The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Just last week we saw one of the more puzzling signings of the off-season and I must say that it appears to have “We’d like a redo on that” all over it. The Dbacks inked 37-year-old SP Bronson Arroyo to a 2 year 23 million dollar deal. While an 11.5 AAV may not seem like a whole lot, it is when you compare it to someone like Paul Maholm who just got (1 year 1.5 mill) and is arguably better and 6 years younger. One of two real positive things I can say of Arroyo is that he has never had a problem with injuries. He’s started 32 games every year since 2005. He stays healthy and pitches when it’s his turn just not with good results. The Dbacks wanted to bolster their rotation and pursued Tanaka pretty hard. When the top end option didn’t work for them, it appears they have settled for back end depth and that’s what Arroyo is at best. He gives up loads of homers, he doesn’t miss bats, and he doesn’t induce ground balls. That’s not exactly the recipe of success for a pitcher especially heading to Chase Field.
Anytime you hand out a monster contract (100+ mill) to a player that’s age 30 or older, you generally are going to hamstring your franchise for many years to come. This off-season saw several of said contracts but the biggest monster of all was inked in Seattle (Surprise!). Jack Zduriencik was once credited as to re-building the Brewers (Remember the big CC trade) and getting them to the post-season in 2008. However, since he has come to Seattle in October of 2008, he hasn’t exactly lived up his billing. Ranger fans may remember the 2010 trade he made that sent Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe to Texas for Justin Smoak, Blake Beaven, and Josh Leuke. While Smoak and Beaven were once coveted prospects, they haven’t exactly lived up to their 1st round selections. Jack Z may be sensing this could be his last gasp as the losing seasons pile up so he’s making a desperate try to buy a winning club. Enter the Robinson Cano era of Seattle. Cano signed a record 10 year 240 million dollar contract in December. Meaning in 2023, the M’s will be paying 40-year-old Cano 24 million dollars. Just ask the Angels their opinion on 10-year contracts. The hope for Seattle is that with a rotation led by Felix, Iwakuma, promising prospect Taijuan Walker, the underrated (look away Ranger fans) Kyle Seager, and Cano that they can compete for a division this year. The problem is they just have too many other holes and spending 250 million on one piece can be crippling. If you look at other mega contracts handed out to 30+ year old free agents and how they work out like Jason Giambi, Mike Hampton, Jayson Werth (though he had a rebound year in 13), Albert Pujols, and of course Alex Rodriguez. The Mariners will be around .500 this year but many will see them as a failure to meet expectations with an off-season that’s seen this much spot light.