A few weeks ago, ESPN's Buster Olney suggested that the best thing some GM's could do in this baseball off-season would be to tell their respective owners to pocket their money in view of next season. Turns out he was bang on as usual. The ridiculous deals that are being struck because of a thin free agent market are going to haunt Major League Baseball for years to come. A few examples:
- Coming off a year in which he missed 30 games and hit .270 with 26 home runs, Barry Bonds signed a one-year deal worth $16 million to play for the Giants. So much for the hometown discount.
- Ted Lilly, a career .500 pitcher, signed a 4-year deal worth $40 million. He could have gotten $44 million to return to the Blue Jays.
- Gil Meche, a similar player to Lilly, signed a 5-year deal worth $55 million to play for the Royals. The Blue Jays were offering a similar deal, but I guess their desire to win was too high. For four more million per year, the Royals would have been in the hunt for ace Jason Schmidt.
- The Anaheim Angels signed Gary Matthews Jr., an outfielder with one good season (the Rangers had tried for years to rid themselves of him), to a 5-year, $50 million deal. If I'm Vernon Wells' agent, I'm salivating.