Quantcast

MLB Free Agent Contracts Have Gotten Completely Out of Hand

It almost feels like Christmas in December. It’s baseball’s annual right of passage, winter free agent signings that net sums of money so ghastly even hedge fund managers are blushing. At this rate, the good folks at Major League Baseball may have to change the name to World $eries. The holidays are upon us, but don’t be confused. That slightly rotund fellow wearing red ain’t Santy Claus, it’s Lance Berkman, who last season ho-ho-hummed his way to a .248 batting average yet still Madoff with eight million dollars from the Cardinals. Nope, there’s no jolly old Saint Nick Punto or Johnson (they haven’t been signed yet).

What’s a Jayson worth you ask? Well, aside from the gross misspelling (someone should let him know already), how about a tidy $126 million over seven years. Forget a spruce, the Nats’ new addition may now hang his ornaments on a sequoia. I thought the folks in Washington DC were trying to rein in wasteful spending. He’d better do well in the nation’s capital or else someone in the Nationals’ front office made a huge Boehner. Ostensibly, there were no three wise men behind that deal.

Each year, baseball’s general managers descend on Florida like so many aging retirees who sport various shades of vibrantly-colored plaid pants. Both come in search of early bird specials. The only difference is that Dave Dombrowski is more likely to splurge on an overcooked piece of meat than, say, Uncle Mort. One can only imagine the reaction of Joaquin Benoit, a 33-year-old right-hander signed by the Tigers for $16.5 million despite the fact he has a career ERA approaching the Michigan state sales tax and a less-than-stellar 31-28 career record. He may be dashing through the snow in the Motor City, but can probably now afford more than one horse to pull that open sleigh (though convertibles are not really trendy in the D in the middle of winter).

[Read more...]

Chicago White Sox Reportedly Closing in on Deals with Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko

What could possibly be better than adding one big free agent bat? How about retaining another. The Chicago White Sox, who finished seven games over .500 and six games behind the Twins in the AL Central last season, reportedly are close to announcing the signing of Adam Dunn. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dunn is taking a physical and then the Sox can announce a four-year deal with him reported to be worth $56 million. As if that wasn’t enough, Cowley reports that White Sox players think free agent Paul Konerko will return to the team.

A four-year $56 million deal is slightly less than what Dunn reportedly was hoping for ($60 million), but that is the type of deal he deserves. The big slugger took a huge paycut signing with the Nats for just $20 million over two years in 2009. He had the misfortune of becoming a free agent for the first time when the economy entered the recession and signed a short-term deal with the hope of cashing in on another deal. That opportunity has come and it looks like Dunn will finally be paid.

Dunn has earned a reputation as Mr. Consistency. He hit exactly 40 home runs four straight seasons with the Reds (and part of 2008 after being traded to Arizona) and then he hit 38 home runs in both seasons with the Nats. He’s driven in at least 100 runs six times and has a career OPS of .902. He has clubbed 282 home runs since 2004, more than any baseball player except Albert Pujols. Dunn is a premier slugger in the game and will be an excellent addition to Chicago’s lineup.

Paul Konerko is 34 years old and coming off his finest season as a pro. He’s been with the White Sox since 1999 and driven in at least 90 runs eight times for them, clubbing at least 30 home runs six times. Bringing Konerko back gives the White Sox a slugger at first base to hold down the middle of the lineup as he has been for over a decade. The Adam Dunn signing keeps Chicago as a contender in the AL Central race, retaining Konerko makes them a legitimate threat to win the division and be a playoff force.

Adam Dunn Goes Golden Sombrero

Marlins Nationals BaseballIt’s been quite some time since we’ve had a player take the golden sombrero. Franklin Gutierrez came close over the weekend, but luckily for his sake he reached base in his final at-bat after striking out the first four times. And so it was the case on Tuesday night that Nationals slugger Adam Dunn struck out all four times he came to the plate against the Braves in an 8-1 loss.

I’m actually surprised that Dunn’s never worn the crown (since we’ve kept track) considering he’s gone over 190 k’s in a season a few times. The big slugger punched out swinging, looking, and then swinging the final two times he went to the plate. Youngster Tommy Hanson got Dunn three times while Manny Acosta got him the final time. Hanson’s now 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA. Think Glavine could have done that? Didn’t think so. As for Dunn, even with the crap game, he’s still in line for another 40 home run season, and at .278, he’s on his way to what sadly would be his highest single-season average.

Adam Dunn Pranks Rookie Jay Bruce

Now don’t get the wrong idea here and think for a second that I’m about to buy into the hype and start posting wonderful tales about Reds prospect Jay Bruce, who can supposedly hit home runs one-handed, and throw balls so hard the whizz makes girls skirts go up. No, I’m just a fan of baseball pranks, and this certainly was a good one. The Enquirer has the details:

Dunn’s most elaborate prank happened Monday. Copies of the “Reds Report,” with Bruce on the cover, arrived in the clubhouse.

The headline next to Bruce’s photo was “The Next Big Thing.”

Dunn had Bruce sign copies for a number of people, including manager Dusty Baker.

Dunn then made Bruce deliver the copy to Baker and ask him if he knew Bruce was the next big thing.

“He came in here all shy,” Baker said. “ ‘It wasn’t my idea. It really wasn’t, Mr. Baker.’ I said, ‘Who’s idea was it?’

“ ‘Adam Dunn.’ ”

“Dunn came by later. I asked him whose idea it was.

“Jay’s all the way.’”

That’s a solid prank right there. Most players are uneasy seeing publications with their names and mugs on the cover. So to personalize one for your manager? That really has to stink. I feel bad for the kid. Thought not as bad as I felt for Kyle Kendrick. That could go down as possibly the greatest prank ever, probably because it was documented on video. If you still haven’t seen it, you must, just keep reading.

[Read more...]