Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/4/12

These may seem extremely surprising to you because these guys are household names, but you have to bear with me, and think logically. Forget the names. Think stats, value, team’s status, and money. Because in the end, that’s what it comes down to.

1. Albert Pujols, LA Angels, (Of A) $254,000,000 over 10 years.

Since when does paying a 42 year old $30 million dollars sound like a good deal? That’s exactly what the Angels will be doing with Albert Pujols. Pujols who turns 32 before this season starts, will be earning an average of  $25 million over the next ten seasons with a $30 million hit during the last year of his contract. Worst of all he has a full no trade clause and a back loaded contract. There is no doubt Pujols is one of the best baseball players in the history of the sport, but that doesn’t mean you have pay a quarter of a billion dollars to a player who can soon be on the decline. Sure there is no sign that he is going to be slowing down anytime soon, but you don’t expect MVP numbers from a 40 year old. It is essentially impossible for the Angels to ever trade him with his contract let alone his no trade clause. If he were to waive his no trade clause, who would want to pay Pujols over $110 million dollars for a player for 4 years that will be playing in years 39-42 of his life? Oh yeah, that doesn’t include the 10 year, 10 million dollar personal service contract that kicks in when he retires. For a team that is the seventh oldest team in baseball and has a lot of holes to fill, one has to wonder why pay 18% of your payroll to a soon to an older player?

2. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers, $52,700,000 Bid.

Yu Who? The Rangers posted a bid of over $52 million for JUST negotiating rights. Projections of what his contract will be is north of what the Boston Red Sox paid Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007, which was a $51 million dollar bid and a $52 million dollar salary. And the two Japanesse pitchers are compared to being similar with more upside at the time for Daisuke. Darvish is considered by many to be a good #2 starter maybe even as low as a 3. So your telling me that Nolan Ryan is essentially okay with paying this pitcher with very little information around $100 million over 5 seasons? Why wouldn’t you just pay proven major leaguer C.J. Wilson $80 million for 5 seasons? Have you thought if Darvish can handle the extreme heat of Texas? The American League DH? My predication is that he starts out similar in the majors as Daisuke did, stellar the first time around and come years 3, 4, and 5 seasons, when teams see him time and time again, he gets rocked. Risky and horrible move.

3. Jose Reyes, Miami Marlins, $106,000,000 over 6 years.

There is no doubt Reyes has the ability to be one of the most electrifying players in the game. But to do so means you actually have to play. The often injury-prone shortstop has played an average of under 99 games a season, the last three seasons. It seems like an awful lot of money for a player that could go missing for a large part of the year. Not to mention you forfeited two draft picks to a division rival who is rebuilding their franchise. And Reyes hasn’t been known to be the best person in the clubhouse, often referred to as a “head case”. I do understand trying to make splash and showing the league you are for real, but you’re doing it with the guy that bunted on the fan appreciation day to win the batting title and took himself out of the game? Sounds like a team player to me. Not to mention you already have a top-notch shortstop in Hanley Ramirez who does not want to move positions. Why cause drama for the future of your franchise in Hanley. It just doesn’t make sense for a team that is young and could use the money elsewhere. Don’t let this vet come in and spoil the personalities of all of these young kids.

4. Mark Buehrle, Miami Marlins, $58,000,000 over 4 years.

With the name Buerhle, the thoughts of World Series, perfect games, no hitters, and all the glory comes to mind. But do the 10 games over .500 record over the last 6 years spring into mind? Does the at least 9 losses in each of the last 6 years (double digit losses in 4 of the last 6 years) come to mind? Bruce Chen is 24-15 in his last two seasons, of course he isn’t a household name like Buehrle but he seems almost as suitable, right? He just signed a 2 year, $9 million contract with the Royals. Or even Jason Marquis who just signed a 1 year, $3 dollar contract. Buehrle, who will be 33 by the start of the season is a pitcher who is on the decline. His average salary will equate to about 20% of what the Marlins opening day roster’s total salary was in 2011. It just doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for the Marlins who need to think long term. They don’t need that complimentary pitcher that they believe can help them win the World Series, because lets face it, they’re not there. They are building their team upwards and Buehrle just doesn’t seem to fit the plan.

5. Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies, $31,500,000 over 3 years.

Cuddyer is a great complimentary player on a ready to win now team. So why did the Rockies sign him? The market early on seemed as if Cuddyer would get around 8-10 million a year from a contender. Cuddyer who will be 33 by the beginning of the season would be an ideal fit to a team that is missing that right handed bat. A team that can sniff a World Series. The Rockies don’t seem to be looking at a World Series in the next two to three years, so why get Cuddyer for three years? At over 10 million a year? I have no problem with young rebuilding teams signing veterans, you need vets to help guide the young players, but to sign a vet to that big of a contract at this point of your organization’s building plan is questionable. Cuddyer, a lifetime streaky player, is joining a streaky team. That could have disaster written all over it. It just makes very little sense for a team like the Rockies to sign a slightly above average player to a young team for big money.



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