It’s discouraging to see a player who just got punished for being a steroids cheat get a four-year $53 million deal just a month or two after his PEDs suspension ended. My hope now is that this contract blows up in the Cardinals’ face so that other teams will be leery of giving proven steroids users big deals in the future.
It’s also discouraging to see the Dodgers signing Haren to a one-year $10 million when the Giants just gave Tim Hudson two years and $23 million. Clearly, Brian Sabean’s first choice was Hudson, and I give credence to Sabean’s judgment. However, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Hudson and Haren going into 2014.
Also, I think that Haren will bounce back next year pitching half his games at Dodger Stadium. Over the last two seasons, Haren has had a 5.06 ERA pitching at home but only a 3.97 ERA pitching on the road. He’s still striking batters at out at a reasonably high rate, so I think he’ll benefit tremendously pitching his home games at Chavez Ravine, still one of the five best pitchers’ parks in baseball.
In short, signing Haren to a one-year contract is a good deal for the Dodgers, a team I’d like to see pay through the nose for any talent they acquire.
Brian McCann‘s recent five-year $85 million deal with the Yankees doesn’t seem like one of the wild over-payings we’ve become used to seeing from the Bombers, at least not when you consider that McCann was the best catcher available, a left-handed hitter, the Yankees badly needing a catcher, and the Braves must have had some desire to re-sign McCann given his history with the team and his Georgia roots. McCann signing with the Yankees can’t be popular in Atlanta, even if Braves management believes McCann’s best days are behind him.
I’ve long been saying that given his size, all the games McCann has caught were going to catch up to him by the time he’s 30, and there’s strong evidence that it has already caught up to him. This contract could blow up on the Yankees, although McCann would still have some value as a designated hitter and, Lord knows, the Yankees can readily afford contracts like this one. It’s the much, much larger deals like ARod’s, Sabathia’s and Teixeira’s that really hurt the Yankees if/when they explode.