Svrluga went over 100 million dollar deals a month ago or so. He's right a lot of them haven't worked out. Let's review them in chrono order to see how they compare to ZNN
Kevin Brown 1999 - 7/105. The guy was 34 in that first year. ZNN could in theory sign a long term deal where he was 34 to start the final year. Brown had been awesome right before that but this was doomed from the start
Mike Hampton 2001 - 8/121. The one that ruined it for 5 years of pitchers. I don't evaluate Rockies pitchers. That places can mess you up.
Barry Zito 2007 - 7/126. Zito just was good but had a fair amount of troubling signs and again, was good, not great. ZNNs been great.
Johan Santana 2008 - 6/137.5. Finally someone not old, very good, and pitching someplace normal to compare. This one you can look at and what happened is Santana got hurt. Here's your cautionary tale if you want it. He was never bad though, even battling through injuries early in the contract.
CC Sabathia 2009 - 7/161. People were worried about this deal from the get go because of Sabathia's body type. Turns out he did pretty well staying in (well enough) shape. But injuries caught up with him nonetheless and they caused a big drop in velocity making the last couple years a struggle. First 4 were great though and a World Series title probably wouldn't have happened without him.
I'll note here that both these cautionary tales were worked much harder than ZNN. In the past 3 years ZNN has thrown just over 600 innings. Both CC and Johan were over 680 (CC would have likely topped 700 if not for an injury costing him a few starts). Both were also ridden hard in their new location. Personally I think ZNN is a type of pitcher that could take on a few more innings but the fact he's been as cared for up to this point is something I consider a big positive.
Cliff Lee 2011 - 5/120. Already 32 at the start of the contract it was a gamble. Made it three years before injuries got him.
Matt Cain 2012 - 6/127.5. This might be the most interesting comparison. Consistently good for years Cain got his deal. Year 1 was fine but year two started with the perfect storm of luck/performance that ruined the overall stats for the year. The elbow went in 2014. All we needed was a great season mixed in there and you'd run the gamut of potential outcomes.
Could ZNN be great? Yes. Could he just be ok? Yes. Could he luck into an off season? Yes. Could he get hurt? Yes.
Every year who wins and who loses is determined, in no small part, by who is healthy and who is not. The older you get the more likely it is you get hurt. That's just the way it goes. You can avoid signing players, especially pitchers, long term in their 30s to try to minimize injury risk, but you are limiting your talent pool for players a great deal if you do so. Better to try to make smart gambles on these types of players than to make no gambles at all. ZNN, healthy, on the younger side for these deals, not overworked, showing no signs of slipping, would be about as smart a gamble as you can make.
Christmas Movie Reviews
X(Mas)-Factor: X(mas)-Songs and X(mas)-Decor but where's the X(mas)-Spirit?
Kids acting: Mercifully brief.
Watchability: Nearly "un" to start slowly improving to barely
"Hey it's"! : Reginald VelJohnson! Tori Spelling! One of Sister, Sister! They were right! I never knew how much I missed her!
Some actors, when given a ham role, are fantastic scene chewers. Tori Spelling shoves the cud of the script into her gaping maw and works it with her mouth wide open into a disgusting, slobbering mess. When trying to show anger she furrows and fumes in the same way an 8 year old would if you told them to show their "mad face" Mercifully, if you can survive the first 30 minutes or so, her role becomes more limited and the rest of the movie is... well still pretty bad but not actively against you.
Tia plays a girl named Holly, because of course. One plot is about work over whatever because working hard is a terrible character trait to have in Christmas movies. You want your family to have money? YOU MONSTER.They sing "updated" Christmas songs (re: slightly faster and bouncier) which starts with an update of 12 Days of Chirstmas which is a terrible song without updating. There's jokes that amount to "Look at that chubby Asian! He's chubby! And Asian!". There's bad logic like it's so important that she make the audition yet she's late and it's not like she overslept, she's simply in the shower and apparently loses track of time, I guess. The Christmas Belles don't need that kind of wild card!. They even use their best asset, RVJ, sparingly. Ugh, looking through that it's a Christmas miracle I made it through this movie.
I'll give it 3 lords a leaping for RVJ and high production values.
X(Mas)-Factor: Its not called "Matchmaker Easter Bunny"
Kids acting: Nope! On a good run here!
Watchability: I watched it!
"Hey it's"! : Carol Brady! Cliff from Cheers! Lacey Sherbet!
Santa is a manipulative jerk. That's basically the take away from this movie as Santa, while taking a break from his usual gig performing for this small town (You thought he made toys at the North Pole? What are you, six?), uses his magic to force the Party of Five girl to break up with her work-first boyfriend and shack up with his assistant. Literally, he forces them to share a hotel room. What kind of kinky freak are you, Santa? He causes rashes, scares with wild animals, gets people lost. He has no moral compass of his own, how is he deciding who is naughty and who is nice? I suppose he is technically fulfilling a wish she made as a child to find a true love as strong as her parents did but why not just show boyfriend #1 a way to be more attentive?. I mean at one point in the movie he is willing to face a bear with a baseball bat to go get her. How is that not showing you something Santa? What more do you need?
The movie gets minor credit for not making her old boyfriend a total jerk like it usually goes in these movies. They are shown rather to be better suited for others. However there is a definite sense Lacey and her new boyfriend are better people because she bakes and he works with wood. Again, I can not stress this enough, people who work hard at office jobs are the worst people in the world. And the worst part, the movie at one point states that Lacey's secret cookie ingredient is "vanilla bean extract". Seriously? Not sugar or flour? "I use butter in my cookies" Mouth open. You just blew my mind, Chabert.
I give it 5 little round bellies that shake like bowls full of jelly