Now, one could probably just argue that this offseason's Carlos Silva is, well, Carlos Silva. Being traded for Milton Bradley and legitimately earning the No. 5 spot in the Cubs' rotation makes for a pretty swell past few months for Mr. Silva. But I doubt that Silva looks back as fondly on this offseason as he does on the one two years ago, when the Mariners awarded him with a four-year, $48M contract, a deal that he (and his posse? do baseball players have posses?) is thoroughly enjoying the benefits of right now.
Of course, the economic climate was vastly different when Silva signed his deal compared to this year, but teams haven't magically figured out how to stop wasting money in the past two years. Now, we've already briefly discussed the best deals of the offseason, after MLBTR posted the results of a survey of MLB executives looking at the best and worst deals of the offseason. I decided to ask BtB readers what they believed was the best free agent signing, and not surprisingly, the results were exceptionally close. Felipe Lopez's deal with St. Louis got the most votes, edging out Adrian Beltre's one-year pact with Boston and Cincinnati's long-term investment in left-hander Aroldis Chapman.
This time around, MLBTR's creator and main contributor, Tim Dierkes, put up a list of what he believes were the ten worst free agent contracts given out this offseason. The obvious ones are all there: Holliday to St. Louis, Lyon to Houston, Rodney to LA, DeRosa to San Francisco, Marquis to Washington, Kendall to KC, Crisp to Oakland and the respective re-signings of John Grabow and Alex Cora by the Cubs and Mets.
The only deal on the list that I have a tough time agreeing with is Philadelphia's signing of Placido Polanco. It wasn't a great deal for Philadelphia, they did give a three-year deal to a 34-year-old second baseman who's transitioning to the hot corner. But, to put things simply, Polanco has been one damn good player this decade. In the FanGraphs era (2002-present), he's put up 2.6+ fWAR seasons in all but one year, six 3+ fWAR seasons in eight years, and three 4.5+ fWAR seasons. He's a slightly above average hitter thanks to an impressive ability to make contact, and while he hasn't played third since early in the decade, his numbers at the position were stellar. For a guy who's been worth $49M in the past three years, spending $18M on his next three shouldn't be one of the worst deals in baseball.
So, yeah, I actually kinda like the Polanco deal for Philly. I'm surprised by how much I've underrated Polanco lately. If you asked someone to list all of the players who have averaged 3.5+ fWAR in the FanGraphs era, would you have guessed Polanco's name? Yeah, me neither. Holliday's deal with St. Louis is probably the worst if the Cardinals don't win a World Series in the next couple years, they've essentially committed everything they got to this short-term window of opportunity. The Grabow, Cora and Kendall signings were all especially awful as well, as none of the players are even particularly useful. You don't give millions to mediocre lefty relievers, back-up infielders and starting catchers who no longer deserve the role.
Now that I've quickly argued in favor of the Polanco deal and against the Holliday, Grabow, Cora and Kendall deals, though I didn't like any of the other contracts listed by Dierkes to varying degrees as well, I thought that I would bring the question to the readers. What do you think was the worst signing of the offseason? Who's going to be this offseasons Carlos Silva, landing good money only to offer what essentially amounts to nothing in return (at least thus far)?