Monday, November 13, 2006

On the Opt Seat

When they look back on the Hot Stove season of 2006-2007, GMs of the far-flung future will no doubt point to this year as being the one that taught them that you don't give players the option to opt out of their multi-year contracts. Thanks to the out clause granted Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs have had to sink an awful lot of their financial flexibility into a player they should have had tightly locked up. One wonders when the Tribune Co. is going to exact personnel cuts on the Cubs as a result, no doubt forcing Ramirez to cover not only third base, but also the northwest suburbs and possibly the mystery dining column as well.

Then there's every Phillie fan's favorite, J.D. Drew, whose surprise decision to bolt L.A. for greener pastures seems to have sandbagged the Dodger organization. While Drew seems to be drawing a surprising amount of ire from the theoretically laid-back Angelenos for his act of financial perfidy, the real issue is that he leaves the Dodgers with roughly a half-season's worth of production that needs to be replaced out in center field, and his protestations that he was staying meant that the Dodgers' offseason planning is now about as useful as a map to Lemuria. One assumes that a scout-approved substitute will be cobbled together, Frankenstein-like, from various bits of Ethier and Kemp, among others, but there are no sure things there. In the meantime, though, one can only suspect that Ned Coletti isn't entirely upset to see another relic of the DePodesta era walk off into the sunset, trailing both performance metrics and embarassing questions.

End result: I don't think we'll be seeing too many more opt-out clauses.
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