I have a sinking feeling I'll be using that line from Calvin and Hobbes more. (Here's the first instance.) To impatient to wait out the market, desperate to make a statement to an increasingly antagonistic (or worse, disinterested) fanbase, the Mariners throw money at the nearest big name, as much as it took to get him signed now. No way were they going to lose out to Baltimore again.
Richie Sexson is now the highest paid player on the Mariners. He makes more than Ichiro. More than the Mariners refused to pay Ivan Rodriquez last year (he makes $10M a year). More than the M's refused to pay Jason Schmidt in 2001 ($8M per). He makes about the same amount as Ken Griffey Jr, and we know how well that contract has worked for the Reds.
If Richie Sexson were a good bet to be a great player for the next four years, of course, this wouldn't matter. But Sexson's shoulder problems--cleared by the same medical staff that has brought you the bum shoulders of Gil Meche, Ryan Anderson, Matt Thornton, Rafael Soriano, and many others--make him a gamble at any price for any amount of years, let alone the absurd twelve and a half million he'll be pulling down for the next four years. Oh, and his agent says that he wouldn't accept any clauses about the shoulder in his contract, because it "wasn't necessary." How comforting.
The larger point is that the M's wanted to get something done, and in making that decision, lost any remnant of rational risk analysis or strength in their barganing position. Maybe the fans will start talking about the M's now, but the smart ones will be shaking their heads.
If Beltre is still on the horizon for this team, that's good news, and could help to redeem this foolharding aquisition.