“Seven years for a pitcher is a lifetime. It’s just scary, and any general manager who tells you it isn’t, well, I’m not sure what calculations they are going by.”
— Kevin Malone, former Dodgers general manager who signed Kevin Brown to a seven-year, $105 million contract in 1999.
That quote comes in the course of an article in today’s New York Times looking back at the history of long deals for pitchers. It’s not a good history. At least Kevin Brown gave L.A. some decent, albeit sporadic production for five of those years. Add to the list Mike Hampton and Wayne Garland. Haven’t heard of Garland? Exactly.
CC Sabathia is the only pitcher mentioned among those seven-year+ deals who strikes me as someone who will ultimately have been worth it. But then again, he’s a beast of a man with no injury history and an uncomplicated delivery who relies on power more than a fine touch. Oh, and he was much younger when he signed his deal. Someone like that, sure, maybe it’s worth it.
Cliff Lee for seven years? Yikes.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.