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Does Fielder's Contract Outdo Pujols'?

Given that the details of Fielders contract haven't been released, we can't really do a proper comparison of the two. What we can do, however, is make a few assumptions. (And yes, they're going to be very broad assumptions, but they're generally supportable).

Let's assume that Fielder's contract is level for all 9 years, earning him about 23.8M per. Let's further assume that the long term inflation rate is 3%, as is generally forecasted for a short term period.

Discounting the nominal values:

Pujols' contract in 2012 dollars = 201.05M

Fielder's contract in 2012 dollars = 185.15M

This gives us a difference of 15.91M. But, that's not a fair comparison. We know that as of 2011, living in Detroit is 45% cheaper than living in Los Angeles. (Note: Home prices in Detroit are approximately 83% lower than those in LA, but I'll use the 45% Cost of Living Adjustment, for the sake of conservatism).

Let's further assume that the divide between Detroit and LA Decreases by 5% per year, as the automotive economy picks up, and as the housing market in the "Sand States" of the union continues to decline. So, from a 45% adjustment in 2012, we decline exponentially to a 29.9% adjustment in 2020.

So, if we adjust Fielders contract by dividing by one minus this adjustment (essentially adjusting it to get the same "purchase power" as Pujols' contract in LA gets --> Detroit Dollars * LA Purchase Power/Detroit Purchase Power = LA Dollars):

Fielder's annual purchase power adjusted salaries:

Season Salary
2012 $43.2 million
2013 $41.5 million
2014 $40 million
2015 $38.7 million
2016 $37.5 million
2017 $36.5 million
2018 $35.5 million
2019 $34.7 million
2020 $33.8 million

Discounting THIS cash flow stream at the same 3% gives him 297.3M in 2011 dollars, at the same purchase power level as Pujols is getting in LA.

So, you could argue that Fielder's contract is about 96M BETTER than Pujols', simply because of location.

Then again, you could argue (and I'd agree with you), that when you're talking about this much money, the general economy doesn't really impact you that significantly, and that you're less likely to actually live in the area where you're working, and thus Fielder won't draw on the massively cheaper cost of living in Detroit (because he doesn't have to).

But, assuming they live and spend most of their time where they work, Fielder can buy more toys with his contract than Pujols can buy with his. Still has to spend a lot of time in Detroit though. Which negates pretty much all the benefits.

So you can argue (and again, I'd agree), that this analysis isn't really relevant because of the raw dollars involved. It's kind of interesting, though...

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