Eight Costly Decisions This Winter in MLB

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IJanuary 20, 2010

In no particular order:

1. Jarrod Washburn Turns Down One-Year/$5 Million Offer from the Twins

Given how many starting pitchers are on the market right now and how poorly Washburn ended the 2009 season, why in the world did he turn this down?

2. Russell Branyan Turns Down One-Year Deal from the Mariners

Branyan wanted a multi-year contract and some long-term security, but concerns about his back have shied teams away and he remains on the market. Branyan will probably wind up with a one-year deal, but I imagine that the base salary will be less than what the Mariners initially offered.

3. Adam LaRoche Turns Down Two-Year/$17 Million Offer from the Giants

Sure, this offer was not the three-year/$31 million deal LaRoche wanted, but this was the best offer LaRoche received. However, LaRoche opted to sign a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks because he felt uncomfortable playing in the Giants' spacious ballpark.

4. Jose Valverde Declines the Astros' Arbitration Offer

A baffling move based on emotion that probably will cost Valverde millions this winter.

5. Johnny Damon Turns Down the Yankees' Two-Year/$14 Million Offer

Damon clearly overestimated his value on the market and by rejecting this offer, Damon might have turned down his best chance at a multi-year deal.

6. Adrian Beltre Declines the Mariners' Arbitration Offer

Beltre declined the Mariners' offer, which would have been around $12 million, in the hopes of landing a multi-year contract. However, the multi-year deal never came and Beltre signed a one-year/$7 million contract with the Red Sox. Economically, it was a costly move, but from a baseball perspective, Beltre should flourish.

7. Bengie Molina Turns Down Mets One-Year Offer w/Player Option, Signs One-Year/$4.5 Million Deal with Giants Instead

More on this deal later today, but like so many others, I'm dumbfounded by this deal.

8. Yorvit Torrealba Comes Close to Signing Two-Year/$6 Million Contract with Rockies; Remains Unsigned

Torrealba might be able to land a contract similar to this on the open market (still), but with options dwindling, I imagine that he will be stuck taking a one-year deal with a low base salary.