The off-season shopping spree was subdued this year, with teams keeping an extra-close eye on their wallets. However, that doesn't mean there wasn't some boneheaded bucks spent. here's the top 5 (or bottom 5) signings this off-season.
Derek Lowe 4 years/60 Million:
60 million to a guy who will be 40 when he's finished earning it. 60 million to a guy who's won more than 18 games once, and that was when he was 29. 60 million when your starting outfield hit a total of 18 HRs. 60 million to a guy who doesn't handle pressure or adversity well, and is now statistically a 6-inning pitcher. How can you spend all that money when your team only had 130 HRs last year (84 behind the Phillies) and who replaced Mark Texiera (20 HRs as a Brave)with Casey Kotchman (2 HRs—33 for his career which Texiera had last year) at 1B. Makes no sense to me.
N.Y. Yankees: A.J. Burnett 5 years/82.5 Million
This one explains itself. 5 years to a guy who since 2003, has pitched more than 200 inning twice? Who suddenly stays healthy in his contract year? Sounds like the Bronx missed Carl Pavano so much they signed his replacement.
S.F. Giants: Edgar Rentaria 2 years/18.5 Million
On a defensive downswing, not good for an aging middle infielder. Lost 60 points off his BA and 90 off his slugging. Had the second lowest OPS+ of his career. So, 18.5 million seems pretty steep for a guy with all the signs of being on the decline of his career. For a team that was already too old and wont figure to contend this year anyway.
: 2 years/20.5 Million
For a team with payroll concerns, this seems like a lot to give to a pitcher with...how should we put this?...injury concerns. Has pitched 176.3 innings since the end of the 2004 season....total. Considering all the other relievers out there, the Indians seem to have put a lot of faith—and money—in a guy who's been healthy for only one of the past three seasons. Don't get us wrong, when Wood is healthy, he's a primo pitcher, especially in short relief. But that's the rub. Wood is never healthy. And the Indians can't afford to invest this much money in a guy who has a fair chance of earning it in the trainer's room.
New York Mets: Oliver Perez 3 years/36 Million
Oliver Perez walked 105 batters last year—1st in the National League. He gave up 7.75 hits per 9 innings last year—6th highest in the National League. He hit 11 batters, threw 9 wild pitches and still managed to get a 36 million dollar contract from the Mets. Nice.
A fool and his money are soon parted. We'll see which of these 5 guys earns their money for doing nothing. And if you have any other bad signings, let us know on the writeback.