The All-Star break is not far off.
And while some players will be traveling to Arizona for the midsummer classic, most GM will be pondering what did I do? What do I need to do?
The trade deadline is also rapidly approaching at just under six weeks and some teams will need to atone for poor decision making in the most recent off season. It’s judgement time for the first half of the year.
Large contracts were handed to a few undeserving folks. One sided trades were agreed upon, and washed up veterans began collecting another paycheck instead of a pension.
10 such GM blunders come to mind in the worst off season moves of 2011.
Stats are accurate as of June 16th.
10. Rays Sign Manny Ramirez
This could have gone as an honorable mention since the blight that is Manny Ramirez is no longer with the Tampa Bay Rays. His contract was a mere two million dollars, chump change in baseball terms.
Manny retired after testing positive for a banned substance and opted to turn over his jersey than face a 50 game suspension.
In his brief stint on the Gulf Coast, Manny managed a single hit and single RBI in 17 at bats for the Rays.
9. Giants Sign Miguel Tejada
The Giants signed Tejada for two reasons. They needed a shortstop and they needed to do something the year after winning the World Series. Who would have thought Edgar Renteria would be preferable to Tejada?
The Giants are on the hook for six million this year and in exchange they have been “rewarded” with a .223 BA, one home run and 17 RBI, not to mention seven errors.
Money well spent.
8. A’s Sign Hideki Matsui
Godzilla is down, Godzilla is down.
No longer is Hideki Matsui a giant lizard that terrorizes Tokyo, nor is he a feared lefty who drives in runs in droves.
Sadly Matsui has been reduced to a figurehead who garners media attention abroad for only 4.25 million. On the field he has not cut it in Oakland with merely six homers and 27 RBI through 56 games.
7. White Sox Sign Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn can hit the ball a ton. It just doesn’t happen frequently enough.
Signed to a four-year 56 million dollar contract should guarantee something. It didn’t even cover appendectomies. Dunn was forced to miss a week because of an emergency appendectomy. While its effect on his play is debatable, his poor performance isn’t.
A .185 average with seven homers and 29 RBI’s isn’t really worth 14 million a year, is it? Tack on 84 strikeouts to get the complete picture of Adam Dunn’s 2011 season.
6. Red Sox Sign Carl Crawford
I think Carl Crawford is good player having a down year. Do I think he’s worth 142 million? Is anyone?
Crawford is a legitimate 30-30 candidate but this year 15-15 would be a stretch. Crawford is a career .294 hitter, in a hitters park, in the same division and he’s only batting .243. Makes me think something is a bit off don’t you think?
He’s only hitting .167 against his former club, but those numbers aren’t enough to make up for this career worst year thus far.
He’s player who can pull out of it, but if he doesn’t or he’s already peaked, that’s a lot of money the Sox are on the hook for.
5. Red Sox Sign Bobby Jenks
This one is mostly for poor performance than dollar amounts.
Two years for 12 million seems to be the going rate for established set up men in the league. Jenks is closer, or was, and now is barely on the fringe of playing at all.
He’s had no control with 11 walks in just over 12 innings. His ERA is over six and his WHIP is 2.35. He’s hasn’t been comfortable all season and the Sox might be better off eating his contract or trying to send him elsewhere to resurrect his control.
If that’s possible.
4. Giants Re-Sign Aubrey Huff
Statistical anomalies are funny things when they aren’t so anomalous any more.
Aubrey Huff has had a confounding career in terms of predicting potential production. In even numbered years he produces at near MVP levels. In odd numbered years exactly the opposite.
For those playing along 2011 is an odd numbered year and his numbers reflect that. A .243 average, eight homers and 35 RBI are all Huff has managed, half the home run numbers came in two games FYI. His walk numbers are down and his defense is worst to none.
Luckily next year is 2012 and if his numbers don’t lie, he’ll bounce back. Hopefully. If not, its only another 22 million down the drain, the Giants have wasted more than that before.
3. Nationals Sign Jayson Werth
Worst straight signing of 2011 hands down.
Seven years for 126 million for a 32 year old with two solid years under his belt is not a good idea. Yes the market was thin and the Nationals had money to burn but I see another Aaron Rowand on the horizon. Both came from the Phillies, had only a few decent years behind them and fewer ahead. Werth so far, .240, 10 homers and 26 RBI.
Watch out Rowand, Werth’s gunning for you.
2. Braves Trade for and Sign Dan Uggla
Trading for Dan Uggla wasn’t the worst idea, signing him to a huge extension was.
Uggla came to the Braves via the Marlins for Omar Infante and pitcher Michael Dunn. On paper good trade, upgrade offensively, slight downgrade defensively.
In reality (channel Charles Barkley) terrible, just terrible.
Not only has Uggla underperformed to the tune of a .174 average but he’s also owed 62 million over this and the next four seasons, now that’s an extension.
1. Angels Trade for Vernon Wells
Finally, the king, or the dunce whichever way you wish to put it.
The Angels traded away Mike Napoli who, while not a great catcher, could hit pretty well. In return they got Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays and his humongous contract. The Jays even sent the Angels five million as a thank you and 3.643 million each year for the remainder of Wells’ contract.
With that in mind, the Angels still owe Vernon Wells 84 million dollars. 84. Did you know they are still paying Gary Matthews too? And Scott Kazmir. Suffice it to say the Angels won’t be making any big signings for a while with all that cash currently tied up. Wells has not impressed to say the least and his .192 average with six home runs and 16 RBI supports it.
84 million still owed and the Angels traded for him. I just can’t get over it.
Will the Angels?