Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Handy-Dandy Free Agent Signing Guide - Part I

Who: Moises Alou
What Team: Mets
How Much: $8.5M
How Long: 1 year
What It Means: Nobody else in the NL is any damn good, and we're going for it next year.
Will They Regret It: If they trade Lastings Milledge and Alou's legs go again. Either that, or if he demonstrates his hand-strengthening technique to the wrong teammate.

Who: Nomar Garciaparra
What Team: Dodgers
How Much: $18.5M
How Long: 2 years
What It Means: That Ned Coletti thinks that 87 wins will take the NL West. That, and he can't be trusted in a candy store.
Will They Regret It: Yes, as soon as Nomar suffers one of his patented bizarre injuries in early May. He's not going to get healthier as he gets older, and his production honestly wasn't that great even when he wasn't playing Tin Woodsman.

Who: Mike Stanton
What Team: Reds
How Much: 2 years
How Long: $5M with a $2.5M 2009 vesting option for games played
What It Means: Wayne Krivsky recognizes that his bullpen was a problem, and is making like the last 20 minutes of an A-Team episode trying to fix it.
Will They Regret It: Possibly. There are many worse pitchers in the Reds' bullpen, and Stanton has that air of being at least eternally mediocre. Asking him to close or pull down high-leverage innings, however, will turn this into a disaster. Besides, we all know he's only in Cincy until Joe Torre decides he wants him back.

Who: Alex Gonzalez
What Team: Reds
How Much: $14M
How Long: 3 years
What It Means: I really want Wayne Krivsky in my fantasy league
Will They Regret It: Every time he picks up a bat and doesn't homer, which should be something on the order of 550 times next year. Gonzalez is a plus-fielding shortstop on a team with a fly ball staff and an outfield full of golems, playing in a bandbox. The phrase "band-aid on a sucking chest wound" may apply.

Who: Alfonso Soriano
What Team: Cubs
How Much: $136M
How Long: 8 years
What It Means: Jim Hendry doesn't expect to have his job much longer
Will They Regret It: Soon, and for the rest of the contract's life. Look, Soriano is a very good hitter and a very good athlete. He's also older than people think, hack-tastic, a minus fielder, and signed through his age 39 or so season. Speed and power age well, but 8 years is a lot of aging, and by the time the midpoint of that contract is reached, the Cubs will be willing to do an Abreu just to get rid of the contract. Mind you, the point clearly seems to be for Jim Hendry to put together the Hall of Doom in order to win now, so that he might trail clouds of glory when the Cubs/TribCo's new owners blow him out the door in the near future. He'll be remembered as the architect of the team that had Soriano/Lee/Ramirez beating the heck out of people in 2007, not the one who crippled the cubs in 2010 and beyond.
Oh, and the Cubs still need pitching. Last I heard, that cost money.
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