be in town when the Phillies come to Dodgers Stadium. But what is next for the cash rich franchise?
It was thought the recent “frugality” of ownership was to clear the luxury tax threshold in order to go big in 2020 when Nolan Arenado was slated for free agency. It should be no surprise that once Colorado handed him an 8 year $260 million extension that the Dodgers went back into the Harper sweepstakes. With a recently extended, and a recently injured, Clayton Kershaw beginning to feel the grips of Father Time it has to be believed that the front office would like to get the best out of the ace before it’s too late. So who will it be? The 2020 free agency class doesn’t seem to be as star struck as the 2019 class and I sincerely doubt that the penny pinching will continue until 2021 when Mike Trout will be the prize.
As someone who prefers to develop the young instead of signing the old (ahem Lakers *cough), I tend to believe in the development of Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Cody Bellinger. A former professional football columnist used to think that you shouldn’t use up your salary cap on a star player when you can go out and draft the next Bryce Harper or the next Mike Trout. Who is to say that those players aren’t currently on your roster? Let the young develop and use that money to re-sign them, I don’t want to see another late 90’s early 2000’s Yankees I want to see a new “Infield.”