Ranking the 5 Most Ridiculous Deals from MLB Winter Meetings
Some teams greatly overpaid for free agents, while others have traded away more than they should have to acquire players from other teams.
These deals might not end up being the most ridiculous ones that occur this winter, but they have set the tone for the rest of the market.
5. San Francisco Giants Re-Sign Angel Pagan
Re-signing Angel Pagan was not a bad move by the San Francisco Giants (h/t John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle). He played a large role in the World Series win in 2012. However, it was risky was giving him a four-year contract.
Pagan was solid in his first year with the Giants, but consistency has been an issue for him throughout his career. A two or three-year deal would have made more sense for the Giants, but they did what they needed to in order to keep him around.
This deal makes the list because Pagan was able to earn $40 million over four years based on one strong season.
4. Boston Red Sox Sign Mike Napoli
When a team hands out a big contract, they want a player that can consistently produce. Mike Napoli does not fit that description.
Napoli signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox this winter (h/t Associated Press via the Washington Post).
While Napoli has proven that he can hit for power, he has not been able to hit for a consistent average throughout his career.
The veteran catcher hit a career-best .320 in 2011, but that was sandwiched in between two seasons where his batting average was .238 and .227, respectively.
Napoli also has not been much of a run producer. While he hit 30 home runs in 2011, Napoli only drove in 75 runs on a stacked Texas Rangers team. That number dropped to 56 last season.
All things considered, Napoli is not close to being worth the $13 million a year that the Red Sox invested in him.
3. Philadelphia Phillies Acquire Ben Revere
The Philadelphia Phillies turned to the trade market to pick up a new starting outfielder. In return for Vance Worley and Trevor May, the Phillies received Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins (h/t Associated Press via The Washington Post).
Like Pagan, Revere is a solid player, posting a .294/.333/.342 slash line to go along with 40 stolen bases. That said, the Phillies gave up too much to acquire his services.
Worley struggled a bit during the 2012 season, but he did finish third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2011. The young righty is a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Dealing away May in addition to Worley is what makes this deal go from questionable to terrible. May was ranked as the 69th best prospect in the game prior to the 2012 season according to Baseball America (via Baseball-Reference).
The Phillies may end up really regretting this deal in the long-term.
2. Boston Red Sox Sign Shane Victorino
While Shane Victorino put up outstanding numbers in 2011, he has actually been a below average player for the majority of his career. From 2003 through 2010, Victorino had an OPS+ of exactly 100. That number climbed to 130 in 2011 before falling to 91 in 2012.
The Boston Red Sox had a need in their outfield and thought Victorino was a good fit for them, signing him to a three-year contract worth $13 million a year (h/t Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston).
Victorino's experience and strong defense should have gotten him a decent-sized contract, but the Red Sox gave him more money than he deserved.
1. Los Angeles Angels Sign Joe Blanton
After losing Dan Haren and Zack Greinke to free agency and dealing Ervin Santana, the Los Angeles Angels needed a starting pitcher. They turned to the free-agent market to fill their need.
The Angels signed Joe Blanton to two-year, $15 million contract (h/t Matt Synder of CBS Sports). That works out to $7.5 million a year, which is way too much for a pitcher with a 4.71 ERA in the previous season.
And it's not as though Blanton had done any better in past years, sporting a 5.01 ERA in 2011 and a 4.82 ERA in 2010.
Los Angeles paid middle-of-the-rotation money to land a fifth starter at best. Not a wise decision.