No products in the cart.
As if Kenny Williams couldn’t hate Mike Rizzo more, the Washington Nationals GM had to go and sign Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract.
The lede of Ken Rosenthal’s story said it best:
A rival general manager, upon hearing that the contract was for seven years, offered this reaction to Jayson Werth’s signing with the Nationals:
“Absolutely bat—- crazy.”
And that was before the GM even learned the contract was for $126 million, an average of $18 million per season.
And this is while Williams is trying to finalize the terms of Paul Konerko’s impending contract.
These earthshaking deals don’t always alter the market like simple logic would dictate. The “bat—- crazy” quote reminded me of when Williams signed Scott Linebrink to his ill-fated, four-year, $19 million contract in November 2007. Buster Olney wrote a story quoting one of them “rival execs” who said, “our industry has gone insane again.”
As it turned out, the industry didn’t lose its marbles, but judges probably would have granted Williams a temporary insanity plea.
That’s what this Werth deal reminds me of. It might have a direct effect on Carl Crawford’s negotiations, since they’re peers on the market. But I can’t see his deal lifting the negotiating floor for all of baseball, at least not anymore than the Victor Martinez or Adam Dunn signings did.
But add it in with Lance Berkman going to the Cardinals … to play the outfield … and this winter is definitely off to a strange start. And now that I mentioned Dunn, I’m certainly glad the Sox struck quickly. You know, just in case.
(By the way: Werth’s contract is why I still have a hunch Manny Ramirez is going to make more than most of you think. Maybe not $9.5 million like I said, but close. Boras can do these things.)
Heading into the winter meetings, Paul Konerko’s eventual return is very much a matter of “when,” and not “if.”
*Doug Padilla reports that, basically, Jerry Reinsdorf is Charles Comiskey, Paul Konerko is Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Kenny Williams is Harry Grabiner. Except Reinsdorf is in Orlando, too.
*Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Konerko and Craig Landis will meet with Rick Hahn today. When that happens, usually it’s contract time.
*The bullpen is probably the other area the Sox will target besides Konerko, but Ken Rosenthal throws a Cliff Lee suggestion into the mix for giggles.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Dave Van Dyck’s in a little bit of a slump with regard to contracts. Earlier in the week, he said Alexei Ramirez’s option is worth $2.5 million. Then he wrote that Edwin Jackson is owed $13.35 million over the next two seasons.
*Joe Cowley, of course, can’t talk about Williams’ recent moves without mentioning the supposed “500-pound gorilla” that is the relationship with Ozzie Guillen, complete with more stumping for an extension.
*Nice job by James Warren of the Chicago News Cooperative (hat tip to Larry) for identifying the guy who uncovered Dave Wilder’s allegedly illegal activities: Rafael Santana. Read the whole thing, but here’s an important excerpt:
Mr. Snyder called Mr. Reinsdorf. “He said I had to talk to our head guy in the Dominican, Rafael Santana, about something bad happening down there,” Mr. Reinsdorf said.
In late February 2008, they met in Tucson, then the Sox’s spring training site. “He told me that players told him they were forced to give Wilder some of their signing bonus,” Mr. Reinsdorf said.
He quickly called Robert DuPuy, then the president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, and Sheldon Zenner, a former federal prosecutor and partner at the team’s Chicago law firm, Katten Muchin Rosenman L.L.P.
Parallel investigations by the league and the Sox ensued.
Due process has to run its course, but it’s remarkable how tidily the loose ends are being resolved on the White Sox’s end. Santana was only on the job for about five months before reporting the wrongdoings, and this account shows the White Sox as being proactive and responsible. It could have been so much worse that it almost seems too clean.
If the Sox escape this mess with only Wilder, Jorge Oquendo Rivera and Victor Mateo identified in the scam, the organization will have dodged a huge bullet.