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Monday, November 13, 2006

YES, WE HAVE NO ARAMIS
Aramis Ramirez has re-signed with the Cubs, inking a five-year, $73M deal.

I'm somewhat okay with this; I don't think there's any chance Ramirez will really be worth nearly $15M per year over the next five years. Sure, he's a hell of a hitter, but he's a bad defender who will be spending more of his contract on the wrong side of 30 than the right side. (Incidentally, Aramis is the first player younger than me to debut in the major leagues.)

However, I would likely preferred to overpay for Aramis in dollars than overpay for someone like Tejada or A-Rod in players. And, per Mike DiGiovanna's write-up in the Times today, we might end up getting the worst of both worlds.

One scenario has the Angels either shelling out millions and millions of dollars for Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka or millions for Barry Zito, and then making one of the Ervin-Jered-Saunders troika the centerpiece of a trade for Tejada, A-Rod, or Vernon Wells. Such a move could provide a marginal improvement in the short term, but it would cost a lot more in money and would also mortgage our future for immediate gains. Both Ervin and Jered are likely to have more future remaining value than Zito, for instance, and while Joe Saunders doesn't quite have their upside, he's important insurance against an injury to a rotation starter.

Other pondered moves would include going after Alfonso Soriano, who will be 31 next season, is coming off of his best year ever and will likely be overpaid as a result, and hasn't ever played center field, or Gary Matthews Jr., who's even older and never had a good year until last season. I would guess his chances of repeating his 2006 performance are rather slim.

I still Vernon Wells is the best match of anyone we're talking about; sure, adding a guy like Tejada or A-Rod would be great for the offense, but it would cost us a lot in money and pitching depth. Wells is a lesser hitter, but an excellent defender, and the youngest position player discussed in this post. He would probably cost less than the other guys in terms of who we would have to give up, and provide us benefits on both sides of the ball, so to speak

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