Weekly Assembly: Assigning Contract Lengths

Ask Assembly 9Each week we will feature one reader question here. Each member of the Assembly will attempt to offer the best answer for you. Together you’ll have more than 100 years of experience responding to your issue.

Doug has a question about assigning contract lengths. Thanks for sending this in, and the kind words. We’re happy to help!! Check back in the upcoming days for our answers. Good luck and thanks for visiting us at The Fantasy Assembly!

Hey guys, great job with the Top 200 consolidated rankings…VERY helpful!

I’ve got an offseason dilemma in my scoresheet, NL-only, 12 team league with regards to contracting some young talent for the future. Assuming you have a 4yr, 3yr and 2yr contract, how would you assign them to the following players I intend to keep:

A Rendon

T D’Arnaud

T Cingrani

Guess I’m just looking for your insight as to durability, how long to peak, etc. Who is better for the long haul and who might be the riskier investment? Thanks for your help and happy holidays!

Have at it guys!

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8 comments on “Weekly Assembly: Assigning Contract Lengths

  1. Thanks for the question, definitely the first of its kind we have seen so far. Because it is a 12-team NL-only league, I am inclined to wrap up d’Arnaud for the 4 year contract. There could be some questions about his durability, but he has the potential to be a top catcher and it may take a couple seasons to see his power develop at the MLB level. Next I am wrapping up Rendon for 3 years. I think there is still some playing time issues for Rendon (Espinosa under contract through 2014 I think) but Espinosa could lose some time to Rendon if he does not hit. Rendon obviously has some injuries in his past as well. And that leave Cingrani with the 2 year deal. I am usually cautious with pitchers, even when they have shown potential. Seems that each year some new arms come along to take their place and rise in the fantasy ranks. That would be my strategy, of course part of your decision should be based on the rest of your roster, league setup and the contracts that other teams have on players.

  2. I like d’Arnaud, but I’m skeptical about him at the same time given his minor league numbers were produced in the PCL. It also (in many cases) takes catchers years for their bats to catch up and most don’t become fantasy relivant until their late 20′s. Combine that with the catchers currently in the NL (Posey, Rosario, Lucroy, Molina, Montero, Ramos, Gattis, Mesoraco, Martin, Ruiz, Grandal, Saltalamacchia) and I’m giving the 2 year contract to d’Arnaud.

    Between Rendon and Cingrani, it’s kind of a toss up and comes down to preference.

    Rendon put up good numbers in college but moved very quickly through the minors. I expect growing pains the next year or two as the time he would have spent in the minors honing his craft will now be spent doing on the job training.

    Cingrani has hugh strikeout potential, but he has a problem with walks and keeping the ball in the park. He’s also a one pitch wonder right now, relying on his fastball 81.5% of the time. The league will adjust to this and once that happens his ERA & WHIP will get hammered.

    My personal choice would be to give Rendon the 4 year deal and Cingrani the 3 year contract. Both have big upside, but the position scarcity gives Rendon the edge (at least IMO).

  3. Jim and Pete have covered most of the important commentary. It does comes down to preference.

    I like pitchers, and Cingrani has some upside for sure despite his FB reliance. He’d get the 3 year deal from me.

    I don’t love some of those catchers that Jim has mentioned, even if some are firmly entrenched as starters. I’d take d’Arnaud for 4 years.

    Rendon worries me. I just don’t know that he’ll stick at 2B, which means a move back to 3B maybe, if Zimmerman goes to 1B after LaRoche leaves. Regardless, he has to figure out how to hit well, and he has to find a permanent position and full-time AB. He’s the biggest risk, so he gets 2 years.

  4. Now while I listed each with the years I would keep them for, I’m not a huge fan of any of them given some of the other rookies out there. If you feel the same way, here’s another option.

    Gauge how popular each one of these guys are with the other owners, or more specifically the owners you have better success with as far as trading. If there is a guy who is real high on Cingrani and has players you like that you think you can get, give Cingrani the four year deal. Same goes for Rendon or d’Arnaud. If you’re worried about their production/durability/risk, lock up the more popular player and flip him for someone you like with similar upside.

  5. Interesting question here. I don’t think that any of these players are “safe”. They all have risk factors that could significantly limit their future values. They all have durability concerns, either due to prior injury or the position they play. As far as time to peak performance, Cingrani looks to be the closest of the group although he certainly needs to develop a secondary pitch if he is to become a true ace.

    If I am making this call, I am not so worried about potentially missing a player’s peak years because I made the contract too short. All 3 of these guys have star potential, so you are probably going to miss somebody’s breakout no matter what you do. I want to lock up the best player for the longest contract. Tony Cingrani is that player right now. There are too many question marks surrounding the other two for me to commit to them for 4 years.

    As for the other two, Rendon’s first year in the minors was short, but impressive. Last season with the Nats he didn’t appear to be over-matched, but he didn’t really do a lot to get fantasy owners excited either. d’Arnaud is the riskier of the two players in my opinion, but I also think he has the potential to be more valuable over the next couple years. For that reason, I would give d’Arnaud the 3 year deal and Rendon the 2.

    Good luck.

  6. 3 big risks there.
    The biggest one in my opinion is Cingrani. While I’d love to own him in your league, I’d bet less on him being solid 4 years from now than either of the others. Reasons were stated above : pitchers’ inherent risks for injury and the 81% FB repertoire.
    I love Anthony Rendon and (as Kevin mentioned) if he was going to be a 2B long term, he gets the 4 year nod. I’m not sure how well his bat will play at third though.
    D’Arnaud is no sure thing either, but I do think he’ll be an above average offensive catcher down the road. I suspect it will take him longer to achieve that than the others.

    While it makes sense to “wait” and cash in later on d’Arnaud, my gut says he’s not worth the wait vs other catchers that will be available down the road. (catchers rarely are)
    Because of that, I’m giving my boy Rendon 4 years, Cingrani 3 and d’Arnaud 2.

  7. Thanks fellas! Though the waters might be muddier for me on this decision, I appreciate the various viewpoints. My initial plan was to put the 4 year on Rendon, based on my feeling of highest probability to ‘stick’, coupled with position scarcity at 2B. However, injury is a valid concern and his ankles would probably fare better if he can somehow get to 3B. Main concern with D’Arnaud is having the patience to wait for offensive production that separates himself from the average catcher out there…high upside but when will it come? My fear with Cingrani is the certainty of having a rotation spot for the long haul. Assuming the league catches up to his fastball and his #’s suffer, he could lose a starting job…but didn’t hitters get a good enough look at him last season to adjust? Didn’t really see the ERA & WHIP corrections that were predicted to come. Coming into this, my plan was to go Rendon (4), D’Arnaud (3) & Cingrani (2)…similar thought process to Peter’s. Now think D’Arnaud might justify the 4 year deal as being the guy least likely to get ‘stuck’ with. Keep up the great work with the site and thanks again for weighing in!

    • Our pleasure Doug. Sorry we couldn’t come to a consensus for you. I don’t think it’s a case of vastly differing strong views though. More a case of the candidates, while nice to own, all having substantial risk. I don’t think you’ll go wrong whichever way you go. Really appreciate your feedback and thanks for the question.

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