Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breaking Down the Alexei Deal

The Sox and Alexei Ramirez agreed to a 4 year deal worth $32.5 million with a team option of $10 million for the fifth year. Never are these deals broken down evenly over the 4 years, but for those of you who struggle with mathematics, it's around $8.1 million a year.

Now this is not cheap for a guy who is expected to hit 9th in the Sox lineup, but it also can look like a steal when you look at Alexei as the reigning Silver Slugger and a true candidate for a Gold Glove next year and beyond.

Let's take the time to compare him to some other players at his position.

Tigers Jhonny Perralta makes just short of $5 million per year.
Red Sox Marco Scutaro just over $5 million.
Phillies Jimmy Rollins makes $8.5 million.
Yankees Derek Jeter, $22.6 million.

Alexei is certainly more talented than the first two, and definitely more talented than most of the guys I left off this list that also make less than him.

Comparing him to Jimmy Rollins is tough. Rollins has won an MVP, 3 Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger and has been to All Star Games. Meanwhile Alexei has just his Silver Slugger and a second place showing in the 2008 ROY running. But their career numbers are astoundingly similar. Rollins .272 AVG, 17HR, 72RBI, .328 OBP per year to Alexei's .283 AVG, 20HR, 79RBI, and .321 OBP.

Is Alexei going to turn into Jimmy Rollins? I don't know, but there's no doubt he's on pace to at least be close.

But the question remains, is your ninth place hitter worth $8+ million a year?

Alexei now ranks in as the 6th highest paid player on the White Sox, which seems a little high to be hitting that low in the order.

But the fact is, Alexei is the perfect fit for the projected White Sox style of baseball. He hits for power, average, has speed, unbelievable defensive ability, and he's a spark plug. He's everything Ozzie and Kenny can ask for in a ball player.

$8 million dollars worth? I think yes. And I can't wait to see him continue to prove how good he's going to be as he gains more and more big league experience.

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