Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 8, 2006
BASEBALL: Cause and Effect?

Let's see - the wholly unaccomplished Adam Eaton and the injured Randy Wolf sign $8 million/year contracts, Vincente Padilla, Gil Meche, Ted Lilly and Greg Maddux sign $10-11 million/year contracts, even though Maddux is past 40 and got plastered for three months straight last season and Meche ran out of gas in the second half last year and hasn't had a good ERA in seven years.

Now word comes that Andy Pettitte, still in his prime and with a chance at 300 wins and the Hall of Fame if he sticks around, has decided not to retire. Gee, what do you think convinced him?

I'll have to do a more comprehensive roundup of the free agent deals soon, but so many of these contracts are just insane.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:29 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Beginning in approximately June, every GM for five years that attempts to make a trade with the Kansas City Royals will be told that he has to take back Gil Meche's contract.

Posted by: Jerry at December 8, 2006 9:50 AM

I don't think Meche's contract will be an issue. First, I have thought for the last couple of years that Meche is on the verge. Second, he is a starting pitcher and able to eat innings if nothing else. Third, the Royals have about $20 million coming off the books next year. They only have a couple of really bad contracts on the books (Angel Berroa for one) and this one remains to be seen if it is really bad. Meche was the best younger pitcher in the market and I am proud that the Royals stepped up and got him. Yes, they over paid. That is the price of being a cellar dweller. Look at what the Tigers did with Pudge, Mags etc...

Posted by: maddirishman at December 8, 2006 10:31 AM

I wonder if Mike Mussina is angry at his agent right now for leaving $10M-plus on the table.
Seriously, the premium being given to these 28-32 year-old pitchers is massively misplaced - the older pitchers are a much better buy right now.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at December 8, 2006 10:47 AM

I think Moose wants a ring (and a 20 win season) more than an extra $10 mil -- that won't get him into the HoF.

I can understand the dollars, but why would you voluntarily go to KC unless you're a rookie?

Posted by: rbj at December 8, 2006 11:59 AM

According to Meche, it was the opportunity to be the leader of the staff. Additionally. KC is getting better. Last year alone a good closer would have added between 15 and 20 wins (Burgos alone blew 15). This is not a terrible team, just a team with a couple of critical holes. Barring injury the rotation will be above average and reports are the team is on the verge of a deal with Dotel to be the closer. If he is healthy he will be a major upgrade from last year. The offense is already competitive with Teahan, Shealy and DeJesus and will get better yet with the addition of Gordon and Butler.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 8, 2006 12:11 PM

Mad, I hear dotel has a deal with the Indians.

Posted by: abe at December 8, 2006 12:42 PM

All this money to bad pitchers starts to make the Red Sox $51.1 million bid for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka look pretty reasonable.

Posted by: Henry at December 8, 2006 1:07 PM

Hell, it almost makes forking over $70 million to J.D. Drew seem reasonable. I will now try to be optimistic about that reality. We'll see how long that lasts.

Posted by: jim at December 8, 2006 1:25 PM

If Dotel doesn't come to KC, that is a problem that will have to be addressed. The article in this mornings KC paper sounded pretty positive and even quoted some of the terms. I am not sold of him as the solution because of his injury problems, but he seems like the best option out there right now. The reason given that he was coming to KC was because he would be closing.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 8, 2006 2:16 PM

It is absurd to think that Gil Meche would make a difference on a contending team, much less the Royals. It must be hard to be a Royals fan and try to figure out what is going on in the front office. Do you think the A's, Twins, or any other competitive small market team devotes 11 mil per to a mediocre pitcher with a history of injury? The next time somebody complains about the disparity between the big and small markets, remember Gil Meche....

Posted by: Ryan at December 8, 2006 2:38 PM

Meche isn't that young and isn't an innings eater - he's 28 and has never thrown 190 innings.

I do think the Royals look like they have finally passed rock bottom and have a decent collection of young hitters, but the Meche signing doesn't solve their problem of having terrible pitching and poor financial judgment.

Posted by: The Crank at December 8, 2006 3:00 PM

In the last hour KC media is reporting that the Royals and Dotel have agreed on a contract.

When you compare the '06 rotation and the '07 rotation the difference will be night and day. Meche, Perez, Greinke, Hudson and probably Bannister. Add to that Luke Hochaver waiting in the wings and an improved bullpen. That is a lot for Royals fans to get excited about. None of those guys started the year in KC's rotation last year. Greinke has pitched successfully, Hudson was probably the Royals best pitcher after a mechanical adjustment, Perez is in a situation where he feel comfortable and Bannister pitched well for the Mets last year early before he was hurt. A lot of potential here. As I said earlier, yes we overpaid for Meche, but when you are in our situation that is what you have to do to turn the team around. That is exactly what the Tigers did for two years and look where they ended up. Meche has the most upside of any pitcher in this years free agent class. It remains to be seen if he fulfills it.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 8, 2006 3:36 PM

Mad, I hear dotel has a deal with the Indians.

No, he doesn't. The Indians are in the hunt for Eric Gagne, however...

Posted by: Mark at December 9, 2006 1:36 AM

Gil Meche an "inning eater"???are you kidding??? the last four uyears he has averaged 5.8, 5.5, 5.5 & 5.8 innings per start. He has hit 186 innings for a season twice in his five season career. He recently was sent to AAA for a few weeks because he couldn't pitch. I like the guy, for five years we in Seattle heard about his stuff. Last years 11-8 4.30 ERA season was one of his best....if that is worth $11m for five years KC is using a different model. I consider the M's slightly improved BECAUSE of Meche's departure. We all thought the $4+m we paid him last year was a waste. We are kinda slow up here, I guess

Posted by: bomber at December 9, 2006 1:17 PM

You have to understand, last year the Royals best pitchers were Luke Hudson and Mark Redman. Neither of them compare with Meche, although in the secondhalf Hudson was respectable and Redman had his monents too.

We have a respectable rotation going into next season, a new closer and a renewed hope.

Posted by: maddirishman at December 9, 2006 7:19 PM

Well, I'm a Nats fan and we'll take Redman over the shower thats four of our starting five. He's a half-decent, experienced lefty with success in the National League, a Jeff Suppan type-perhaps?

Except we wont, because Kasten's too tight and we're throwing all the $$$ at the farm system/Lerner's pockets.

Posted by: barney at December 13, 2006 12:53 PM

Well, I'm a Nats fan and we'll take Redman over the shower thats four of our starting five. He's a half-decent, experienced lefty with success in the National League, a Jeff Suppan type-perhaps?

Except we wont, because Kasten's too tight and we're throwing all the $$$ at the farm system/Lerner's pockets.

Posted by: barney at December 13, 2006 12:53 PM
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