God help us all.
On the same day, we've had news break that:
- A career .640 OPS'ing utility infielder signed a $3.35m/2yr deal (plus a 2008 option) with Philadelphia
- St. Louis is thinking about paying Jacque Jones $20m over three years
- Toronto has reportedly extended a $55m/5yr contract offer to Brian Giles, who will be 35 next January
- Kyle Farnsworth has signed a $17m/3yr deal with the Yankees
Yes, this is a good year to be a free agent - especially if you're a reliever, apparently. Farnsworth was a hell of a pitcher last season, but he's still a guy with flyball tendencies, suspect control, and no more Leo Mazzone to guide him along (his 6.8% walk rate in Atlanta was the lowest of his career, by a fair margin). He's going to be good in New York, his high strikeout rate probably being enough to make him one of the better setup men in the league, but he wouldn't have made this kind of money a year ago.
That said, he's probably the best bet of the four players above to actually earn his full contract, since he'll be throwing a lot of important eighth innings for a perennial contender (he was worth about 4.3 wins above replacement in 2005). Nunez sucks, that's too much for Jones, and that's way too much for Giles.
With the rumors surrounding the Raffy Furcal negotiations, I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that a lot of teams are going to look back on this offseason with regret down the road. It's a thin market that's being compensated like a full one, and while it may seem okay in the short-term, this is how bad contracts happen.
Kenji Johjima, I already love you.