Odds and Ends or Odds and Inns? I never really have known which it was. Here in the Midwest, "Inns" and "Ends" sound remarkably similar. Oh well, there's baseball to talk about. Sorry I've been absent a bit more than usual. The holiday season is a busy one. I even got to spend some rare time with my wife while I used some leftover vacation time this weekend.
First things first, the transaction wire remains very busy as teams snatch up free agents left and right. I was surprised to see my Royals dive headlong into the market, overpaying for Gil Meche's radar gun readings and one season of Octavio Dotel. I'm not a fan of either deal. Meche stands a good chance of ending up very burdensome albatross a couple years from now. There's upside there as Meche's peripherals weren't half bad last season, but with his medical history and mediocre career numbers, gambling $55,000,000.00 plus a couple mil in signing bonus on him seems more foolhardy than optimistic.
As to Dotel, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what the real purpose here really is. He's only on a one year deal, so what's the upside? The best we Royals fans can hope for this season is a win total in the mid 70's and some progress in incorporating talented young players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Luke Hochevar into the Major League roster. So where does an overpaid, mediocre closer fit into this picture? This is a P.R. signing pure and simple. I'd rather the money went into June's draft. But that's just me. I'm a farm system junkie.
Keeping with my favorite lovable losers, I've thought about putting up a Joakim Soria profile, but to be honest I really don't have much more info on him than you find on RotoWorld
or MinorLeagueBaseball.com. There just isn't a whole lot of talk about him prior to the last couple months. I know what you know. He's a Mexican righty with a live fastball who has opened eyes in the Mexico this winter. He's certainly an interesting flier. If you're looking for a Rule 5 (I'm boycotting the roman numeral version of the name since it's silly and unnecessary) profile, watch for the Ryan Goleski profile. I hope to have that up later this week.
In former Royal news, I think Mike MacDougal becomes one of the biggest bargains in baseball with his 3 year, $6.45M deal with the White Sox. He still carries a higher risk of injury than your average big league reliever, but his command is greatly improved and when Jose Mesa is getting 2 ½ mil a season to do whatever the Tigers hope he'll do, a guy who has the talent to be a very good short duty reliever counts as grand theft at just over 2 mil per annum.
On the other side of things, the world is off its rocker when a pair of pitchers like Vicente Padilla and Jason Marquis get 3 years each at a combined total of over 50 million (plus an option for Padilla). I'm not sure I'd want the team I root for to even have Marquis in the rotation. At least I think that Padilla's stats indicate he's likely to at least be league average over the course of his contract. At this point the Marquis deal is merely a REPORTED deal instead of a set in stone confirmed contract. But if that is indeed the truth and he will be collecting large paychecks from the Cubs, I have a whole new level of sympathy for my Cub fan grandfather.
Adding to the free agent pitcher weirdness, Jason Schmidt "only" got a 3 year, $47M deal from the Dodgers. If you asked me to take Padilla AND Marquis at an equal salary to Schmidt alone, I think I'd keep Schmidt who might actually be worth an extraordinary salary.
Finally, please let there be forthcoming "Fathead" commercials for baseball players like the Chad Johnson and Ben Roethlisberger ones we've been inundated with on ESPN the last few months. And please let them star Kevin Mench.