Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Hey, Wha' Happen?

For those of you too sane to get caught up in the minutiae of the baseball off-season, Jared Poppel of gives us Part One of an extensive review and commentary. He wishes the M's front office would have signed Raphael Palmeiro instead of Edgar Martinez because a)he's left handed and b) he hits the tar out of the ball at Safeco Field. But not re-signing Edgar would be like the Orioles not re-signing Cal Ripken; it would be foolish to alienate a fan base so callously, even if it were done out of purely competetive rationale.

The biggest problem, of course, is that Jared says signing Ibanez at an average of $4M/year was "about market-average for a player with his statistics." Huh?

Player2003 Avg2003 OPS2004 Salary
Matt Stairs.292.950$1M
Jose Cruz.250.779$3M
Frank Catalanotto/B>.299.823$2.3M

*Not including $2M signing bonus

There are other hitters who hit better than Ibanez and cost less, but aren't left handed. But some of them (Melvin Mora, Jay Payton, for example) did almost as well or better than Ibanez did against right-handers, which is supposedly what makes Raul's lefthandedness a plus.

I'm sorry to rehash this for those of you who know all of this already, but Ibanez was offered too much for too long. That doesn't mean he's going to be a disaster. But it means the extra money that is going to him wasn't available to sign better bench players, and won't be available at the trading deadline.

I'm expecting Jared to be much more critical of the Colbrunn-for-McCracken trade, which of course is completely indefensible.

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