Chivas USA have been in the middle of the MLS universe today after their double trade of Heath Pearce to New York Red Bulls for Juan Agudelo and Michael Lahoud to the Philadelphia Union for Danny Califf. And people who don't follow Chivas are even saying (mostly) nice things about the moves! What an interesting day.
Here's the full and official rundown of the trades:
Chivas USA: Receives Juan Agudelo
Red Bulls: Receives Heath Pearce and allocation money (amount is never disclosed per MLS policy). Although this wasn't included in the official press release of the deal, reports swirling around the deal say Chivas also cede to the Red Bulls a portion of a future transfer sale of Agudelo, and will continue to pay for a portion of Heath Pearce's contract this season.Chivas-Union
Chivas USA: Receives Danny Califf
Union: Receives Michael Lahoud and allocation money (once again, the amount is never disclosed in accordance with MLS policy).
Two of the four players involved in the deal are in the U.S. Men's National Team mix, although Pearce and Agudelo are currently in the second or third tier of U.S. internationals. So they swapped two USMNT players, although most would agree that Agudelo has much more upside (he's also much younger, at 19, than Pearce, who's 27). Califf is also a U.S. international, but hasn't featured for years and he almost certainly won't be suiting up for them again. On the other hand, he was the captain of the Union through his entire tenure. And Michael Lahoud is a decent MLS pro, capable of breaking out although he hasn't done it yet. He's also a really nice guy.
On the economic side, obviously Chivas are paying more than New York or Philadelphia by virtue of the allocation money they are sending to both teams. And since learning that amount is tantamount to learning the nuclear codes, we'll move on and look at the salary hit. Although one of the opinions surrounding the trade is that Califf is one of the most highly-paid defenders in the league, the salary comparisons are much closer than you might think.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that the 2012 player salary figures have not been publicly revealed yet this year. I think they should be coming out pretty soon, but for now, we have to use the 2011 figures to give us at least a basic idea until the latest figures are released.
Chivas' new players' salaries (all figures are guaranteed compensation):
Chivas' old players' salaries
In terms of available salary figures, these moves add up to almost the exact same number. Even in MLS, less than $5,000 is a small margin. Again, Chivas are giving up more in these deals overall if the allocation money and terms of the Pearce-Agudelo move are included, but the payroll hit is essentially a net zero. And the narrative that Califf is expensive is kind of a wash, since Chivas moved Pearce's nearly equivalent salary. Of course, Pearce is several years younger, but he was playing out of position, and Califf will be playing his natural position.
We'll have more coverage on the trades in the next couple of days, so be sure to check back often!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!