Updated Free Agency Rankings

Dave · January 11, 2005 at 9:16 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With the recent signings of most of the big names left on the market, I’ve decided to update my contract rankings that I initially did before Christmas. The changes aren’t dramatic, though we do have a new leader in the clubhouse for worst contract handed out this offseason.

Here’s a link to the original list and subsequent discussion, in which I addressed several common questions.

As of 1/11/05

Best Contracts of 2005

Rank Player Team Years Total
1. A. Beltre Seattle 5 $64m
2. M. Clement Boston 3 $25.5m
3. W. Miller Boston 1 $4m
4. B. Radke Minn. 2 $18m
5. N. Garciaparra Chicago 1 $8m
6. C. Beltran NY Mets 7 $119m
7. J. Kent Los Angeles 2 $17m
8. T. Walker Chicago 1 $2.5m
9. W. Williams San Diego 1 $3.5m
10 R. Hidalgo Texas 1 $5m

Worst Contracts of 2005

Rank Player Team Years Total
1. D. Lowe Los Angeles 4 $36m
2. R. Ortiz Arizona 4 $33m
3. R. Sexson Seattle 4 $50m
4. J. Wright NY Yankees 3 $21m
5. T. Percival Detroit 2 $12m
6. P. Martinez NY Mets 4 $53
7. E. Milton Cincinatti 3 $24m
8. O. Cabrera Anaheim 4 $32m
9. V. Castilla Washington 2 $6.2m
10. C. Koskie Toronto 3 $17m


98 Responses to “Updated Free Agency Rankings”

  1. PositivePaul on January 11th, 2005 3:40 pm

    Glaus can play third

    Dave — are you sure? Have you seen him throw? Yes he came back and DH’d for LAAoA at the tail end of ’04. I didn’t see him play third, and I haven’t seen him/heard of him throwing very well. His injury would affect his defense at third MUCH more than Sexson’s will at first.

    I don’t disagree with you, though, that huge contracts to declining first basemen are fundamentally bad. I can see a move to first for Glaus in the very near future. He’s only a year or two younger than Sexson. While you’ve argued before that he’s more likely not to have peaked yet (due to injury), I’d argue that it’s just as possible that he could decline.

    If Delgado, then, signs for anywhere close to what Sexson got, that has to bump Sexson down the list. He’s MUCH more likely to decline than Sexson.

  2. Lonnie on January 11th, 2005 3:58 pm

    Please, PLEASE, someone tell me why the Sexson signing was so horrific? I really want to know what the reasoning is behind so many poo-pooing the contract.

    I know the crew of the good ship USSMariner base their stances in facts, but it seems like all I’ve read so far is hyperbole.

    Why would the Sexson deal be so much worse than the Glaus deal?


  3. Darlene Kelly on January 11th, 2005 4:03 pm

    Potential free agent pitchers suitable for the M’s rotation have dried up. Hence it is safe to say we will probably go with what we have in house. Wouldn’t it then be wise to up the offense one more step? We still could use another left handed power bat for the middle of the order. Looking around the one still available is Burnitz who had 34 doubles and 37 home runs last year. Alternating he and Ibanez in the DH slots and the outfield position could keep both of them in the batting order. Any other left handed bats out there that would come as cheap?

  4. DMZ on January 11th, 2005 4:10 pm

    I know the crew of the good ship USSMariner base their stances in facts, but it seems like all I’ve read so far is hyperbole.

    May I suggest you search for what you would like to find? Using the search box in the upper-right hand corner reveals articles where we touch on why this is a bad signing, with links to other articles where we look at risk factors, etc.

  5. RHarr on January 11th, 2005 4:21 pm

    Nice list. One name I might add to the good signing side is the Padres signing of Chris Hammond for 750K – unless there is something wrong with his arm? That is a pittance for a guy who has had three straight excellent seasons. Kevin Towers is having a good off-season. He got Williams for a song as well.

  6. Matt Staples on January 11th, 2005 5:11 pm

    Darlene —

    Handedness aside, I think Bucky can match, if not better, Burnitz’s production from the DH slot. So long as Winn is moved and Ibanez is kept, this should work fairly well. Look at what Burnitz did in Dodger Stadium in 2003 to get an idea of what he might do for the M’s. When Burnitz would probably cost 10x as much as Bucky, it’s not even close.

    Burnitz’s agent has also said that he wants to be a centerfielder, so — without commenting on whether I think he’d be a viable centerfielder for anyone — I’m not sure he would accede to a DH/LF role unless he had no other options.

  7. Fathom on January 11th, 2005 5:32 pm


    Being that you are posting on a pro-Mariner board, I am not going to fight with you. I can see that you take your stance very seriously though. A tendency most Cyber-dudes tend to have. I choose to see things for what they are and with a sense of humor. No amount of arguing will change that.


  8. Fathom on January 11th, 2005 5:38 pm

    …and apologies for missing your name. My name is Fathom in reference to the word, not Fathorn!? Details, details.

  9. Bobby on January 11th, 2005 5:49 pm

    How about Cristian Guzman for the worst list? His 4-year, $16.8M contract isn’t a ton of money but this is a guy who struggles to get his OBP above .300 (.303 lifetime), doesn’t have any power (.382 SLG lifetime) and is not a high-percentage base stealer (10 steals in 15 attempts last year). He’s had 1 good year in his 6-year career, one year in which he had an OPS over .800. It’s been under .700 in the other 5 season. He’s a waste of $4M per year, in my opinion.

  10. AK1984 on January 11th, 2005 6:20 pm

    Cleveland’s signing of Juan Gonzalez as a NRI for a fairly inexpensive price is by far the best deal for any club so far this off-season.

  11. jeff on January 11th, 2005 7:29 pm

    Acouple questions i would liked answered if possible.

    Let’s say sexson has another injury to his shoulder, say it’s career ending. Are ther mariners insured to the point where insurance would pick up the rest of his contract and the mariners payroll would be free of it?

    If an injury to sexson’s shoulder is covered in insurance and the m’s payroll would be off the hook for it, then his contract doesn’t really scare me that much.

    So if someone knows about insurance with sexson and how it works, i’d love to read about it.

  12. Jeff Sullivan on January 11th, 2005 8:13 pm

    If Sexson had a career-ending injury, the Mariners would be responsible for every last penny of his contract.

  13. Joshua Buergel on January 11th, 2005 8:17 pm

    Handedness aside, I think Bucky can match, if not better, Burnitz’s production from the DH slot.

    First projection I’ve seen this year is the ZiPS projection, and Bucky’s numbers look pretty tasty to me (.268/.352/.514). I wonder how he’s going to be used with the team as constructed. I know we’re all expecting a trade of an outfielder, but if not, it seems as if Hargrove might end up with a platoon of Reed and Jacobsen, with Winn moving between LF and CF and Ibanez between DH and LF. If it were me, I’d prefer to see what Reed can do against lefty pitching, but Melvin was pretty protective and I seem to remember Grover breaking in Jim Thome VERY slowly against lefties.

  14. JK on January 11th, 2005 9:15 pm

    #63: FYI: the PI just posted an interview piece with Hargrove. First glance only, but looks like he’s really pushing Raul for DH…

  15. JK on January 11th, 2005 9:24 pm

    Also of note from that article (boy I wish this blog had an edit function…) is that it looks like the Astros are thinking about making an offer for Winn, so maybe it’s time to revisit the topic of who the M’s would want from the ‘stros in trade.

  16. patnmic on January 11th, 2005 9:59 pm

    36 days till pitchers and catchers report! February 16th.

  17. grover on January 11th, 2005 10:03 pm

    Considering the bloated FA contracts for starting pitching this off-season I have to think that Radke and Woody Williams should rank as #1 and #2 in the best contract category. They offer less financial risk coupled with more predictable performance than Pavano, Lowe or Wright.

    I’d also put Sexson’s contract at the top of the worst list. When that shoulder goes he’s done and the Mariners will be shelling out a lot of money for a guy sitting in the stands.

  18. tangotiger on January 11th, 2005 10:03 pm

    I agree with Jim… I’d like to see the basis for these decisions. At the very least, a “Fair Market Value” of waht the contract should have been, given those years. Say, Beltran should be 100 million, or 140 million or whatever Dave thinks.

    That Dave has Beltre as the best makes me think that DAve would have him as 80 million as a fair value for him. What’s fair for Clement… 33 million?

    Sorry, but I look at Dave’s list and I don’t see the best deals… I see just about fair deals. Unless of course, there are no free agent bargains, and those just happen to be the 10 fairest deals.

    I don’t see why Koskie 3/17 could possibly be worse than Guzman at 4/16. I mean, what’s fair for Koskie? 3/12? Sounds low to me. FWIW, I had Koskie at 3/16.

  19. Paul Finkelstein on January 11th, 2005 10:09 pm

    Just a point on judging free agent signings… It is perfectly appropriate to judge a signing at the time of the signing and further down the road. There are related risks at both ends. When judging a signing at the front end, we run the risk of judging it too harshly or lightly based on the information available to us. It is entirely possible that the team has more information or reason for greater confidence in the information we share and, consequently, is in a better position to value the signing. Down the road, we can judge a signing based on the actual value received, in which instance, we may be assigning value attributable to luck or to the acuity of the team based on the information available to them.

    Now, I don’t think it is likely we have bad information in the public regarding Sexson and I am skeptical that he will remain healthy. In other words, the information available to me indicates that he is a high risk for injury. Moreover, my method for analysis of a player’s future performance indicates that Sexson has already peaked or very nearly peaked and is unlikely to improve further, and is likely to regress (actually, I think he is a good bet to improve a little further if he stays healthy, but ballpark effects are likely to mask the improvement). If Sexson succeeds over the life of the contract, we may be right that the M’s simply got lucky, but the possibility remains that Bavasi may deserve credit for seeing more in the numbers than we did and making better use of the same, or more, information (eg. excellent medical tests creating a high sense of security, different player evaluation, or the availability of insurance to mitigate the risk substantially).

    In short, a signing can be evaluated at any time in light of the current available knowledge and the knowledge available at the time of signing. All in all, I do believe it is fairer to evaluate at the time of signing, but we should recognize that we may not have the same quantity or quality of information or the same methods of projecting performance. While future performance cannot prove a particular methodology right in a specific instance, it can become part of an accumulated body of evidence that may, ultimately, verify the methodology.

  20. andy on January 11th, 2005 10:11 pm

    re 38

    I think you have to judge these things from hindsight a little bit mainly because how you value information and make judgments are almost certainly different than how, for example, Bill Bavasi did. If Sexson does somehow perform up to his contract, Bavasi will not think it’s a great signing, but merely one which he expected. If he outperforms his contract, he’ll think it’s a great signing, and if he underperforms it, he’ll think it wasn’t so good. You’ll of course have a different spin on it. But how you judge the contract should always be on the actual performance, not speculative performance, because the speculation is different from all sides. Does Bavasi have access to information you don’t? Maybe. Certainly, he at least has more medical reports than you do. Maybe if you had these reports you’d be change your tune a little bit about the contract (say from a godawful terrible contract to a terrible one). Or maybe the front office knows something about ascending baseball salaries such that in three years, $12 million won’t be what it was.

    My point is, the actual production will become the data with which to judge/prove the methodology used when predicting future performance. If the actual productions shows something that wasn’t in your particular speculation, then perhaps your methodology isn’t as accurate as you think, and will need revision to become more accurate and predict future performance with more certainty. So if Sexson does end up performing well, don’t chalk it up to luck. Maybe it’s your analysis that will need revision.

    That said, as it stands now, I think the sexson deal is pretty bad. Top 10 worst, definitely. But i’ll be pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be pretty good, and I will have no problems apologizing to Bavasi and telling him he was right after all.

  21. andy on January 11th, 2005 10:14 pm

    Paul’s post was made at the same time I was making mine, but I was basically trying to say the same thing.

  22. chris w on January 11th, 2005 10:33 pm

    All this wrangling over when to judge a contract has me confused. There are two entirely different questions:

    1) Will this turn out to be a good deal (the point of this post)?

    2) Has this been a good deal (the question lots of people seem to want to interject into the discussion)?

    #2 is a meaningless question question at this point, with respect to contracts signed this offseason.

    As to the Sexson deal, of course Bavasi is basing his answer to question #1 on different information than Dave. Obviously, Bavasi’s information tells him Sexson’s going to be worth the contract. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have done the deal.

  23. NBarnes on January 11th, 2005 10:54 pm


    For the life of me I cannot understand the interest in Burnitz among some Seattle fans. What the Mariners need right now is… a 36-year-old OF/DH with good power but poor average, mediocre OPB, and a ton of strikeouts? Because we don’t have enough outfielders and DH candidates? Because Burnitz is going to do… what, exactly, that Bucky Jacobsen can’t do for way less money?

  24. Shoeless Jose on January 12th, 2005 2:22 am

    Re 65: Astros interested in Winn, who would the M’s want in trade?

    Well, the M’s could ask for Berkman but he’s out ~6 months with a torn ACL (he says it happened playing flag football at his church but we all know that’s just code for “I was washing my pickup”). Apparently the ‘stos have a pretty good 2nd base prospect (Chris Burke?)

  25. Darlene Kelly on January 12th, 2005 5:48 am

    #73 I couldn’t agree more with the strickout issue with Burnitz but the main point is we need another left handed bat. Jacobsen is not excluded in any way from the team in my thinking. For once in a lifetime we need a bench and that entails a good left and a good right handed power bat. Who can we get to fill that role if not Burnitz? Five outfielders rotating in four positions (including the DH) seems the route to give us a bench for once.Memory tells me Burnitz only made about 1.3 million this year with Colorado. The other issue is will Bucky be ready by spring training? I saw a report that he just got of crutches about two weeks ago.

  26. ChrisK on January 12th, 2005 8:11 am

    The M’s aren’t getting Lance Berkman for Randy Winn. Period. Nor a top prospect. Aside from being a 2nd-half player, Winn’s reputation in CF is really going to hurt the team’s leverage. At best we should expect a #4/#5 starter or a better low-minors prospect. Please no more Santiagos and Gonzalez’s.

  27. msb on January 12th, 2005 9:15 am

    “The other issue is will Bucky be ready by spring training? I saw a report that he just got of crutches about two weeks ago.”–Comment by Darlene Kelly — 1/12

    where did you see that? By all reports he came off them at the start of November and has been on regular rehab & workouts, and even dropped some weight…

  28. Evan on January 12th, 2005 9:32 am

    Regarding the question of Sexson and insurance:

    Generally, contracts longer than 3 years are not insurable. We gave Richie 4 years, so we probably don’t have insurance. But beyond that…

    Previously existing conditions are not insurable. So, even if Sexson’s contract were insured, the M’s would still have to cover the balance of the contract if Sexson was lost to an injury of the left shoulder.

  29. RHarr on January 12th, 2005 9:33 am

    I can’t understand why anyone would want to trade Winn. Offensively he was the sixth best centerfielder in baseball last year (using BP’s EQA page), and that was not a career year but his established level of performance. He is not a great defensive centerfielder, but as Derek pointed out in an article recently, the defensive statistics for last year had him better than average and, perhaps, improving as the year went by. If you look at the other centerfielders around him on the EQA list, at most one of them could pass him in value based on defense. The Mariner’s FO has taken some heat for his contract from our community, but we should be eating crow: it is a damn good contract. He is better both offensively and defensively than Finley and Williams, and arguably even Hunter and Jones (whose defensive reps exceed what the stats show). And at a fraction of the cost. He is far from, as some have labeled him, freely available talent.

    After this off-season, even Raul’s contract doesn’t look so bad. He is a slightly above average starting left fielder both offensively and defensively.

  30. Graham on January 12th, 2005 9:43 am

    The reason behind trading Winn is that the Mariners have a surplus of talent in the outfield, and a lack of starting pitching. With Ichiro, Ibanez, and Reed, not to mention the minor league OFs, Winn is both expendable and likely to fetch a reasonable price in pitching, which is what the Mariners desperately need.

  31. Fathom on January 12th, 2005 9:52 am

    Agreed on Burnitz. Sexson appears to have similar tendencies. The big differences being age and defense. I still think his contract leans toward being a poor use of money, but IF it was a contributing factor toward us acquiring Beltre (a great signing) then they even themselves out.

  32. Evan on January 12th, 2005 10:13 am

    Because Winn is valuable: that’s why he gets mentioned with regard to trades. If we could trade away players who had no value, we’d be constantly suggesting we trade Spiezio.

  33. PositivePaul on January 12th, 2005 10:49 am

    I personally would like to trade Winn because of the Ryan Franklin factor. How likely is it that he will improve? Slim, at best. How likely is it that he’ll decline? Good, at worst.

    I understand your argument for Glaus over Sexson, Dave (see http://ussmariner.com/index.php?p=2170#comment-12685 for example), but I’m still curious if anyone’s heard how his throwing is developing? I seriously don’t think Glaus has (or will) recover enough to return to third any time soon. I expect a conversion to 1B (since he’s in the NL and they don’t have DH) in the spring.

    That said, I would’ve taken Glaus at 1B over Sexson. And, even if he were healty, Glaus isn’t that great of a defender over at third (more from personal observation than from the stats — I’m still finding it difficult to find defensive stats that are reliable and objective). I highly expected him to inherit the DH role in Anaheim, but they obviously gave up on him. That reeks of Spiezio, IMHO. It still is a top-10 worst contract in my book.

    I also like TangoTiger’s assessment of the Guzman-not-on-the-list (http://ussmariner.com/index.php?p=2170#comment-12982 ) thought. I’d bet that if it were the M’s that made that deal, it might crack the top-10.

    One more question on this list (and I DID search USS Mariner for it). Why is Russ Ortiz that bad of a pitcher (and hence his contract exiled to the “bad” list)? No, I’m not just looking at his Win/Loss totals — I’m looking at his BB-Ref comps (Schmidt/Colon/Garcia stick out). Looking at his 2004 Win-Shares (at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/wsnlpos/#p ), he’s behind Odalis Perez, and above Matt Clement (#2 on this current “good contract” list). I personally don’t see him as that bad of a pitcher, meriting the #2 worst contract of 2005 on this list. But I’m certainly willing to be won over.

    Still, this list is based on Dave’s informed opinion. Definitely a nice object of discussion, as we all have our own lists.

  34. J.R. on January 12th, 2005 11:28 am

    Spiezio for Santana? Anyone, anyone?

  35. Jeff Sullivan on January 12th, 2005 12:36 pm

    Russ Ortiz has spent his entire career in good pitcher’s parks, and he’s only managed to put up a 4.00 ERA. That jumps up to 4.41 if you only look at his road numbers (that is, away from San Francisco and Atlanta), and next year he’ll be starting half his games in one of the more hitter-friendly environments in baseball.

    …and there’s more. Ortiz is coming off his worst season since 2000 despite pitching with Leo Mazzone, which should be enough of a red flag. He maintains just a league-average strikeout rate but is routinely at the top of the list of walks allowed, offering a free pass every other inning.

    Furthermore, Ortiz has always had a fair bit of help from his defense (peaking in 2003, when he had a .250 BABIP), and he’s going to play for a team that had the third-worst defensive efficiency in all of baseball last year.

    Arizona gave Russ Ortiz $33m over four years to win 21 games every season like he did in 2003. He’s going to need a lot of run support to do that, though, because I don’t see how he could put up an ERA below 4.50 over the duration of the contract.

  36. Matt on January 12th, 2005 1:00 pm

    I don’t agree that the Beltran signing will work out as one of the best of the off-season. Two important reasons: Even though speed players tend to age well compared to power and patience hitters, center fielders tend to fall off very young. Look at the list of comparable players to Beltran – you’ll see a bunch of Andy Van Slyke’s who seemed HoF bound until they hit 30. Speaking of the HoF, how many CF’s there fell off dramatically in their early-mid 30’s? I don’t think it is a slam dunk he’ll be good for the next 7 years. At best, I think they bought the middle of Bernie Williams’ career. Good, but not A-Rod or M-Ram good.
    Also, they won’t just be paying Beltran $17 mil for the next two years, they’ll also likely be paying a big chunk of Mike Cameron’s $7 mil to be playing somewhere else. Even if you accept the argument that Beltran is a good signing by a team with no centerfielder at $17 x 7 yrs, I think you need to consider that they made a big signing at that position just a year ago.

  37. Josh on January 12th, 2005 1:07 pm

    On top of that his ERA blew up for the last 2 months of the season, his K/9 dropped like a rock. He lost a lot of velocity (8 mphs it was reported). He has been 10% better than league average once in his career. To spend a little over 8 million per year for the next 4 years on Ortiz is foolish at best.

  38. Andy Metz on January 12th, 2005 2:03 pm

    I’m glad you put the Sexson so high on the worst list. It’s hard to judge how that’ll turn out, but that’s the case with most of these. Based on Sexson’s performance and injuries and strike outs over the last few years, I can’t believe the Mariners offered him more than 9 mil a year for three years. Sure, 27 mil/3 yrs wouldn’t have been enough to sign him, but I’d rather give that money to Delgado anyway. Are we trying to replace the strike out hole that Buhner left? Cause I really don’t think we need to.

  39. Andy Metz on January 12th, 2005 2:04 pm

    Oh, and Beltre at number 1 is a little generous I think. That may have been a career year.

  40. Jeremy on January 12th, 2005 2:23 pm

    Considering the deal that Beltran just got, Beltre is clearly the best signing this offseason. To get an MVP caliber talent going into his prime years at a slightly higher than midlevel price (based on this offseason) is a coup.

    Re: Randy Winn. I don’t believe the Mariners have Randy in their long term plans. He has established some value. If there is a deal on the table that will make the Mariners better in 06 and beyond, they should pull the trigger.

  41. Adam S on January 12th, 2005 2:37 pm

    On Beltre, and to some degree Beltran as well, as I think Dave mentioned in another thread.

    When good (above average, but not all-star) players and #3 starters are getting $8-11 million per year, it’s a big leap in talent (by which I mean expected production not skillset) and a relatively small leap in $$ to get Beltre at $13M per.

    Of course that depends on what you think of Beltre. If you’re totally convinced 2004 was a fluke and he’s going to put up his 2001 – 2003 numbers for the next five years, then it’s a bad contract in your mind and I don’t think there’s anything to say. If you believe that this was a breakout year for a 25 year old who’s like to contend for MVP over the next five years, this looks like a steal especialy relative to Beltran.

  42. eponymous coward on January 12th, 2005 3:34 pm

    I can’t understand why anyone would want to trade Winn.

    Because they don’t want to keep Jeremy Reed and Bucky on the bench or in Tacoma? Because Raul Ibanez has already grumbled about playing DH? Because Bavasi is (in an extreme change for a Mariner GM) going to take Branch Rickey’s advice and risk trading a player a year early instead of waiting a year too late?

    That being said, I’m not dramatically attached to any of the players I mentioned (you could trade Ibanez and I wouldn’t shed a tear), and you could argue that Reed could be a 4th OF, I guess, and effectively platooned with Bucky:

    vs. lefties
    Bucky at DH
    Winn in CF
    Ibanez in LF

    (2 RH batters, 1 LH batter)

    vs. righties
    Ibanez at DH
    Reed in CF
    Winn in LF

    (3 LH batters)

    I’m not convinced that Ibanez should be the guy playing every day in this scenario (since he doesn’t hit lefties well), but he’s likely to be the better player than Reed this year (though I think Reed will grow to be a better player overall) and this would give Reed regular usage, plus give us an acceptable 4th OF for the bench who could cover CF and LF in the event of an injury or defensive replacement (Ibanez would cover both corners in the event Ichiro goes down for some reason.)

    What are Pierzynski’s non-baseball issues? Asshole in the clubhouse? Or something USSM isn’t inclined to talk about?

  43. eponymous coward on January 12th, 2005 3:38 pm

    Oh, yeah, we might sign PEDRO!


    Whoops, wrong Pedro…

    And Aaron Sele. Well, I guess I’d be happy if we got to a postseason game that we could watch Sele’s 86 MPH 3-1 meatballs get crushed in…

  44. Joshua Buergel on January 12th, 2005 3:42 pm

    At best, I think they bought the middle of Bernie Williams’ career. Good, but not A-Rod or M-Ram good.

    What’s wrong with the middle of Bernie Williams’ career? From age 28-34 (the same seven years the Mets will be getting of Beltran’s career), Bernie averaged 8.33 wins according to WARP3. And Beltran comes into this contract off of four years of higher production than Bernie had for the four previous years. Bernie is actually a pretty good comp to me, and that level of production for the Mets will make this a pretty fair deal, and I think there’s a fair chance Carlos will out-perform Bernie. Meanwhile, “M-Ram” (ugh) has, over his 28-32 years, averaged 8.4 WARP3. Which one is better again? Beltran is already playing at the same level as Bernie was in his prime (which is outstanding) and the level at which Manny has been at for a while. The Mets could absolutely afford the contract, and they got most of the prime of an elite player out of it.

  45. David J Corcoran on January 12th, 2005 4:46 pm

    Meche is re-signed, avoiding arb.

  46. Graham on January 12th, 2005 5:59 pm

    Seattle Times is reporting 1 yr/$2.54 million for the Meche contract.

  47. Evan on January 12th, 2005 6:27 pm

    If I could buy the middle of Bernie Williams’s career, but avoid the death spiral at the end, I’d take it.

  48. paul mocker on January 12th, 2005 6:53 pm

    Meche contract – it’s okay. Nothing to complain about. He’s only 26 but 2005 would be his last year to show me something if I were GM.

    Williams is one of my favorite players. I rarely use that word. I stopped saying it after the Gilded Greed of 1994.