When I saw the deal that Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder signed, I think I was just as astonished as every other sports fan in the world. One year salary for these men, doesn’t even compare to what the average American may earn in a lifetime. The sad thing is, these large contracts for athletes are becoming such a common occurance now a days, how are they justified? I fully understand that these athletes are not being solely paid on their talent, but the amount of revenue they bring into the organization. Scott Boras is a mastermind at getting the maximum financial reimbursement for his clients. For example, when the addition of a high profile athlete to an organization occurs, not only do they bring their skill set but they directly influence ticket sales, concessions, merchandising and possibly tv contracts . So not only is this player affectings wins and losses, but they heavily influence other key finanical attributes to the stadium and organization hence larger contracts.
I truly agree that Prince Fielder is a hell of an offensive player, but I do think that his contract was rather large for his skill set. The hype he and his state of free agency received from the media in my opinion truly was a catalyst for such an abundance of money – and I guess you can throw Scott Boras in that equation as well. He broke out this “trend” or “precedent” I guess you could so call it with a 10 year 252 million dollar contract for Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers back in 2001. Same goes with Albert Pujols on two different occasions (8 year/111 million from ’04-’11 and 10 year/246 million ’12-’21).
Assuming that both athletes will financially contribute equally to their respective orgainization in ticket sales, merchandising etc., it is possible to analyze Prince Fielder’s contract based on statistics and prove he isn’t as qualified as we may think towards an Albert Pujols like contract, but in my opinion geared more toward an Adam Dunn like contract.
To begin, when you think of Prince Fielder you think of a power hitter. You could equally argue the same for both Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn as well. Since these three athletes were most likely signed for their offensive production, and not as much as their defensive skills – lets examine how each compare.
2011 Stats – Avg. (.299) HRs (37) RBI (99) SLG (.541) 2Bs (29) RUNs (105)
Career Avg. (.328) HRs (445)RBI (1329) SLG (.617) 2Bs (455) RUNs (1291)
2012 Contract – 10 yr / 246 million = (24.6 million / year)
Money Earned to Date – 104,040,000 million
2010 Stats – Avg. (.260) HRs (38) RBI (103) SLG (.536) 2Bs (36) RUNs (85)
Career Avg. (.243) HRs (365) RBI (922) SLG (.503) 2Bs (282) RUNs (901)
2011 Contract – 4 yr / 56 million = (14 million / year)
Money Earned to Date – 68,695,000 million
*(Note 2010 stats were used because that was the previous year before he landed his 4 year and most recent contract)
2010 Stats – Avg. (.299) HRs (38) RBI (120) SLG (.566) 2Bs (36) RUNs (95)
Career Avg. (282) HRs (230) RBI (656) SLG (.540) 2Bs (200) RUNs (571)
2012 Contract - 9 year / 214 million = (23.7 million / year )
Money Earned to Date - 34,914,000 million
Looking at these numbers, it is more reasonable to compare Prince Fielder to Adam Dunn like numbers rather than Albert Pujols like numbers thus reflecting contract and financials. We all know Albert Pujols had a down year in every offensive statistical category this past year, and Prince Fielder having one of his best if not the best of his career along with his ’09 statistics. Not to mention Pujols played in 15 less games than Fielder due to injury. So Pujols’ worst year compared to Fielder’s best year, I think we can take him out of the equation for comparison to stats. Obviously the career stats do not compare because Pujols has 3 full seasons longer than Fielder, but then again taking Fielders best statisical year and multiplying it by 3 and adding that to his career total, he still wouldnt catch Pujols’ career numbers.
I believe Fielder doesn’t have as bad of numbers as Adam Dunn, but they are more comparable rather than to Pujols. Their last statistical year before their contract, they have very similar numbers that landed them their new contracts. We can’t compare length of contracts because of age, but we can compare average salary a year. Take Fielders best year (’09) and multiply that 3 times in every offensive category and add it to his career totals to estimate career totals to Adam Dunn.
Fielder’s 11 Career Estimated Totals – AVG (.288) HRs (368) RBIs (1079) SLG (.576) 2Bs (305) RUNs (880)
Adam Dunn’s 11 Career Totals – AVG (.243) Hrs (365) RBIs (922) SLG (.503) 2Bs (282) RUNs (901)
So with all this being said, did Fielder receive a hell of a pay day or has Adam Dunn been screwed in his career out of potential money? Both Fielder and Pujols work with Scott Boras and Adam Dunn with Greg Genske. Hmmmmm. Has the media “hyped” up Prince Fielder just because he was the face of a franchise for a small market team for most of his career?
Adam Dunn now makes 14 million a year and Prince Fielder 23.7 million a year. I’m aware Dunn’s average is considerably lower and Dunn strikes out 27% of the time and Fielder only 19% of the time, but is that enough to justify a $10 million gap between the two? The only considerable variable that I see besides age = Scott Boras. Can the man walk on water too?