Why should I always be positive, with my Hall of Fame articles and trade ideas and the like? Time to verbally punish those who made what appear to be the worst signings in baseball. What is the point? So we can see at the end of the year who started to earn their contracts, and who continued to fall flat on their faces. I will also include the few sentences I wrote about each free agent acquisition from my previous website, Baseball Rants so we can see how right or wrong I was back in February and March. I'm not going to rank these signings; I'm just going to list them.
Steve Finley, CF, LAA, $6,000,000 for 05'
Finley has scuffled offensively and defensively, and besides his SecAvg and Iso, all his numbers look pretty poor.
Looks like Finley is doing a little of both, scuffling and sticking around.
Orlando Cabrera, SS, LAA, $6,000,000 for 05'
Cabrera is playing defensively, which is a plus, but his value is tied up entirely in defense and an ability to not get caught stealing. The bat just is not there.
I've heard nothing about Cabrera's back pains this season, so maybe he is not having any problems in that regard, and is able to field well. He sure as hell can't hit this year though.
Jose Lima, SP, KC, $2,500,000 for 05'
I think this is a situation where the numbers speak for themselves.
Eric Milton, SP, CIN, $5,333,333 for 05'
Russ Ortiz, SP, ARZ, $7,350,000 for 05'
Well...he has a positive VORP!
Edgar Renteria, SS, BOS, $8,000,000 for 05'
As a Red Sox fan, I don't even want to get into this with Renteria. The numbers don't lie. At all.
Cristian Guzman, SS, WAS, $4,200,000
VORP: -14 (Last in MLB)
Looking back, I'm glad I was overly angry in my Baseball Rants Nats preview on Guzman:
Adrian Beltre, 3B, SEA, $11,400,000
Beltre has never impressed me besides 2004, but I figured he had turned some kind of corner. I never expected 2004 to happen again, but some sort of middle ground where he was productive but well overpaid was in the making in my mind.
Honorary mention, but not as "worthy" as these players for lack of playing time and/or injury. I don't feel right classifying these as worst free agent signings for a few reasons. Benitez wasn't an injury risk; Ordonez's knee works fine, but he has a hernia, Jaret Wright has not wreaked enough havoc out in the Bronx due to injury, Paul Wilson's got something else going on entirely, and Nomar wasn't supposed to tear his groin from his bone. Ick. And Juan Castro is starting due to the demotion of Jason Bartlett in Minnesota, so I can't really call him worst if they weren't going to play the other option...
And the award for best free agent signing of the season so far goes to...
Pedro Martinez, SP, NYM, $10,875,000
VORP: 30.7 (6th among pitchers)