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The Oracle of Homosassa, Mike Hampton: Financial Supergenius

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With Mike Hampton entering free agency, the Rockies eight year folly of a contract is officially over. Well, over except for a deferred $19 million signing bonus that starts kicking Mike a little extra Christmas cash over the next ten seasons. The Rockies already pre-funded this, so it's not taking from the team's current operating budget (nor is the $6 million buyout for a 2009 option that you might see mentioned some places, since that was paid and converted to a signing bonus when he was traded to the Braves via the Marlins.) At the time Mike signed his contract, I remember reading how foolish people thought these deferred payments were for the players, that even conservative stock portfolios would easily beat the 3% interest. Ha! Who's the fool now? Hampton's bonus is just north of $24 million today, while $19 million invested in a basket of stocks the Dow Jones Industrial Index on the date of his signing would be worth a little over $15 million as of this afternoon's close.

Yeah, I think I'm going to go cry now.