Best and Worst Free Agent Signings
Rob Neyer has a column up over at ESPN.com listing his best 5 and worst 5 free agent signings. Since it is premium content and I refuse to pay for the ESPN "Insider" content - I don't know who he picked. The idea did get me thinking - so here are my choices for the best 5 and worst 5 free agent signings.
Best 5 Free Agent Signings
1. Nomar Garciaparra - $8 million for one year. The Cubs will hopefully get a return to the .300+ / 25 HR / 100 RBI form that made Nomar famous. If not - they still get a guy who will put fannies in the seats for only $8 million.
2. Steve Finley - 2-years and $14 million from the Angels. Finley is at least 3/4 as good as Beltran but he comes at less than half the price. Nice move by the Angels.
3. Brad Radke - 2-years and $18 million from the Twins. Radke takes less than open market and the Twins get to keep the heart of their pitching staff. Good move all-around.
4. Jeff Kent - 2-years and $17 million from the Dodgers. Kent fills the hole left by Beltre leaving as a free agent. This move pretty much went under the radar but should prove to be a wise signing (and yes - I know Kent can be a prick but this was still a good deal for the Dodgers).
5. (tie) Matt Mantei - $750,000 one year and (tie) Wade Miller - $1.5 million one year. The Red Sox sign two potential All-Star caliber players to incentive laden deals for the same cost as Cory Lidle with the Phillies.
Worst 5 Free Agent Signings
1. Kris Benson - 3-years at $7.5 million per year for a starter who is average at best. This move pissed off the other GM's because is an average Benson is worth $7.5 million - what is a good pitcher worth?
2. Vinnie Castilla - 2-years $6.2 million. You can write it down now - Castilla will have a less than .760 OPS this year. The Nationals would have been better off with a journeyman like Lou Merloni at the major league minimum than with Castilla. Bowden proves once again that he's in over his head as a GM.
3. Tony Womack - 2-years $4 million from the Yankees. The Yankees both overpaid and downgraded the position at the same time. The smart move would have to just keep Miguel Cairo.
4. Todd Jones - one year $1.1 million from the Marlins. I know it is just $1.1 million but it is a wasted $1.1 million.
5. Orlando Hernandez - $8 million over two years from the White Sox. This move easily could have been number one on the bad move list. Who really knows how old El Duque is and it should have been evident that his shoulder was ready to fall off at the end of the season last year. Just a stupid move by the White Sox.