Before any general meetings took place, Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies agreed on the largest contract ever awarded to a closer, a four year $50MM dollar deal. The Pirates, who just wrapped up their 19th straight losing season, signed catcher Rod Barajas to deal just shy of the 50 million dollar mark Papelbon hit, Barajas got 1 year at $4MM. The Diamondbacks have been busy so far, they signed Willie Bloomquist, 2 years $3.8MM, and Aaron Hill, 2 years $11MM. The Twins signed their new starting shortstop, Jamey Carroll, to a two year $7MM dollar deal with a $4MM dollar option. The Padres today apparently reached a deal with Mark Kotsay, the deal is said to be worth $1.25MM dollars for the upcoming year only.
Now that’s a lot of signing. However surprisingly the most active team so far this offseason would have to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. Right off the bat they resigned outfielder Juan Rivera. Shortly thereafter, their owner Frank McCourt agreed to sell the team. Within the last two days the Dodgers have signed two new players, Mark Ellis, two years $8.75MM dollars, and Matt Treanor, one year $875K. Nevertheless, nove of those come close to their biggest move. The Dodgers are reportedly crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on an 8 year, $160MM dollar extension with NL MVP candidate, Matt Kemp.
In the end, what do we make of this? Recession, resmeshion. Baseball is out of the bad economy and it looks like this is a year we might witness some contracts that will make the GM’s scratch their head and say, “Wait. Did I just do that?” Some of these deals so far have left me flabbergasted. Jamey Carroll is old and even though he played well with the Dodgers the last two seasons, SEVEN MILLION!? Mark Kotsay is probably going to ride the bench. If I could get paid over a million dollars to sit down and travel the country for a year, what am I doing here writing this blog post, sign me up! Mark Ellis. $8.75MM dollar deal for the next two years? Most baseball fans don’t even know who he is!
Anyway the main point is that it seems as if GMs are going on a spending spree. Just wait and see what kind of monster contract Pujols signs. 8 years, $800MM? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bankee$ offered him that deal and Pujols ended up playing in pinstripes for the next 8 years.
In other news…
Once the Hot Stove really cools down I will do one to two posts about realignment in baseball. However, in the mean time let’s talk about the recent headline that said the Houston Astros will be switching over to the American League starting with the 2013 season. When I first heard about this via one of my favorite websites, mlbtraderumors.com, I had mixed thoughts. This could be both good and bad for both leagues. This move could be good for the National League because it is one less team the NL teams have to compete with. On the contrary it is bad for the NL because they might lose money in the long run. Now that I think about it, there aren’t really any big time negatives when it comes to the American League. The AL will gain money from the move, and will also gain another big time rivalry. It is very likely that the Astros will enter the four team AL West. The Astros already have a rivalry with the Texas Rangers and the fact that the two Texas teams will be in the same division will generate a lot of money for the state of Texas and the American League too. Well that’s it for now. Next post I will talk about _____.