Teams must be flush with cash. They have to be. There's no other explanation for this. Or this.
And, since it's Thanksgiving, you can't get any sane analytical viewpoints about these signings anywhere. That's what I'm here for. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe these signings were announced today because these teams didn't want to be eaten alive by the local and national media. Ahhh, who am I kidding - the White Sox have dealt with having a moron, racist*, homophobic manager for several years - they don't care.
Onto the deals: Toriiiiiiiiii Hunter gets 5 years, $9 million from the Angels. Wait, sorry - that's what he's worth. He actually got $90 million. Ninety million.
This is a 32-year old guy whose OBP has hovered around .330 the last four seasons and actually sits at .324 for his entire career. Much like Gary Matthews Jr, who signed with the Angels last winter, Hunter peaked during a contract year right before he hits the downside of his career projections. Good work, Angels.
"They play the game the right way," Hunter said. "They play hard-nosed baseball." And they pay assloads more than anyone else.
Said Reagins (the Angels' rookie GM): "In the past, we said we're going to pursue every opportunity to make our club better. This was an opportunity. I had the support of some people around me, then I got aggressive." He had the support of the janitors. The execs are furious.
And then we move onto the White Sox, who just traded a decent pitcher for an aging, mediocre shortstop. Now they've signed a 31-year old middle reliever to a 4-year, $19 million contract. Read that again, kids.
Linebrink is coming off his worst season, which followed his previous worst season. In case you don't know trends, that's a bad one. He's averaged 79 innings per season over the past 5 seasons, which means he has basically pitched an inning in every other game. Not many can sustain that, and Linebrink is definitely showing signs that he is not one of those who can.
His ERA progression during those 5 seasons: 3.31, 2.14, 1.83, 3.57, 3.71.
And his WHIP: 1.40, 1.04, 1.06, 1.22, 1.32.
How about K/9: 6.63, 8.89, 8.55, 8.09, 6.40
I could go on an on. Every meaningful statistic follows this trend.
After (the Orlando Cabrera) trade Chicago general manager Ken Williams said, "We're not done yet. We're still out there trying to land some big fish.'' And by "big fish" he meant a 6'2", 200 pound aging middle reliever.
Next thing we know, David Eckstein will be signed to a 4-year, $36 million deal. Nah, no one's that stupid, are they?
*I may have made that part up.