Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pickens To Tampa, Rapids Luck Out

Matt Pickens had been claimed by New England on Friday, a day after the Rapids waived him.  Today the Revs sold Pickens to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL for a reported $150K transfer fee.  According to the Rapids this worked out for us:
The reason it ended up aiding Colorado is that the Rapids will now receive the full salary cap relief for what was owed to Matt Pickens in 2014, which will allow the club more flexibility with the roster.
“We knew that Tampa Bay was interested in Matt, and if he had gone directly from the Rapids to the Rowdies, or even stayed with New England, we would’ve only received partial salary cap relief,” said Bravo. “Once the transfer was completed to Tampa Bay, that meant that we would save the full amount.”
To clarify Bravo's statement, it appears (according to the Rapids FO) that he meant that if he had gone directly from the Rapids to the Rowdies after being waived by the Rapids we would have only gotten partial salary cap relief, we would have gotten full relief had we sold him to Tampa.

Bravo also said:
The end result, according to Rapids VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director Paul Bravo, was “the best possible outcome for all the parties involved.”
 Which I greatly disagree with.  This was an acceptable solution that the Rapids managed to luck into, but hardly the "best possible outcome".  The best possible outcome would have been for the Rapids to sell Pickens to Tampa directly and pocket the $150K transfer fee (which, under MLS roster rules, becomes allocation money).  Instead the Rapids had Pickens for a year and were unable to move him, resulting them in waiving him and being on the hook for part of his salary cap hit.  The rEvs pick him up for free and within 5 days manage to sell him for $150K.  Mike Burns even suggests that this wasn't the ultimate goal when they claimed him:
Jeff Lemieux ‏@jeff_lemieux 29s
In speaking w/ Burns, pretty clear #NERevs didn't claim Pickens w/ intention of transferring him. Deal was just "too good to turn down."
So in 5 days the Revs claim Pickens to apparently add him to the team but manage to turn around and sell him, something the Rapids couldn't do in a year.  Instead the Rapids resigned themselves to taking a cap hit on Pickens and releasing him for nothing.

Yes, its great that we got out from under his cap hit with this move, but this was hardly the "best possible outcome".  This was the minimum outcome I was hoping for last season when it became apparent that there was no reason to have both Pickens and Irwin on the roster going into this season.  We owe a tip of the hat to New England for freeing up that cap space for whatever moves Bravo is hinting at here:
“This allows us to do a number of things, both in the short and longer terms. We’ll be able to re-sign players that deserve new deals here, and we can also be a little more aggressive in bringing in additional players,” continued Bravo.
The Technical Director stated that he hopes to make other roster announcements in the next week or so, using some of the salary cap space saved in this deal.
Lets hope we're more successful with those moves than New England is with the allocation money they got today.

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