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02-05-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
People need to understand the market. UFAs get more money because you can sign them for free. Not only that, but the player going to the highest bidder means that the price for a guy is set by the highest amount he COULD get to a particular team that has a need for him. Almost all of the producers' surplus goes to the player in such a case.

RFA-age players allow for a surplus in value to the team. In other words, the player is paid BELOW free-market value. He is NOT allowed to go to the highest bidder, and anyone who bids for him MUST give compensation to the team that had him before. Thus RFA-age players can be obtained by trading another player or players, or prospects or picks, but in all cases these are ASSETS given up. The team still "overpays" to get that player, but now it comes not all from salary but also partly from players given back or other assets given back.

Don't expect to see bargain UFA contracts very often, at least not for those who sign early. Sometimes you can get a bargain very late in the summer for a guy who slipped through July but you cannot COUNT on building a team that way. If you feel you have a need for an Eric Cole type player, you bite the bullet and pay on July 1st or so, because the chances of him still being around on August 15th and available for $750k for one year are pretty slim.

Is $4.5M for 4 years steep for Cole? Yes, in one sense, meaning compared to what he was making a few years ago as an RFA. However, to get him then, it might have cost Andrei Markov or a top pick or prospect that could turn out to be a Pacioretty, Price or Subban.

So, how do teams afford UFAs if they cost more than RFAs? Simple, the cap allows for a mix of both. No need to stay away from ALL UFA contracts and it is not efficient to ONLY go after UFAs.

To add, Gorges signed as basically a UFA, were all the listed signed to these contract as UFAs or RFAs or a mixture ? The other point is in my humble, subjective opinion the contract is fine and thats the price for a solid defensive D-man signing as a UFA eg see Gleason.

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