While I liked most of the signings that have made news recently, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s extension didn’t give me as much to smile about.
Thumbs up to all the big signing of the past couple days. I’m generally a big fan of buying out arbitration years, even if it’s only to avoid the actual meeting. No one likes being told that s/he’s not that good and does lots of things wrong and doesn’t deserve top dollar, so avoiding this process pays off long-term with general good will for your organization.
The Carlos Pena deal is very nice. The guy was always supposed to be good so his monster 2007 season wasn’t a fluke like Brady Anderson’s 50 homerun season back in the day or anything like that. It took him a long time to put it together, so it’s natuaral to be somewhat skeptical, but the Rays had to do something about his contract (he would have been a free agent after 2008) and they did well for themselves, avoiding arbitration and signing their best hitter (and a guy who put up one of the best overall seasons in the Majors last year) to a middle ground contract–not too long but not too short. He’ll be a nice guy to have pickin’ it at 1B in 2009 and 2010 when the Rays make their first challenge for the the play-offs in their middling franchise history.
Miguel Cabrera deserves his money, and the Tigers would be smart to sign him to an extension right now. If you could convince him to sign maybe a 4 or 5 year deal that would be phenomenal, but given that he has gotten back into shape and is a Hall-0f-Fame talent who has produced Hall-of-Fame numbers at such a young age, I say give him what it takes.
Matt Holiday got $23 million over two years of arbitration buy-outness.
Rick Ankiel avoided arbitration as well.
Here’s a list of more dudes who were shown the money, as well as some who have yet to receive their checks.
Lastly, Bud Selig got an extension too. I’m far less of a fan of this guy’s work than of say, another mediocre talent like Jon Lieber.