So day-before warning: I’m doing a BP pizza feed in downtown Seattle tomorrow. Be there. Please, for the love of Edgar, be there, nothing better in the middle of the day than hanging around with fellow M’s fans.
SEATTLE – April 14
Barnes & Noble @ 12:30 PM
600 Pine St., Suite 107
Seattle, WA 98101
There was a lot of complaints over the offseason about the M’s ownership not being willing to spend what it takes to compete, especially with newcomer Arte Moreno tossing money at Bartolo Colon, Vladimir Guerrero, Kelvim Escobar, and Jose Guillen and retooling the Angels. Today, we get a reminder that having an owner who likes to spend money isn’t always a good thing. Moreno decided to give notable Mariner-masher Garret Anderson a 4 year contract that guarantees him at least $51 million; $48 million in salary, plus a $3 million buyout if they don’t exercise his option for 2009, which they almost certainly won’t.
Television analysts have fallen all over themselves to praise Anderson for his consistency, nice-guyness, and clutchness, and the past two seasons, he’s actually been a top level player, making lots of contact and hitting for power. However, he’s been overrated for most of his career, and sports a not-star-like .328 career on base percentage. As recently as 2001, he was getting on base just 31 percent of the time, and that isn’t an acceptable number for anyone but a middle of the diamond player with terrific defensive abilities, and even then, you don’t pay those types a lot of money. The Angels clearly expect Anderson to continue to play well through 2008 and wanted to keep him in Anaheim for the remainder of his career. Considering that they’ve just made him a Cirillo-sized anchor on the payroll, they shouldn’t have to worry about other teams knocking down the door to try and pry him away.
Here is what PECOTA expects from Anderson as he enters the decline phase of his career:
2004: .308/.345/.513, .282 EqA, 2.5 Wins over Replacement Level
2005: .278 EqA
2006: .276 EqA
2007: .266 EqA
2008: .263 EqA
By the end of this contract, he’s expected to be a league average player pulling in a well above average $12 million per year. His top comparison is Tony Oliva, a very good player whose 32-35 seasons represented a steep decline from his peak, dropping from 9 wins over replacement down to 2.5.
The Angels have an owner who is willing to spend money to win. Unfortunately, signings like the one today simply hamstring their efforts to get better, and signal that the new owner is closer to being another Tom Hicks than a real threat for divisional dominance.
Mariners versus the Angels, 3 games in Anahiem. The Mariners, after closely examining the ass the Angels handed them (forensic experts have assured the Mariners it was, indeed, their own ass), head back down for revenge. There’s no love lost between these two franchises, folks, and you can throw out the record books when these two teams collide. Uh… it’s a matchup of AL West division rivals.
Tuesday 7:05, RHP Pineiro v RHP Escobar
Wednesday 7:05, RHP F Garcia v RHP R Ortiz
Thursday 7:05, RHP Franklin v RHP Lackey