Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Saban now gets same money as mediocre Rays first baseman
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Dec 14, 2013 | 2794 views |  0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama head coach Nick Saban greets Tennessee head coach Butch Jones during pre-game warmups before the Tide hammered the Vols 45-10. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban greets Tennessee head coach Butch Jones during pre-game warmups before the Tide hammered the Vols 45-10. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Alabama's Nick Saban will get a reported $7 million to $7.5 million a year under his new contract. His former salary was about $5.6 million a year.

This is an amazing development. It took only four national championships and overtures from Texas to get as much money a year as a mediocre major league first baseman from Tampa Bay.

For anyone who believes Saban is overpaid, what should we say about the contract James Loney got from the Rays? A few hours before the University of Alabama announced its new deal with Saban, the Rays announced they had agreed to the 29-year-old Loney on a three-year, $21 million contract.

Loney is coming off a pretty decent season, in which he hit 13 home runs and hit .299. In a statistic called OPS+, which is adjusted for his home park, he rated 118, which meant his offensive production was 18 percent above the league average for 2013. (The American League Most Valuable Player, Miquel Cabrera was 187 for the season.)

During 2008-12, Loney was a combined 99, which is one percent below the league average.

So, let's get this straight -- a guy who was slightly below average managed to bump up his production a bit and gets rewarded with $7 million a year, which is about what Saban will receive with his new contract. After winning four national titles, including three in the past five years.

Nick Saban, James Loney -- two peas in a pod, apparently.

Certainly, the market for college football coaches and major league baseball players is radically different. It's unfair to compare them too closely.

But what do you think is a better investment -- Alabama with Saban or Tampa Bay with Loney?

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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