... but I think you'll admit, it's a fun one.
Grant over at McCovey Chronicles posted a story speculating on what certain Giants in history would have received this offseason, had they put up their career season now, rather than years ago. This one's my favorite:
1962 stats: 596 AB, 49 HR, 141 RBI, .304/.384/.615
His agent would say: Hi, I represent Willie Mays.
Contract in this market if he entered free agency after a season like '62: 15 years/$350M, a ride to the ballpark everyday on a rickshaw of pure gold that's pulled by the Nobel Prize winner of Mays's choice; another 15 year/$400M option that automatically vests after Mays hits four doubles over the life of the contract; the secret of fire; all of the cool powers that come with being a vampire without any of the downside; autonomous control of the world's penicillin supply just in case; when coupons say something is "buy one, get one free" and the fine print says that the free item is the one of lesser or equal value, Mays would be able to take the more expensive item for free at any store in the world; additional womens and foodstuffs as requested.
So with that as background, consider these Cub seasons, and post what you think they'd get if they entered free agency in offseason 2006, coming off such a year (I've deliberately made this in the pre-Tribune Co. era, so as to have most of the seasons be before free agency existed):
Rick Reuschel, 1977: 20-10, 2.79 ERA, 252 IP, 166 K
His agent would say: Not only can he pitch, he can hit (.207/.225/.299 with 3 2B, a 3B and a HR)! He deserves five years, $80 million.
Bruce Sutter, 1977: 7-3, 31 saves, 1.34 ERA, 107.1 IP, 23 BB, 129 K
His agent would say: Nobody can hit the split-finger pitch. He's the best closer in baseball and he's only 24! Six years, $80 million.
Billy Williams, 1970: 42 HR, 129 RBI, 137 runs, .322/.391/.586, 2nd in MVP voting
His agent would say: Where else can you find left-handed power like this? Plus, until this year he played every single day for more than six years. Reward my client for his entire career. Five years, $110 million.
Ron Santo, 1967: 31 HR, 98 RBI, 107 runs, .300/.395/.512, 4th in MVP voting
His agent would say: Who else plays third base this well and hits like this? He's a 27-year-old kid who's only going to get better. Four straight gold gloves! Four years, $100 million, except he gets an opt-out clause after the first two years.
Dick Ellsworth, 1963: 22-10, 290.2 IP, 185 K, 2.11 ERA
His agent would say: Lefthanded pitchers don't grow on trees, you know! This kid's only 23, and he was almost as good as Koufax this year! Lock him up now! Six years, $130 million, full no-trade clause.
Ernie Banks, 1958: 47 HR, 129 RBI, 119 runs, .313/.366/.614, 1st of 2 straight MVPs, on a team that went 72-82
His agent would say: You know, Ernie's funny. He's the best player in the game right now, but he just loves to play -- or play two. He'll play for the minimum salary and all the Smokie Links he can eat.
(after the gales of laughter subside)... and ten years, $300 million.