It’s Do What You Feel Like Friday here at Pax Arcana for two reasons:
1. We can’t think of our own ideas, so we just steal them from Lucy.
2. The thick-thighed Norwegian Pax is off today, winding his way down New England backroads toward Vermont. So unless he feels like popping in with a headline-only post from his iPhone, you won’t hear from Pax today beyond his previously recorded Friday Random 10, which should be up at some point.
Pax Arcana, pre-guillotine
So what does that mean for you, dear reader? It means Padre all day. No more posts about viking zombies marrying Liz Phair, or whatever it is Pax likes to write about.
So let’s look at this: the worst free-agent deals ever given in MLB according to SI’s Jon Heyman (hat tip: MLBTradeRumors).
The abbreviated version of his list: Mike Hampton, Carl Pavano, Albert Belle, Chan Ho Park, Jason Giambi, Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort, Bobby Higginson, Barry Zito, Mo Vaughn, Julio Lugo, Russ Ortiz, Juan Pierre.
Two problems I have with the list: 1) it seems a little unfair to use guys who are still in the contracts they signed. Sure, it’s unlikely that Zito, Lugo, or Pierre turns things around (let’s ignore Giambi since he’s in his last year), but they could. 2) As much as I hate Lugo, how can we consider his deal so destructive? The Red Sox won the World Series in the first year after acquiring him. Believe me, I think he’s dreadful, and I hated the move from the beginning. But it seems like a sharp criticism: the deal didn’t preclude the Sox from getting the other guys they needed or developing young talent, and they won it all.
What about a guy like Ken Griffey, Jr., who sucked up Cincy’s payroll while being baseball’s version of Grant Hill? There are countless middle relievers, but what about Kyle Farnsworth, who couldn’t be worse and makes more than $5 mil. If we’re gonna put Carl Pavano at no. 2 (*cough* NY bias *cough*), where’s Matt Clement? Yes, we appreciate the half-year of domination. Enjoy your $36 million.
I’d say Kevin Millwood has been more useless compared to expectations for Texas than, say, Bobby Higginson was for Detroit. I’d keep an eye out for Gary Matthews, Jr., down the road too. Other current guys: Adrian Beltre (just for the frustration), Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, Aaron Rowand, and Dave Roberts (we still love you, Dave).
And for the record, I think Zito could go down as the worst of them all. The thing with Hampton is he just couldn’t stay healthy and you can’t always predict that. Zito just sucks.
$19 mil a year to admire home run trots
Any other thoughts? Oh, and check out Cot’s Baseball Contracts if you need a primer on salaries.