Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Here we are again; another week in the pre-season hunt for pitching and, another starting pitcher is again out of our reach.  Max Scherzer is headed off to DC for many years in a deal that smells a lot like a Mets Bobby Bonilla contract.  "The deal is for $210 million with half deferred, according to multiple reports. Scherzer reportedly will receive $15 million annually for 14 years. The deal also includes a record $50 million signing bonus, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press."  Yikes... check out Bonilla's contract. According to the website Celebrity Worth, "Bobby Bonilla hasn't swung a baseball bat professionally in over a decade, yet every year on July 1st The Mets cut him a check for $1.2 million. That's more than any current Mets outfielder will make in 2013."  How?  Well, here is how it happened.

According to CBSSports, "The deal was signed by the Marlins in 1996, but Bonilla was traded to the Dodgers in the 1998 blockbuster that involved Gary Sheffield and Mike Piazza. Bonilla was later flipped to the Mets. He then only played 60 games in 1999, hitting .160/.277/.303, so the Mets saw fit to get rid of him before the 2000 season instead of paying him $5.9 million that year. And now they'll be paying him a bit more than four times that -- just stretched out over 25 years."  Bonilla gets paid $1.2 million dollars through 2035 for doing absolutely nothing.  We don't need contracts like that, making lofty deals to pitchers who will be well into their twilight years or gone from the sport entirely.  Scherzer will be 44 at this point before the Nationals are done paying him on this contract.

I bring this up, because although we all thought we wanted Scherzer, we did not want that inflated contract.  Good luck with that, Washington.

"A source had earlier told's Jayson Stark that the Nationals wouldn't have the financial flexibility to sign the right-handed Scherzer unless they have a trade in place to move starter Jordan Zimmermann and possibly shortstop Ian Desmond. As of Saturday, the source told Stark, the Nationals did not have trades in place for Zimmermann or Desmond," reported  So, who might be interested in these guys?  I know, I would!  There is also talk that the Nationals could trade Stephen Strasburg or Doug Fister.  I'm open but again, we are not going to spend big dollars on these guys.

And Stark also reminds fans that the Yankees, although a team never to be ruled out of any deal including a deal with James Shields, have a clear focus and purposeful message.  "They've been all about getting younger and loading up on bullpen depth. And Shields would contribute to neither. Not to mention that his career ERA in the new Yankee Stadium is 6.35."  Nope, not interested.  

Interestingly enough, in this market of free agency and gluttony, as long as general managers keep feeding the beast, they will keep demanding the big money.  According to Stark, "I can't imagine he gets less than $80 million over four [years]," said one exec. "There's someone out there. You know that. I just have no idea who that is." Lots of teams have had interest in the Shields, but no one has stepped up officially.  Many say it could be any day.  

To end this week's Hot Stove, a word about Johan Santana.  According to Jon Heyman's Twitter feed, the Yankee, Padres, Blue Jays and about six other teams have shown interest in Santana.  Santana is currently 35-years-old and some say he could be a bull pen asset.  I don't know.  It is just too risky.  But, it could happen, so brace yourself.  

That's it for this week's Hot Stove.  Fingers crossed for some good news for us this upcoming week. Only 29 days 'til pitchers and catchers!

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