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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bad Contracts Haunt The Angels

An anonymous commenter today pointed out the story in today's Times about former free agent and current Indian Paul Byrd. Byrd, it seemed, wanted to get something done early in the offseason, but the Angels were worried they'd lose out on Hector Carrasco:
Stoneman said he had no choice.

"We wanted to sign Hector, and we also wanted to sign Paul Byrd," Stoneman said. "Carrasco wanted an opportunity to be a starter, but if we signed Byrd, Carrasco wouldn't have been here. The problem was, other clubs were after Carrasco, and I didn't want to be left at the end of the day having waited for Paul Byrd and lost out on Carrasco and Paul Byrd. The timing of things doesn't always work."

Waitaminnit. Why did this matter? (Ignore for the moment the fact that Carrasco seems to have trouble counting; the Angels lost two pitchers to free agency this offseason. Update: duh, that still leaves only one hole. Thanks, Vishal.) The only possible reason could have been money; Arte's generous, but his pockets aren't infinitely deep. As even the Yankees are discovering, there are limits to what you can apply toward salaries. Maybe it's wrong of me to do this, but the assumption has to be that there isn't room in this town for both Byrd and Carrasco. How bad do the signings of Cabrera, Finley, and Yan look now?

Update 2: Nah, the more logical explanation is that I'm an idiot. Stoneman's explanation at least has the plus that it's internally consistent.

the angels may have lost 2 pitchers, but thanks to ervin santana, there is only one rotation spot open:

colon, lackey, escobar, santana, _______(carrasco)
Ultimately Stoneman offered Byrd a contract equal to the one he accepted from the Indians, so I don't know if a limited budget was the problem. Strange.
The Yan signing is actually starting to look a bit better, in fact. He's getting only $1 million. When the Bobby Howrys and Scott Eyres of the world are signing contracts for mutliple millions a year, if Yan can provide league average relief, it's a "good" deal.

Of course, either Bobby Jenks or Derrick Turnbow (or both of them together) would cost a lot less than a million bucks, but that's another can of worms.

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