Or am I the only one that gets a kick out of all these articles about how the owners are awash with cash and therefore the FA class this year is going to see some ridiculous contracts. As if this is anything new. In the past two years, we have seen the Beltran contract at over $100 MM sky rocket based on one great month in the playoffs, and the following players getting five guaranteed years. Magglio coming off injury, injury prone JD Drew (with the option of declaring FA after two – real nice upside for the player there), Beltre after one career year, an and Millwood. And of course, a little less than a year ago, everyone was saying how crazy Riccardi was to go five years on Ryan and Burnett. Hey, I actually supported him on that front, recognizing that they needed to pay extra to get guys to come to Toronto, plus they had some excess cash after their owner pledged to increase payroll and while we all laughed about it at the time, there is some marketing advantage to them finishing ahead of the Sox.
But now, we are seeing a number of references to these two signings in the context of this year’s FA class. As in, getting these two guys at these prices was the result of foresight into the 2007 FA class (i.e., Riccardi knew this year was thin, so he made his moves last offseason. Please, stop. Giving 5 guaranteed years to a starter with a history of injury (only one season with no time missed due to injury) is not genius. It’s a gamble. And one Riccardi knew he had to take. And while Ryan may have been a better signing, he had only been a closer for one year. And we all know how closers can lose their effectiveness as quickly as the gain it. In fact, take a list of all teams and take a guess how many have had the same closer the last three years *(defined as one pitcher getting 90% of their saves in that period) and I’ll show you a list with only the Yankees, Minnesota and the Padres. That is it. Three teams.
So when the media start going nuts about Jeff Suppan getting 3 or 4 years or Soraino and Lee getting close to $100 Million, is it really surprising? Or even that new?