lucky: Which players give their teams the best return

Which players give their teams the best return

25 Apr 2018 at 11:59pm
When looking for the worst contracts in baseball, examining massive free-agent deals helps narrow down the potential list of albatrosses. To find the best contracts, free agency is rarely a help. When players have their choice of teams and can create a market, the highest bidder often prevails. To strike a good deal for a team, front offices target players further away from free agency, offering life-changing money in exchange for giving away those precious free-agent opportunities.

What follows are the best contracts for teams considering money owed and expected performance. Players who are currently in the arbitration process -- such as Kris Bryant -- or have yet to reach arbitration -- such as Carlos Correa and Shohei Ohtani -- are not considered here as they have yet to sign a long-term deal with their teams.

THOU SHALT PLAY music. It's less like one of baseball's infinite unwritten rules and more like a commandment. For eight months straight, a group of grown men spends upward of 10 hours a day together in close quarters. Half that time is spent out on the field, stretching, preparing and, /a> of course, playing the actual game. The other half is spent in the locker room. Getting dressed, getting ready, getting focused.

Playing cards, checking phones, killing time. Talking to reporters, talking to teammates, talking to themselves. Through it all, songs -- and the guys who play them -- are the clubhouse constant. Diamond DJs come in all forms, ranging from grizzled vets such as Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford to wide-eyed young'uns such as A's third baseman Matt Chapman. From All-Stars such as Francisco Lindor to backups such as Royals catcher Drew Butera. From Cy Young starters such as David Price to closers such as Pittsburgh's Felipe Vasquez. But regardless of who's running the show, there's one common theme: The show must go on.

For some guys, it's about getting your mind right. "You gotta have some music to get ready for the war," says Dee Gordon, who ran Miami's sound machine before getting traded to Seattle this offseason. For others, it's /a> about greasing the wheels and putting a room full of alpha males at ease. "You need it because silence in the clubhouse is awkward," says Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who audits the audio in Washington. "It helps you interact with your teammates." For Lindor, the Puerto Rican-born shortstop who moved to Florida when he was 12, it's about more than merely interacting. "Music helps you bring together different nationalities. It can unite a whole world."

MUSIC IS SO crucial to clubhouse culture that players will do almost anything to keep it playing. Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin has been known to use a dry-erase board, on which he scribbles the weekly schedule, each day featuring a different pregame genre so that everyone is happy and the music never stops. On a road trip to Camden Yards last year, Rangers Bruce Irvin Womens Jersey DJ Elvis Andrus accidentally left his

beloved Monster Rave Box at home in Texas, so he went to a Best Buy in Baltimore and purchased a humongous Sony receiver to use as a stand-in. Notoriously stoic Nats hurler Stephen Strasburg was fed up with the lack of volume in the team's clubhouse, so midway through last season, he took it upon himself to hit the Bose store in McLean, Virginia's Tysons Galleria, where he dropped four digits on a sleek, black, audio tower that became the team's go-to gear for the remainder of the season. Even when the games don't matter, the music still does.

At Blue Jays spring training in early March, there was a notice posted on the bulletin board one day, saying there would be no music during batting practice. Something about standardized testing at a neighboring elementary school. Josh Donaldson apparently didn't get the memo and proceeded to lug a mammoth Denon wireless receiver out onto the field. Thirty seconds later, with Lil Uzi Vert blaring clear across the town of Dunedin, manager John Gibbons marched right over to the big black box, grabbed it and wheeled it Michael Taylor Jersey back to the locker room. Donaldson went ballistic, following his skipper into the clubhouse and hollering at him the entire way.

OF THE THREE movements comprising the constant concerto that is clubhouse music, it's the postgame piece -- the win song -- that resonates most among players. That's not to say that Act 1 (pre-batting practice) and Act 2 (after BP but before the game) aren't important, but it's the victory verse that sticks in guys' heads and hearts.

"The win song is the only time that everybody's in on it," says recently retired pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who was the Reds' DJ last season and spent much of his 16-year career curating clubhouse playlists. "It's the only time that everybody's there, present tense, with the music. Any other time, guys could be in the weight room, in the shower, in the cage. But when you win, it's a celebration and everybody's present, right there in the music."Of course, it doesn't hurt that the win song is the one that gets the most airplay.

"It's the most important because it's the one we're going to hear most often," says San Francisco's Crawford. Even on a cellar-dwelling team like the Giants, whose 64 W's were tied for the fewest in the majors last season, the win song still gets played dozens and dozens of times. That's why it's crucial to find just the right tune. It's a trial-and-error process that can't be rushed, one that requires input from all corners of the clubhouse. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys

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