Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Rent or Not To Rent

There has been a lot talk in the Detroit sports scene; on rather the Tigers should try to trade for New York Mets’ Jose Reyes and make a run at the championship or continue on their current course. The Tigers are considered playoff contenders by the experts, but Reyes will help them become championship contenders. Reportedly, Reyes whose contract ends at the end of the baseball season wants a new contract worth 150 million for about 6 years. In addition, the Tigers are losing money and willing sign a player for 150 million in about 6 years. Thus, Reyes in this case of the Tigers will be a “rented” player.
A “rented” player is a player whose contract with a team set to end at the end of given season, and traded to a new team, but have no plans to resign with the team they are traded to. Commonly, these trades happen in basketball, hockey, and baseball. Especially in baseball, where teams have more options in terms of trading pieces: such as players, draft picks and minor league prospects and give them away to get the “rented” player. There are good, bad, and ugly sides to these trades for the team who go out and get the players whose contracts are set to expire.
THE GOOD: The team who went from playoff contender to championship contender after the trade wins the championship and the player who they traded for changed his mind and re-sign with team.
THE BAD: Same as the good, but the player refuses to re-sign with the team he helped win the championship. Plans to use his new championship mantle as a negotiation chip for more money with a team in the open market called free agency.
THE UGLY: The team who attempted to win a championship with said trade, fails to win the championship and the player they got refuse to sign up a new contract with team he was traded for, and goes to free agency to see how much teams are willing to pay for his services.
There are risks in getting a “rented” player, some are great like winning a championship to horrible like not having a chance to play for a championship by not making to the playoffs; these things are something to consider. As for the Reyes’ question in terms should the Tigers trade for him, to me I do not think he is worth the risk. He is a good player, but the losses are much more than any minuscule gains that are made along any trade for him.  

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