Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What A Steal!!

Like everything else in our society, the Hot Stove League has become over-hyped and, yes, overheated. And this year’s crop of free agents is a very thin one!!

All one needs to know is the Boston Red Sox just paid $51.1 million for the right to talk to free agent pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Now they sit down and negotiate a contract with his agent, the always flexible and agreeable Scott Boras. Whether the Red Sox wanted to keep the young Japanese hurler away from the Evil Empire to the south or whether they coveted him outright no longer matters. Some have even suggested the Red Sox want to establish a more visible identity in the Far East. This from one of the last if not the last team’s in the American League to allow Black Americans to play for them. There are also numerous conspiracy theories out there regarding Boras and another of his clients, JD Drew, which I won’t go into here.

Suffice it to say baseball is entering terra incognita with its opaque and flawed posting system regarding foreign players whose rights are owned by foreign teams. Now, the “winner” of this particular lottery can sign Matsuzaka to, say, a six-year $90 million contract and turn around and say, “what a steal”!!


Oisín/Wizlah said...

It's a whole new generation of bonus babies waiting to happen.

Seriously though, the worst thing is that if zito ends up with a deal larger 80 mill, picking up a younger pitcher at that cost may end up being close to free market value. Which is even more depressing.

George S said...

What's really depressing and indicative of baseball today is that you can now win a CYA with 16 wins and no clear leadership in any of the major statistical categories. That's how poor pitching is overall.
If all you can expect from the best starter in baseball is 16 wins, how much is a #1 starter that might give you 13 wins really worth?

Oisín/Wizlah said...

jeez, and people fret about whether signing meche or a wolf to a 5th spot is the right move.

On a related note, as I've cycled home from work every night for the last week, I've said 'please let cole hamels be injury free in 07. Please let his injury history be behind him'.

Oisín/Wizlah said...

To be fair, Brandon Webb did put in a pretty complete year. 16 wins aside, his era was 3rd best, he had more k's than oswalt (first in ERA), 6th in BBs (and in checking this I found out that player who led the league in fewest bb's . . . Lieber! . . . frustration personified, that man), second lowest in terms of hr/g (.61 per lowe's .60). Other guys did individual things better, but he did everything pretty damn well. But I take your point that the competition wasn't dazzling, and when you compare it to someone like santana, it looks pretty damn poor.

George S said...

I certainly don't begrudge Webb his award. He was the best pitcher in the NL this year.

The bigger question to me is: Why can't pitchers seem to win 20 games any more?"

RickSchuBlues said...

Pitchers don't win 20 because they're out of the game by the seventh inning. Fewer innings pitched, fewer 20-game winners.

I don't think Howard should win the MVP, by the way, but I have no doubt that he's winning it. He's already been given every informal Sporting News, ESPN, Players' Choice, and Golden Globe Award out there.