For those of you under a certain age, the answer is no, these aren’t two sleeper prospects for your 2017 Fantasy roster. One of the favorite pastimes of smart asses like the Old Duck is to put a song in your head that you can’t remove for at least 24 hours. In 1953, Clyde McPhatter was the lead singer of the Drifters when they recorded “Money Honey” (later covered by Elvis Presley). Not to be confused with the Lady Gaga song, it’s lyrics include…
Well, I learned my lesson and now I know–
The sun may shine and the wind may blow–
Women may come, and the women may go,
But before I say I love ’em so,
I want–money, honey!
If you wanna get along with me.
The fledgling Motown Records was provided with important capital when Barrett Strong hit the charts in 1960 with “Money, That’s What I Want” (later covered by the Beatles).
The best things in life are free–
But you can keep ’em for the birds and bees,
Now give me money, (that’s what I want), that’s what I want.
As we continue to marvel at MLB’s endlessly deep wallets, let’s look back at a list I complied in January of 2013 hoping to give the readers an opportunity to once again be a General Manager. Based on some minimal research, it appeared that there were almost two dozen major league players who were scheduled to make at least $20 Million for the 2016 season. The task 3+ years ago was to determine which of these players you would really want on your roster in 2016 at these prices. Some figures represent the actual salary for ’16, while others are an average of a long-term deal. We won’t quibble over a million here or a million there. The player’s age for that season was listed to help with your analysis.
> Zack Greinke, age 32, $26 Million
> Ryan Howard, age 36, $25 Million
> Albert Pujols, age 36, $25 Million
> Josh Hamilton, age 35, $25 Million
> C.C. Sabathia, age 35, $25 Million
> Prince Fielder, age 32, $24 Million
> Joe Mauer, age 33, $23 Million
> Mark Teixeira, age 36, $22.5 Million
> Cole Hamels, age 32, $22.5 Million
> Jose Reyes, age 33, $22 Million
> Matt Kemp, age 31, $21.5 Million
> Jayson Werth, age 37, $21 Million
> Carl Crawford, age 34, $21 Million
> C.J. Wilson, age 35, $20 Million
> Alex Rodriguez, age 40, $20 Million
> Adrian Gonzalez, age 34, $20 Million
> David Wright, age 33, $20 Million
> Jered Weaver, age 33, $20 Million
> Joey Votto, age 32, $20 Million
> Ryan Braun, age 32, $20 Million
> Troy Tulowitzki, age 31, $20 Million
> Matt Cain, age 31, $20 Million
In 2013, what percentage would you have picked to be on your team in 2016? Possibly 50% or more? Three years later, even with inflated salaries, how many would you have kept this past April 1st if you had an opt-out clause in their contract? With all due respect, the Old Duck would keep Hamels & Votto…that’s it! The next time your favorite team signs a free agent to a contract that takes that player into his mid-30’s, think about this list and temper your expectations.