Pedro Alvarez Finally Signs Minor League Deal with the Baltimore Orioles
Pedro Alvarez finally signed for the 2017 season, but all he’s getting is a minor league deal that promises him $2 million for major league service time and an additional $3.5 million in performance bonuses.
It amazes me that not one of the 14 other American League teams thought Alvarez was worth even a $1M or $1.5M guarantee and $4M or 4.5M in performances bonuses. He was paid $5.75 million in each of 2015 and 2016, and fangraphs says that his 2016 season was his most valuable since 2013. In fact, fangraphs valued his 2016 performance at a lusty $9 million.
Sure, Alvarez’s only major league skill is his ability to hit right-handed pitchers hard, but that in itself can have a lot of value. There must have been at least one AL team that could have used another left-handed hitting platoon player with pop.
While I don’t think Alvarez will be worth $9 million in 2017, especially on an Orioles team which has signed other players with similar skills and apparently only re-signed Alvarez because he came so cheap, but he has to have been worth the $2M guarantee he never saw. On a minor league deal, he’s basically insurance if Seth Smith gets old, Hyun Soo Kim hits a sophomore slump, or either gets hurt in 2017.
It’s also looking like the end of the road for Justin Morneau and Ryan Howard. It’s hard to imagine any team at this late date giving either faded slugger a $1 million guarantee, and why sign a minor league deal at this point their careers unless you really, really, really want to continue playing baseball.