Wednesday, December 28, 2005

You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

I said in the post directly below that Joe Randa would be a good signing at a reasonable price (>$2 million) to back up Freddy Sanchez. This afternoon we signed him to a one year, $4 million deal to start at third. That's not reasonable, that's not as a backup, and that's not a good idea.

Coming off of a .287/.343/.408 year in KC, he signed a one year, $2.15 million deal with the Reds last year. Playing in the launching pad of Great American Ballpark he put up some good .289/.356/.491 numbers in his first 332 ABs. He was traded to San Diego, and the giant recesses of Petco where in his last 223 ABs he went .256/.303/.395. PNC is somewhere in between those two parks, so I would guess his final numbers are a good approximation of what he would've done in a full season in Pittsburgh.

The question is, what exactly did Randa do earn a $2.85 million (EDIT: $1.85 million, I'm either an idiot that can't subtract or I just can't type, I'm not sure which) raise from last year? His '05 numbers, which were somewhat aided by the GAB in Cincy, were NOT that much better than his '04 numbers, and at Randa's age guys don't get better. What is it that gives Littlefield or Tracy the idea that a guy who put up a combined .276/.335/.452 year will be considerably better at the age of 36 than Freddy Sanchez (.291/.336/.400 last year in his first full big league season, with increased power as the season progressed) will be at the age of 28? Are we the type of team that can afford a 36 year old, $4 million backup at third base, which is what I would assume Randa will be reduced to by June?

Don't get me wrong, I love the Joker. He was one of my favorite players from that $9 million miracle team from 1997. I was shocked we left him unprotected as long as we did in the expansion draft that offseason, and at that point in time it was a huge mistake. He seems like he's a great guy and having a veteran presence like him around can't hurt. I just can't fathom paying him in the neighborhood of $4 million for next year, not when he's an distant afterthought to every team that wanted to sign Mueller. I mean his name never even came up when the Bill Mueller derby was taking place. Who were we bidding against that we drove his price up that high? I didn't hear that anyone except us was interested.

This is frustrating. Next stop on the frustration train: hello Eric Byrnes, good bye Craig Wilson.