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Florida Marlins long term contracts for pitchers

For some unknown reason, the Miami Herald asked David Samson about the pitchers, possible, contracts.

The Marlins have had a ''lot of internal discussions'' about giving long-term contracts to their young pitchers but, ''I'm not in favor of it,'' president David Samson said. ''There's a very high risk/reward,'' with injuries a concern. Fortunately, the Marlins control arbitration-eligible Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco for three more years.

First off, Samson has nothing to do with the baseball operations.  That is where Beinfest is king.  The way it goes is Loria sets the baseball budget and Beinfest somehow works around it to put the best team on the field that he can.  And Samson has nothing to do with that.

That said.  Samson may be right.  (Boy, that was painful to write.)  Of course, it depends on Samson's definition of "long-term".

Back when John Schuerholz was GM of the Atlanta Braves, the organization never signed a pitcher for more than three years.  Even in the days of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz.  The reason being that pitching is probably the hardest thing on the body in all of sports.  The human body is not designed to handle the discrete jerks away from the body and back to the body that the pitching motion requires.  It causes extreme pressure on the muscles and tendons which allows Dr. Andrews to get rich(er).  Excellent mechanics can help but most pitchers don't throw with the perfect motion.

That is not to say the club shouldn't buy out the arbitration years of a promising young pitcher.  Assuming the pitcher has been taken care of and hasn't been allowed to throw too many innings or increase his innings dramatically from one season to the next, it makes sense to buy out those years.  I mean after all, it is just three years.  Which was the normal the contract the Braves used when they had the best starters in baseball.

Of course, some agents advise their clients strongly not to let the club buyout  their arbitration years since it could lower their price when they reach free agency, and the agent's commission in the process.  I haven't looked recently but I don't think we have any more Scott Boras clients on the pitching staff.  Last time I checked, Matt Sosnick was the agent for what seems like most of the team, and he is good guy.  In others words, he will advise the player to do what is in the player's best interest and not so that he can have a bigger payday in the future.