Free Agent Showdown at A T & T

This afternoon the possessors of the fifth and ninth worst free agent contracts of the 2015-2016 off season square off against each other as the Dodgers and Giants play the final game of their first series of the year. But first, a look at Worst Contract Number 4 and the $206.5 Million dollar man, former Dodgers’ starter Zack Greinke, currently under the


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employ of the now and forever insidious and moribund ownership and management of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A former nice guy and solid starter, Greinke lost his place in the decency standard when he took the bags of money and ran to of all places, Arizona, and his horrendous start this season, at least for now removing him from the upper echelon of active pitchers, could not have happened to a more deserving person. For the record, the $206.5 Million dollar pitcher has started two games this
young season, and he has managed to complete the grand total of 10 innings pitched allowing 11 earned runs on 16 hits and four walks, for an ERA of 9.90 and a WHIP of 2.00. Needless to say, he’s led his new team, and a more deserving lot is non-existent, to two straight losses. By comparison, a year ago it was not until the end of May, May 27 to be exact, before Greinke had allowed an eleventh earned run, and by then he had pitched in ten games, thrown 66 innings, and had led the Dodgers to seven wins, including a streak of six in a row.

But, back to the Dodgers and Giants and today’s matchup. The Giants gave Cueto, off a poor 2015 season following his masterful 2014, a 6-year, $130 M contract, which, if he pitches like he did during that 2014 season, could pay off in the short run, but which promises to be an expensive burden by years four, five, and six. As I’ve discussed often in the past, the Dodgers chose to make Kazmir winner of spot number 9 on the bad contract list, agreeing to pay the classic in-and-outer $48 M over three years, which is the saving grace, the contract is only for three years. In their first starts of the season, each pitched


exceeding well, with Kazmir throwing six one-hit, shutout innings against the Padres, and with Cueto defeating the Brewers 2-1, going seven strong, allowing a single run.

So the question is, will either or both continue their strong showings as they face off against each other, or will either or both the Dodgers or Giants say “Hey, wait a minute, not so fast!”.

Perhaps impacting the Dodgers’ assault on Cueto is the always present injury bug that has hit baseball so hard so early this season, with front line players like A.J. Pollock and Robinson Chirinos suffering extremely serious early season injuries, along with young star-to-be Kyle Schwarber, each figuring to miss months if not all of the season. The Dodgers received a double-whammy yesterday, though it was not totally unexpected. The ALWAYS injured Carl Crawford went on the DL, as happens one, twice, three times a season, with no anticipated return timetable, but also getting injured was Scott Van Slyke, and losing two left fielders on the same day could be a serious problem, especially since the team had no available replacement, choosing to replace Crawford on the roster with rookie second baseman Micah Johnson. The team came close to losing Johnson as soon as he arrived, as viewers of the broadcast might have seen. Despite being basically ignored by the team’s second-string tv team, on his first play at second once he entered the game, Johnson was hit hard at second base and appeared to either be spiked or otherwise bruised on his right leg by a sliding baserunner. He stayed in the game despite limping around for several minutes.

Finally for now, last year when the Dodgers traded away young fireballing reliever Chris Withrow, I thoroughly criticized the move. I strongly believe that he has a great future as a top level closer, and he may now see that chance, as the Braves brought him up today. Withrow is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, and he may or may not yet be ready for an everyday role, and proving the Dodgers made a super big error in giving up on him when they did.

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One Response to Free Agent Showdown at A T & T

  1. theHoundDawg says:

    Final line for the starters:

    Kazmir ($18 M) 4 ip, 7 hits, 6 runs, 6 ER, 3 HR
    Cueto ($21 M) 7 ip, 10 hits, 6 runs, 6 ER

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