Update: Hernandez clarifies that his source was mistaken and it’s actually $3.25m, not $3.8m. That’s slightly better, but still not good – and even if $3.25m was the first number reported I probably would have had the exact same reaction anyway. The original post, unedited, is below.
Today in “something I won’t believe isn’t a typo even if the contract was deposited on my desk” news, Dylan Hernandez not only confirms that Rod Barajas‘ signing is official, but fills in the financial blanks:
Barajas’ one-year deal with #Dodgers is worth $3.8 million.
There is just no way that can be accurate.
Barajas signed for $500k with the Mets last year, waiting until just before camp opened in February to even get that. He was then so bad that the woeful Mets, you know, let him go to the Dodgers on waivers for absolutely nothing. Granted, he had a great first week or so in Dodger blue – 4 homers, 1.458 OPS in his first 8 games. Yet in his remaining 17 games, he had just 1 homer and a .612 OPS, also known as “Rod Barajas being Rod Barajas“. On the season, he had a .284 OBP, which exactly matches his career mark, because he’s not very good.
Look at it this way – Barajas had never made more than $3.2m, which is what he got from Texas in 2006. He’s now five years older, coming off several lousy seasons bouncing from team to team – making less than $1m in two of them – yet somehow, coming off a year in which he was dumped on waivers and will be 35, he’s all of a sudden worth $3.8m. Seriously? In my 2011 plan, when I said he could come back I said that I thought he could be had for $800k. Is this all because of his one good week as a Dodger? I’ve had to deal with a lot of casual fans who got taken in by that, but I never expected the front office to do so.
I refuse to believe that Rod Barajas required that much money to sign. And if I’m wrong, and he did? THEN YOU MOVE ON. He’s not nearly good enough to lose any sleep over.
Beyond the initial shock of “holy crap, they paid Rod Barajas what?!”, this brings up a raft of questions. Questions like, “wait, they let Russell Martin walk over $800k but still had $3.8m for Rod F’ing Barajas?”, “hey, let’s pay Barajas, Juan Uribe, and Jon Garland $17m this year rather than give less than that to Adam Dunn,” and “the payroll’s at nearly $110m and you still don’t have a LF or a good C, and what can possibly be left?”
Remember back in July when one of the main complaints about the three awful trades was that the team gave up nearly ten prospects and got back only Ted Lilly and a pile of junk, when for that outlay (or less) you probably could have had Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren? Yeah, this is that. Again.