Sunk Costs: We’re Not Alone
Posted by JD on February 23, 2010
In a recent post I campaigned for the Mets to sign Felipe Lopez to compete with Alex Cora and Luis Castillo despite knowing that, based on their history, it will never happen. To the best of my knowledge, the Mets rarely cut their losses. The concept of “sunk costs” has just never registered with them and it’s not about to start with Cora ($2 million in 2010) or Castillo ($6 million in 2010 and 2011). And while that frustrates me to no end, today I was lucky enough to be given a dose of reality in the form of Rob Neyer’s post on how the A’s are handling Eric Chavez (I applaud his usage of italics and bold print – very creative!).
Now that, my friends, is a sunk cost. But what Mr. Neyer didn’t mention (and didn’t really have to) is how poorly Chavez played in 2009. Granted, it was only eight games, but Chavez racked up a -30 OPS+ (100 equals league average). I didn’t even know it was possible to have a negative OPS+ so I’m not entirely confident in my next statement, but it sure looks like the A’s paid $11.5 million to a player who was 130% below league average. Ouch.
One situation has nothing to do with the other, especially when you factor in the size of their respective markets. But the fact the fans of a franchise that employs Mr. Moneyball have to deal with an albatross contract of their own at least softens the blow. For what it’s worth.