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A Few More Waves

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:

  1. Michael Tucker
  2. Oddibe McDowell
  3. Todd Hollandsworth
  4. Chris James
-Carlos Lee signed a six-year, $100M contract with the Houston Astros. You could see this one coming, but the years and other clauses could make this deal the worst of the off-season. Perhaps $17M is the new $12M, who really knows as of yet. But giving a 31-year-old a four-year no-trade clause on a National League club is borderline insane. And it's not like Lee is a premiere hitter: he's NEVER posted an OPS over .900 in his career.  

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.