I know they’re just minor league deals, but geez.
I know why Villone is coming back. He was on Lou’s Refuse to Lose M’s in 1995. Oh yes, you may have forgotten, but the lefty was in nineteen games, nineteen kits, 23 walks (and 26 K), allowing for a fondly-remembered 7.91 ERA. And as a former first-round draftee, the team signs *on the cheap* the kind of talent they’re forced to give up when they sign luminaries like Ibanez.
In other joking news, the Mariners announced the signing of the Tooth Fairy to a two-year, $4m contract with club option for 2007 today. “The Tooth Fairy will provide a much-needed right-handed bat off the bench and is an outstanding defender at both first and third. The Tooth Fairy is also known for his generous contributions to children’s causes off the field and has been an outstanding community leader. “
Here’s to hoping this man isn’t a Mariner fan. I had never heard of “assault on a sports official” before; is it really a more egregious offense to give a basketball referee a concussion than a normal guy on the street?
Also, people are beginning to latch onto the reports of Villone’s contract not being guaranteed. I’m looking into this, but anything other than a health or fitness clause that would allow them to void the contract would be extremely abnormal. By definition, a major league contract is guaranteed, and the union is not in the business of letting players individually negotiate away provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. My best guess is there is a mid-March buyout, where the Mariners can either choose to pay him $100,000 to go away by March 15th or the entire contract is guaranteed. Despite the fact that none of the local dailies found this important enough to ask about, we’ll do our best to come up with the facts of the contract and report them here.