The Expos released Masato Yoshii today. If you look at Yoshii's stats over the years, he is basically the prototypical average pitcher. In four of his five seasons, he has been within three percentage points of an average pitcher's ERA (park-adjusted), and in the fifth season he was only 7% away from (better) than average.
Given that he made only $300 K (the new major league minimum) in 2002, why get rid of him? Well, perhaps they were afraid of the money that he would be awarded in arbitration. But more likely, the problem was Yoshii himself. He's neither fish nor fowl. Neither starter nor reliever. He pitches well as a starter but does not have the stamina-he has averaged 5.5 innings per start since 2000 and slightly under that this year with only 74.6 pitchers per start-and doesn't strike anyone out. OK, so make him a long reliever you say? Well, he had a 6.38 ERA and allowed 6 home runs in 20 relief appearances this year. I would have to think it was somewhat of an aberration, but there's nothing about Yoshii that cries out to a GM to keep him around.