I think a neat trick for a GM would be to sign a player for nine years and $167 million, but to make it the league minimum for eight and $163 million for the final season, then shop him in the last year of the deal and hope that the other 29 GMs are a bunch of stoners who don't like research. I think that would make a nice screenplay, too. Hold on, gotta text my writing partner …
Alas, that's not what the Giants have done. They've structured the money more conventionally. A breakdown of the money, by way of John Shea:
Signing bonus: $7 million
2013: $3 million
2014: $10.5 million
2015: $16.5 million
2016: $20 million
2017: $21.4 million
2018: $21.4 million
2019: $21.4 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $21.4 million
2022: Team option for $22 million with a $3 million buyout
That's a spicy meatball. The odds are pretty good that Posey will be an expensive first baseman by 2022. But check out what the top salaries looked like ten years ago. Barry Bonds made $15 million, and he was the 11th-highest paid player. Jeff Bagwell was a star making Aaron Rowand money. This is what economists like to call "The Money Getting Bigger but Meaning the Same Effect", but I've come up with a simpler term: inflation. So that $22 million is probably going to look a wee different in the future.
And if Posey is an expensive first baseman, it'll be more like the Todd Helton deal: cumbersome, but workable, and with a player who runs the town.
We're a few years from conceding that, though. Until then, it's safe to get a Posey tattoo. A visible one, this time.