More market craziness:
The Angels signed Justin Speier to a four year, eighteen million dollar deal. Speier was one of two relievers that I desired this offseason (the second was Octavio Dotel), and I thought he might actually slip through the cracks since he's not a "proven" anything. While he'll make about as much per year as I was willing to give him, there's no way I would sign a slightly better than middle reliever to a four year deal.
The Reds signed primarily useless shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a three year 14 million dollar deal. It's bad enough that Gonzalez has a career .292 on base percentage and is average defensively over his career according to Dewan's system, rate2, and zone rating, but the economics at work here are baffling. Observe this progression of events.
Step one: Alex Gonzalez gets signed to a one year, three million dollar deal.
Step two: Gonzalez plays in only 110 games, hits .255/.299/.357, and has a defensive season of debatable worth (zone rating loved him, rate2 had him at below average).
Step three: Alex Gonzalez gets a 433% raise.
Seems like there should be a something between step two and three, but sadly, there isn't. While Dave Littlefield is still the worst G.M. in baseball, Wayne Krivski is doing all he can to join Littlefield and Jim Bowden in the "laughable" G.M. tier.
Krivski also inked Mike Stanton to a two year deal for an unknown amount. Money is largely irrelevant here, there mere idea of making a two year commitment to a 39 year old who's switched teams six times since the end of 2004 is laughable.
Yet again, I have to ask if it's worth getting involved in this market at all.
Update: Just as I post this, Alfonso Soriano gets eight years, $136 million from the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano has a career .280/.325/.510 line, average defense if you're being generous, and debatable usefulness on the basepaths. He had a very good career stolen base percentage up until this season, where he only stolen bases at a 70.6% clip.
I don't see how locking this guy up for 17 million a year until he's 39 could possibly end well. If this isn't seen as one of the worst contracts of all time by the time this is over, the Cubs have to consider themselves lucky. If this is what Soriano gets, how much is J.D. Drew who is less than two months holder, holds a career line of .286/.393/.512 and superior defense worth?
The best part about this is that the Dodgers can't sign him, so barring any thing particulary terrible, I'm calling this offseason a success. Ooh, and I won my bet that he'd make more than Carlos Beltran.