Thursday, January 14, 2010

The $100 million men: A breakdown (literally)

Hey, remember when Carlos Beltran almost single-handedly propelled the Astros to World Series in 2004 (I will always contend that the 2004 team was better than the 2005 team)? Of course 2004 was a contract year, and Beltran hit eight home runs and hit .980 (approximately) in the 2004 post-season. This resulted in the Astros offering Beltran six years and $102 million, which Scott Boras then scampered off to New York, and got Omar Minaya to give him seven years and $119 million (which, interestingly enough, Beltran would have made more money in Texas due to the lack of a state income tax. Did this matter to Boras? Does a rat care where his cheese comes from? Hell and no, it doesn't.)

This turn of events led Tim Purpura to decide, "Well, we have to give $100 million to somebody!" And that man was Carlos Lee, one season later.

Let's see how the investment has stacked up, comparing the same years (2005-2009). Of course, Lee's numbers will include one season with the Brewers and half a season with the Rangers, but still...


Cases can be made for the ridiculousness of both contracts: Beltran's horrific face plant into Mike Cameron, 2009's injury-plagued season, the fact that he has an arthritic knee, and just had a surgery that could keep him out of the lineup until May, possibly against the wishes of his team. But when he's in the lineup, at least he can play defense - something that Lee is sketchy at doing, at best. But looking at the numbers, and the fact that in the same amount of time, Lee has played in 83 more games and put up similar numbers...maybe we should thank Scott Boras for running off to New York.