Am I the only one concerned with the incredible spending rate in baseball this off season? To me it seems as if almost every free agent is being overpaid for. Am I wrong? Not a day goes by where I don’t have to do a double take about the amount a player was signed for, and it’s scary. Maybe it is because there aren’t a lot of top flight free agents this year, whatever it is, things are getting out of hand.
I can understand the amount that the Cubs paid for Alfonso Soriano eight years, $136 million. I think it may have been a little much, but I can accept it. I can even accept the Carlos Lee deal for six years, $100 million. But there are so many more that I just don’t get.
Randy Wolf one year, $7.5 million. What in the world were the Dodgers thinking when they made this signing? Do they get the Wolf Pack with him? I mean come on. This guy has a career record of 69-60 with an ERA of 4.21. Does that make a pitcher worth 7.5 million dollars? Not the last time I checked. And we can’t forget the fact that Wolf has missed most of the last two years thanks to injury. This signing just doesn’t make sense. Speaking of mediocre pitchers being signed for way too much. Woody Williams. Two years, $12.5 million. Let me make it clear that I love Woody. He has been a good guy for a long time, but this is just too much money for him. He’s 40 years old and let’s face it, his top playing days are gone.
This doesn’t even include the insane amount that Japanese pitchers are going for. We’ve all heard of the Matsuzaka deal, but the Yankees may have one upped the Red Sox by bidding $26 million to speak to pitcher Kei Igawa. From every report Igawa is supposed to be a good 3rd or 4th pitcher. To spend that much money just for the rights to negotiate with a 3rd pitcher seems a little absurd to me, but then again, we are talking about the Yankees, they are a completely different animal.
Gary Matthews Jr. is cashing in on a fat payday after his one good year. Ryan already mentioned this, along with Juan Pierre bringing home a sizeable paycheck. I’ve already talked about how I don’t know why Frank Thomas is getting paid as much as he is this season.
Evidently this is also a good year for second baseman to hit the free agent market. Mark DeRosa is being paid $13 million over three years, and I don’t think he would even crack most fantasy baseball starting lineups. Adam Kennedy is being paid a bit less, $10 million over three years. I guess that’s what you get for being “scrappy.”
The kicker may lay with Danys Baez. He is getting $19 million over three years. I hope for the Orioles sake that he is going to be moving back into the closers role, because if he isn’t, the world may be ending. Over six million a year for a reliever just isn’t worth it, unless they’re shutting down the end of the game for you, which Baez hasn’t done since his Tampa Bay days.
I guess this is what a league with no salary cap gets. An inflated market where players are being paid way more than they are worth. This scenario really sucks, because we’re seeing a situation again where the small market teams won’t have a chance. I don’t want to play the “woe is the small market team” card here, but we all know there are over half the teams in the league that simply can’t keep up with the spending. And when they can’t keep up with the spending, what do we see? Perennial losers, and a loss of fans. Let’s curb the spending. Please?