11.5 million annually for Francisco Cordero? Did Wayne Krivsky take a class on overpaying taught by Kenny Williams, Jim Hendry, and Ned Colleti or did he forget what team he's the general manager of? In case he did allow me to gently remind him that the Cincinnati Reds had six relievers with plus VORPs last year, including their closer Dave Weathers who's VORP were 18.5, Cordero's 2007 VORP? 18.6; I guess the going rate for that kind of improvement is nine million.
Don't get me wrong, Krivsky did effectively improve his bullpen - one that was amongst the worst in staff ERAs last year - but at what price to the rest of his team did bumping Jared Burton and Weathers back an inning cost? Assuming nothing else changes the Reds' rotation stacks up - without free agent Kyle Lohse - like so: the two steady pieces in Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo and then a whole bunch of questions with Matt Belisle, the control lacking Homer Bailey, and perhaps the green Jonny Cueto as their fifth starter.
Stating the obvious, the bottom half of that rotation is shaky, I don't think Carlos Silva or Kyle Lohse would've been a better addition, but instead they've cornered themselves with far less payroll flexibility and question marks in the rotation and a manager in Dusty Baker who absolutely loves to over-extend his starters.
I'd have to assume that Krivsky will attempt to move an outfielder or first baseman type for another starter; currently his roster features Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton, Ryan Freel, Scott Hatteberg, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce lined up for positions. In case you were counting that's seven players for four positions.
Dunn is the most likely to be done - pun unintended - in Cincinnati but he has a full no-trade clause through the middle of June, unless he waives it mark the odds of him being dealt prior to the season as "unlikely". Griffey is an expensive risk for a team to take, Hamilton had some injury issues last year - as did Freel - and Hatteberg's price almost makes dealing him nonsensical for the Reds, and neither Bruce or Votto are going anywhere which against leaves one scratching their head about the plan Cincy has in mind - assuming they have one.
The Brewers on the other hand have to feel shafted, two Type-A free agents have left and they won't receive a first round pick in compensation for either of them thanks to two of the worst 15 teams in the league scooping each up. With their closer and set-up man leaving it appears that the Brew crew will turn to Derrick Turnbow for the ninth.
With all that said the market for players in general is just silly at the moment. The league made over six billion last year and like Reaganomics it's just at trickle down effect; when Ramon Vazquez, who hit .230/.300 last year is making nearly a million per season for his performance, you know the market is just nuts.