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BJ Ryan to Toronto?

BJ Ryan to the Blue Jays?

I find this story interesting because I did a thing on closers earlier this year, so my main question is really about where Ryan's new salary fits in with other big league closers.

  1. Mariano Rivera - $10,500,000
  2. BJ Ryan - $9,400,000
  3. Billy Wagner - $9,000,000
  4. Jason Isringhausen - $8,250,000
  5. Eric Gagne - $8,000,000
  6. Keith Foulke - $7,500,000
  7. Danny Graves - $6,250,000
  8. Troy Percival - $5,906,183
  9. Braden Looper - $5,300,000
  10. Trevor Hoffman - $5,000,000
  11. Armando Benitez - $4,771,000
Ryan's average salary, over the course of those five years, would rank 2nd in the league among that list of "closers." There's a big thing involved, though: baseball's profits are high this year, higher than normal. There's a LOT of money to go around, so, inevitably, contracts will escalate.

I think that we could stand to use a system that incorporates the nature of the market in which a contract is signed into the contract's overall value. For instance, we can compare every player's contract value to the total amount of money taken in by baseball during the previous year, or with the total amount spent on salaries overall, or with the average salary in the league... we adjust everything else for context. Why not contract value?


Ryan and Wagner are somewhat similar. At this point, Ryan is more overpowering, it seems, and he's significantly younger than Wagner (Ryan is 30, Wagner is 34). Those BABIPs could be the product of defense more than anything, but Wagner's have been consistently low and Ryan's have been consistently high. I do not know what is causing that.

The reports indicate that the Blue Jays are actually giving Ryan a 5-year deal, and that's quite rare for a closer. Ryan's K/PA will most certainly drop out at some point during that deal, probably sooner than later, just based on his advanced age.

The bigger thing, though, is that the Ryan deal "sets the market." The general perception is that Billy Wagner is better than B.J. Ryan. While they're awfully close in reality, Wagner is "THE GUY" probably because of his track record and those magical 284 saves compared to Ryan's mere 42.

The point is that Wagner might have even more leverage, now, using BJ Ryan's $9.4 million per year to indicate that he is worth substantially more than that. In reality, I think that Ryan is probably the better signing, but Wagner has the reputation.

Ryan's getting a lot of money from Toronto, it seems, but we'll wait for confirmation on this...