Here's some commentary on deals and signings I missed while I was off in Cancun.
- Yanks win Kei Igawa bid for about $26MM. Ugh. This is ugly. Why are the Yankees so enamored of this guy? Just because he's a fresh face? I'm going to reprint Keith Law's scouting report. But I've made one minor substitution, see if you can find it.
"John Smith, who is not from Japan, is primarily a two-pitch pitcher, with a below-average fastball in the 84-88 mph range with a little run, and a plus 74-79 mph curveball with a late two-plane break."
Not that I'm any huge fan of Adam Eaton, but how is talking to Igawa worth more than three years of Eaton? Oh well, it's only money.
- Orioles build expensive bullpen. People said the Cubs were dumb for spending most of their money last winter on Scott Eyre and Bob Howry. Well who's laughing now? Eyre and Howry, mostly...both guys pitched as well as anyone could've hoped and the Cubs were still awful. I keep saying this - one can draw a lot of similarities between the buffoonery of the Orioles and Cubs this decade. This connection is almost as brilliant as the time I wrote a college paper about the similarities between 12 Monkeys and Terminator. Two of my top five movies, by the way.
- Cards sign Adam Kennedy and Kip Wells. Ah, there's something I like. Nice work Walt! Kennedy throws down some league average hitting and quality glovework at a decent price. Love the Wells signing even more - four mil for one year? He must've wanted to pitch in St. Louis because someone should've topped that. Reading this scouting report, Wells sounds like the ideal Dave Duncan fixer upper.
- Dodgers sign Randy Wolf (hometown discount). And we thought the Padres had cornered the hometown discount market. Wolf at one year guaranteed is a steal and could be the best Tier 2 free agent starter from this winter's crop.
- Indians sign Dellucci. You really can't go wrong on this signing. Platoons are the new OBP.
- Phils sign Eaton. I read this and said aloud, "Eh." My wife looked at me funny for grunting at the computer. If I were a Phillies fan, I'd be kind of annoyed by this signing. It seems as if Pat Gillick couldn't find a way to spend the money he had earmarked for a big bat so he went with Eaton and Wes Helms. This is not exciting.
- Davis, Eveland, Krynzel to Arizona; Estrada, Vargas, Aquino to Milwaukee. I have to echo what Jeff said - advantage Brewers. Davis was getting pricey and less effective and surely planned to leave via free agency. Vargas is a comparable, cheaper guy. I like a rotation of Sheets, Capuano, Bush, Vargas, and Gallardo next summer.
- Astros sign Carlos Lee, Woody Williams. No worries about the Williams signing. But that is a large chunk of change and years for C-Lee. By most accounts Lee's defense is average on a good day, so almost all of the money is for his bat. That's not a $16.6MM bat. Not to defend the Soriano signing, but Sori should age better and could play a premium defensive position.
- Angels sign Gary Matthews Jr. Most analysts hate this. Fortunately I am just some guy and not an official analyst, so I can disagree. I don't hate it. For this deal to be a true stinker, I'd have to be convinced that Matthews is not a good defensive CF. The panel of ten experts from Bill James's Handbook this year ranked him fourth in the game for defense at the position. The bar isn't too high to be an above average offensive CF. Sum it up, and I see a player who's above average in both aspects of the game. Would you rather have a dinosaur like Dave Roberts or Kenny Lofton chasing flies out there? The Angels can afford to overpay in terms of years.
- Rangers sign Catalanotto. Sure, three years is a lot for a platoon guy. But Cat's affordable and this should work out just fine.
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