Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Angels Attempt to Steal Head-Scratching Spotlight from Dodgers; Free-Agent Bubble Inflates to Bevacquaesque Proportions

"Honorable mentions: Ned Colletti, Bill Stoneman"

Ken Rosenthal at reports the Angels have signed Gary Mathews Jr. to a five-year, $50 million deal. He also writes:

Time will tell if the Angels and Dodgers should have pursued short-term stopgaps in center rather than Matthews and Pierre. Three elite center fielders — the Braves' Andruw Jones, Blue Jays' Vernon Wells and Twins' Torii Hunter — are eligible for free agency after next season.

In and of itself, Juan Pierre on the Dodgers doesn't irk me. (Because I haven't had to watch him regularly, some Cubs fans would say.) What's baffling is the length of his contract. Why five years, after rumors of the Giants offering a three-year deal?

Ned stated the Dodgers need power, then proceeded to seemingly lock himself out of one of next year's most exciting power markets. Money obviously isn't the issue, so perhaps Ned is eyeing power at another position (second base after Kent retires?).

Another possibility, mentioned earlier: "As for Years 4 & 5, Ned can just trade Pierre because in 2010, $9M for a slap-hitting center fielder will be a bargain."

I eagerly anticipate Ned's next move, if only because there has to be a next move. Right? (Hello, is this thing on?)

To summarize:
Juan Pierre as an off-season addition to the Dodgers: not necessarily bad.
Juan Pierre as the primary off-season addition to the Dodgers: bad.