Here's what's happened since Alfonso Soriano signed with the Chicago Cubs:
-Juan Pierre signed a five-year, $44M contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pierre is known for batting average, stolen bases (the quantity over quality variety), and defense, although those don't add up to make a five-year deal appropriate. Juan's been pretty consistent over his career, and has stayed healthy, so I guess that's something.
-Gary Matthews, Jr. signed a five-year, $50M contract with the Los Angeles Angels. This deal makes absolutely no sense from my point of view. Matthews has bounced around a lot in his career, and was pretty much free two years ago when he was released in early 2004. Little Sarge hit a pretty pedestrian .255/.320/.436 in 2005, then had (in my estimation) a career year this season. His defense has been overrated thanks to a highlight-reel catch this season, and he'll be 37 by the time his contract ends. Just for kicks, here's his top four similar hitters through Age 31 at baseball-reference:
- Michael Tucker
- Oddibe McDowell
- Todd Hollandsworth
- Chris James
In the winter of 2004, the Angels signed Vladimir Guerrero, who hasn't had a sub-.900 OPS season since he was 22, to a five-year, $70M contract. How times have changed.