Monday, November 15, 2004

Vizquel Goes for Three 

Amazingly, Omar Vizquel became the first free agent signing of 2005, landing a huge 3-year, $12M+ contract from the San Francisco Giants. What? For the second straight year, Giants GM Brian Sabean gives up his first round draft pick to sign a mediocre player (last year was the immortal Michael Tucker).

And a 3-year contract for a 37-year-old shortstop seems like a very bad idea. Even Vizquel was surprised by it. "I thought I was going to be a Chicago White Sox until late Friday night," Vizquel said, adding that the Giants only added the third year to their proposal on Saturday. "I'm surprised and very happy that the Giants offered me a three-year deal at my age," he said in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article on the trade.

It was just a year ago that the M's backed out of trading Carlos Guillen for Vizquel, citing health issues. Vizquel showed those concerns to be ridculous by playing 148 games at a .291/.353/.388 clip and his usual excellent defense. Vizquel would have been a nice 1-year fix for the M's last year (assuming you agree that Guillen and Seattle needed time apart).

Of course, if Vizquel had joined the karmically-challenged M's of 2004, he would certainly have hit .210/.278/.293 for 3 months before being stricken with leprosy.

In other shortstop news, the Red Sox are not sure about re-signing Orlando Cabrera, so they are sniffing around... Barry Larkin? The White Sox, having lost out on Vizquel, may set their sights on the similarly-priced Christian Guzman.

And finally, this reminder on high-priced free agent pitchers. Look no further than the Colorado Rockies investment of nearly $100 million into Darryl Kile, Mike Hampton, and Denny Neagle. Money not so well spent.

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