Let’s just take a second and let that headline marinate.
Alright, yes, it still sounds a little crazy and outlandish. How is a $30 million contract for a starting pitcher with a career record of 51-56 team friendly? Scott Feldman also sports a lifetime ERA of 4.62 matched with a 1.37 WHIP. These are not exactly numbers that generate too much confidence in a starting pitcher.
I will take a step back here, and say that I did support the addition of Feldman. I’m not sure that his career stats paint an accurate picture of what we can expect from him going forward. Last season, the 30-year old starter had an ERA of 3.86 while pitching for the Cubs and Orioles.
When healthy and not shuttled between the rotation and bullpen, the right-hander has shown the ability to be an innings eater that was desperately needed in Houston’s rotation.
The contract itself did appear to be excessive at first glance, but that is the market we are dealing with. However as Jon Heyman reported, the terms of the contract are actually team friendly for the Astros.
scott feldman received a frontloaded contract. $12M in ’14, $10M in ’15, $8M in ’16. $30M over 3 yrs in total. #astros
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 10, 2014
Overall, the total dollars are the same, but to me this is important. The 2016 Astros are going to look a lot different than the 2014 Astros. Feldman might not even be on the Astros at that point. So the fact that he is making $2 million less than the average of his contract is a big deal. Either it makes him slightly more attractive on the trade market, or it frees up funds that will be needed for free agent signings and arbitration eligible players.