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The Dos And Don'ts Of Signing Replacement-Level Talent

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Do:

See if the guy bites on a minor league contract offer.

Don't:

Get the guy to sign a guaranteed seven-figure deal (same goes for the other guy, too).

The whole idea of a certain player being a potential bargain kind of goes for naught when you don't sign him to a bargain contract. San Diego may be tempted to explore the extent to which its ballpark can make guys as bad as Pedro Astacio look okay, but doing that when even one extra avoidable loss could mean second place in the division doesn't strike me as a real hot idea. But then, neither did dealing the starting second baseman for a backup catcher and replacing him with a strikeout-prone righty pull hitter in a park that annihilates guys with his profile, so maybe Kevin Towers is establishing a pattern.

At this point, I suppose we could call Jose Lima "The Cat" due to his apparent invulnerability, but San Diego makes life #8, so his career may at least be nearing its well-deserved conclusion. As for Estes, the counter tracking the number of years he gets to ride the wave of his 3.18 1997 ERA is up to "9". The more things change...