These are heady times for general managers. With over 200 free agents available and the winter meetings approaching, they now have time to sit back and methodically assemble the necessary components while spending their available funds prudently.
Or they can just dump tons of money on superfluous middle relievers and oft-injured starting pitchers.
There are reports that A.J. Burnett, a.k.a. A.J. Burnout, is demanding five years and $50M just to have a sit-down wid a friend of ours, ja know whad I mean? Not only that: the Jays are ready to pony up the cashola. Must be Canadian dollars.
This is a guy who has amassed 200 innings in a year just twice in his 6+ seasons. He's never exceeded 12 wins in any season (I know, wins aren't an accurate reflection of the individual's performance yudda yudda, but still).
He's a good pitcher, but if the team that signs him gets three full seasons out of five they'll be lucky.
Besides recent history hasn't been too favorable for NL pitchers headed to the AL though there is a spate of AL-to-NL guys who have been revelations (Clemens, Carpenter, etc.). Maybe it's the DH, maybe it's the disparity in talent between the two leagues.
I'm thinking of the Darren Dreifort re-signing in LA plus having to face the DH.
But wait, it gets even nuttier. The Cubs, who finished 21 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, made a few bold moves. After resigning Neifi Perez for $5 over two yearsthis is a 32-year-old player coming off a career year with just a .298 on-base percentage and a 77 adjusted OPSthe Northsiders went out and locked up a lefty middle reliever.
I guess it's not like the crosstown rivals won the Series this year while the Cubbies haven't won since 1908 or anything. Oh, and they let Nomar Garciaparra walk while they were at it.
Eyre has made a collective $4.37M in his nine-year career. He'll make an average of $5.5M per year over the next two. That's a ton of money for a guy who's most similar pitcher is Paul Mirabella.
Eyre could serve up 50-70 quality innings as he's done in San Fran or he could return to his 5.00+ ERAs while plying his trade for the other Chicago franchise. I guess the Cubs noticed that some nitwit cast a ninth-place MVP vote on Eyre.
But I'm sure Jim Hendry's not done. Kelly Wunsch and Braden Looper are awaiting multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts. Who could possibly be competing Eyre up to that kind of Amigo money?middle-reliever lover Ed Wade no longer is in a position to drive up prices. I guess that's what you get when the average age of a GM is quickly approaching the average age of a McDonald's employee. I hope the Cubbies got fries with Eyre.