Kent agrees to $17 million, two-year contract with Dodgers.
"Dodger Stadium will make Kent look like he's declining faster than he actually is, but he'll still be fine in LA. The Dodgers shouldn't look at this as a substitute to re-signing Beltre, but I think they realize that Kent shouldn't be the offensive centerpiece." (Baseball Think Factory)
Angels to sign Finley.
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Athletics ace Tim Hudson could be headed to the Dodgers this weekend, and Steve Finley has reached an agreement with the Angels, signaling Anaheim's exit from the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes before it truly began.
Newsday has learned that Finley's deal is worth $14 million for two years with a vested option for a third year. The Sporting News first reported yesterday that Finley and the Angels were close to a deal. He turns 40 in March.
Red Sox sign former closer Mantei.
This is a one-year deal worth $750K and Mantei has been dominating at times, so this is all upside. He better be damn good, though, considering that probably amounts to $75K an inning. (Baseball Think Factory)
Chat wrap with Joe Sheehan.
Pete (NY NY): JARET WRIGHT?? TONY WOMACK????? (Eric Milton on the way?) Why?Why???Why WHY??WHY???WHY??WHY??WHY??WHY????? WHY???
Joe Sheehan: What, did you really think I was going to get through chat without addressing this?
The 1994-2004 Yankees were, first and foremost, about OBP. Signing Tony Womack goes against everything the Yankee offense has done for a decade. He's a bad player coming off a fluky season.
As far as Wright goes, by signing him to a three-year deal at good money, you're making the statement that you think everything before 2004 doesn't matter, and that his 2004 performance is the baseline going forward. Given what we know about Wright and the management team in Atlanta, the chances that 2004 will be his best season are far, far greater than the chances that it will be improved upon.
For a while, the Yankees were successful in the free-agent market by only buying the best. They spent a lot of money on Bernie Williams, Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi...it ran the payroll up, but you had stars.
Last year, they settled for Gary Sheffield instead of Vladimir Guerrero. You can argue that it worked out, but it didn't: Guerrero is better and younger, and would have been the better sign.
These two signings are other people's signings, the things teams do when they don't want to pay for the best talent on the market.
They're the clearest signs of franchise decay yet.