The theme of this year's baseball offseason: Value, value, value!!!
GMs are making a killing this offseason, signing player after player at incredible bargains!
Gary Matthews Jr, OF, Angels (5 yrs, $50 mil) - For years, teams viewed Matthews as nothing more than a bench player and platoon outfielder at best, but last season, Matthews proved everyone wrong. Rather than allow him to grow complaisant, however, the Angels smartly signed him to a monstrous contract, so now he'll be re-motivated to prove everyone wrong again by having to live up to a fifty million dollar deal.
Andy Pettitte, P, Yankees (1 yr, $16 mil) - Three years ago, Pettitte left the Yankees for Houston, stating that he wanted to play closer to where he grew up and be closer to his family. The Astros only offered him $12 million this year, though, which means the Yankees essentially bought out Pettitte's wife, children, and hometown memories for a measly $4 million. That's an absolute steal.
J.D. Drew, OF, Red Sox (5 yrs, $70 mil) - What's not to like about this guy? He's an astonishing six-tool outfielder (power, contact, speed, glove, arm, being a tool), so even when he's hurt, he's good for at least two or three tools. The move to the American League should rejuvenate Drew, not only allowing him to DH and log more plate appearances, but also guaranteeing that he'll only get batteries thrown at him during rare interleague games against the Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, and Dodgers. It's win-win for Theo.
Miguel Batista, P, Mariners (3 yrs, $25 mil) - To the naked eye, Seattle appears to have taken a big risk signing a 35-year-old pitcher to a 3-year deal, but keep in mind, Batista still hasn't had his breakout season yet, and it's probably not going to happen after he's 39, so Seattle is almost guaranteed that he's going to break out sometime during this contract.
Gil Meche, P, Royals (5 yrs, $55 mil) - The Royals are known for having worse players at every respective position than every other team in baseball. Signing Gil Meche (4.48 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 2006) finally gives them a legitimate staff ace who's worse than every other team's ace pitcher, thus making him the ultimate Kansas City Royal. Now, instead of chaotically sucking, the Royals can rely on Meche for five years of consistent, stable sucking.
Juan Pierre, OF, Dodgers (5 yrs, $44 mil) - Nine million a year for a .330 OBP guy isn't chump change, but ask yourself this: how many pure leadoff hitters are there in the game today? That makes Pierre worth at least $20 million. How many leadoff hitters have World Series experience? There's another $20 million. How about leadoff hitters with World Series experience who appear to be black but have a half-Hispanic, half-French name? That's worth what, $80 million? Any way you look at it, the Dodgers are the winners here.
Ted Lilly, P, Cubs (4 yrs, $40 mil) - Wood and Prior are locked into the 2 and 3 spots in the rotation, so the Cubs shrewdly went out and signed the best #4 pitcher on the market. Plus, teams will try really hard when known-aces Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt are pitching, but Lilly's much lower profile will allow him to take teams by surprise, ensuring that he'll have an even better season than those higher-priced guys.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, P, Red Sox (6 yrs, $52 mil + $51.1 negotiating fee) - Rolling the dice? Hardly. Matsuzaka not only possesses the backward-spinning gyroball, making him the first human pitcher capable of performing feats from the NES game Baseball Simulator 1.000, but his name will also surpass Doug Mientkiewicz's as the most mangled name in Boston accent history. See? The guy hasn't pitched an inning in the majors yet and already he's breaking records.
(Above: Matsuzaka shows off his patented "gyroball," the first NES sports feat performed in real life since Lawrence Taylor recorded 82 sacks in a single game in 1991)