The Devil Rays finally signed hometown boy Lou Piniella to a $13-million, four-year contract today. But in so doing they traded arguably their best player and sole All-Star game representative, Randy Winn, to the Mariners as compensation for his negotiation rights.
It reminds me of the Chuck Tanner trade to the Pirates. Tanner managed the A's for one year in 1976 before being traded by Charley Finley for catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000. Tanner went on to win a World Series in Pittsburgh in 1979. Don't expect such miracles from Sweet Lou.
This job gets him set up for retirement though as he builds his nest egg and, as he turns 60 next year, looks for a nice condo in a Floridian elderly community. Rumors have it that Piniella has been practicing his shuffleboard, kinasta, and compaint-letter writing skills.