Posted: Wednesday December 20, 2006 11:25AM; Updated: Wednesday December 20, 2006 12:36PM
Veteran run producer Moises Alou takes over for Cliff Floyd in the Mets' outfield.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Got a question or comment for Jon?
4. Tom Glavine, Mets starter ($10.5 million, one year). Always one of his union's strongest and smartest leaders, Glavine now has such a close relationship with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon that the Mets agreed not to pick up their $11 million end of his mutual option as long as he was still considering Atlanta. The Mets eventually signed him back for $10.5 million when the Braves, apparently, couldn't come up with an offer. The Mets also had to pay Glavine a $3 million buyout fee, so he's still extremely well compensated. Yet, the Mets can afford it. And just imagine where they'd be in the Barry Zito negotiations if they had no Glavine.
5. Mike Mussina, Yankees starter ($22.5 million, two years). No deals seem to go easier than the ones between agent Arn Tellem and the Yankees. After the team rejected Mussina's $17 million option, he took $5.75 million less annually to stay an extra year.
6. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox starter ($103.1 million, six years). Boston's game plan to blow everyone away with their $51.1 million posting fee paid off since they knew D-Mat had absolutely zero leverage. The Red Sox originally offered only about $6.5 million a year (close to $40 million for six years) but returned home with Matsuzaka after upping the price to $52 million.
Early speculation about club president Larry Lucchino's trip to Japan was that he'd try to get Seibu to chip in to get the deal done (which would be clearly against the rules), but I do believe it was really only a "fact finding mission,'' as Boston claimed.
Fact No. 1 is, D-Mat was very unlikely to go back to Seibu. Under the circumstances, agent Scott Boras did extremely well, as always; Boras beat the audacious posting fee and became a household name in Japan. Yet, considering the Red Sox believe they can earn $6 million a year via Matsuzaka-driven revenues (the buzz is already extraordinary), the deal works for them, as well. "I'm glad all sides came together,'' GM Theo Epstein said. "Now let's hope he's good.''
7. Moises Alou, Mets outfielder ($8.5 million, one year). One of baseball's more underappreciated clutch hitters, Alou could have gotten two years from Texas, Cleveland and possibly Oakland, but wanted to stay in the National League and have the best chance to get back to the World Series. The pay isn't bad for a player who's missed a lot of games (though not as many as Cliff Floyd).
8. Andy Pettitte, Yankees starter ($32 million, two years). This deal is officially called $16 million for one year, but Pettitte has a player option for $16 million and what player turns down $16 million? Taking a page out of buddy Roger Clemens' playbook, Pettitte made a little noise about retiring. But ol Roj' is going to have to talk to him, because Pettitte never got the farewell tour or retirement Hummer. Thirty-two big ones isn't bad, though the Yankees are happy to welcome back someone they know can pitch in the Bronx after trying so many who couldn't the past several years. The Yankees like Pettitte so much they're taking his word he won't exercise his option for 2008 if he's hurt. That's a whole lotta trust.
9. Greg Maddux, Padres starter ($16 million, two years). I'll count the player option here, too, since the only reason those aren't exercised is if a player can get more elsewhere. In any case, you can still mark Maddux down for 15 wins, or close to it.
10. Jason Schmidt, Dodgers starter ($47 million, three years). It's interesting his former team, the Giants, made no effort to keep him despite having the money and the need (who doesn't need a No. 1 or 2 starter?). Schmidt is seen as a little soft by some East Coasters who think he's happy to coast out West. But the man can pitch. And who can blame him for staying closer to home than picking from a trio of Midwest teams that would have paid him about the same had he agreed to come (Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs)?
11. Vicente Padilla, Rangers starter ($33.5 million, three years). This one met some criticism. But if there was a contract for a No. 3 starter I could live with, this is it. He has as much talent as Meche, and he has proven he can pitch in Arlington.
Honorable mention: Akinori Iwamura, Devil Rays infielder ($4.5 million posting, plus $7.7 million over three years); Eric Gagne, Rangers closer ($6 million plus $5 million in incentives).