A small thought experiment:
Imagine for a moment the perfect starting pitcher. And when I say perfect, I mean he's practically perfect in every way. He is guaranteed to go out every fifth game and to throw nine perfect innings, striking out all 27 batters on 81 pitches. Guaranteed. If your team has a minimally competent offense (must... resist... Royals joke) and can squeeze out one run over nine innings, you have a win. We'll call him Pedro Halladay "Three Finger" Gibson-Young. Figure that over a 162 game season, he'll start 35 times (plus his inevitable All-Star Game start) and garner you 35 wins. If your team makes the playoffs, he'll do the same thing there in two games of each series. Need someone to pitch Game Seven? He'd make a rather nice option.
Now it so happens that this winter, Pedro Halladay "Three Finger" Gibson-Young will be a free agent this winter. Imagine that you have a $100M payroll to work with. How much would you offer him on a per annum basis? Remember that you do have 24 other roster spots to fill and every million that you offer to Mr. Gibson-Young is another million that you can't spend on the rest of the team.
Got a number in your head? (Really? That much? Since we're suspending disbelief, I gave myself the ability to read your mind. And yes, I heard that too. That's disgusting. I would never do that with a lobster.)
- Are you paying a little extra for the Game Seven thing? Should you?
- Consider the number that you just generated. Consider numbers that are thrown around for mere mortals who do not throw perfect games every time out and are not guaranteed to even be good. Are your numbers close?