I'm a fan of Rob Neyer, and was insanely jealous when he spurned writing for Astros County to join SB Nation. But today, he has a post in which he reference Justice's post on the Brandon Lyon signing last December.
All heck broke loose when Astros GM Ed Wade gave Brandon Lyon a 3-year, $15-million contract in December 2009. They said Ed got taken to the cleaners. They said Ed would end up looking real bad. Let's just say I'm real glad I was on Ed's side.
I don't remember all heck breaking loose, if only because it's real hard to look real bad when you're committing only $15 million over three years...
...We might expect Lyon to wind up giving the Astros around $10 million in value, for their $15 million. Was three years and $15 million an overpay? Absolutely. But Ed Wade has done far, far sillier things since taking over in Houston.
That's interesting. On the day of the signing David Cameron wrote:
Ed Wade is the GM equivalent of a bad SNL sketch. The first time he overpaid a middle reliever, we figured out that he didn’t really know how to build a roster. Now, when he gives Brandon Lyon a 3 year, $15 million deal, we just shrug our shoulders and say, “Yeah, that’s Ed Wade for ya.”...
...They don’t have any money to spend to fix the rest of their bad, old roster, but they can commit $5 million a year to Brandon Lyon through 2012. Moves like this are why the team isn’t good, and won’t be good any time soon. This move is just the latest act in a joke that’s gone on far too long.
Neyer, referencing Cameron, on Dec 10, 2009:
I'm glad Cameron said it instead of me ... but, yeah...
...The No. 1 argument against Ed Wade's competence is not this ridiculous contract. The Astros should be able to blow $5 million per season on freely available talent like Brandon Lyon and still win. The No. 1 argument against Wade's competence is that the Astros have been outscored by 232 over the last four seasons, and there's no reason for optimism about 2010 or beyond.
It's not hell breaking loose, and Neyer was somewhat consistent from December 2009 to today, but at what point is Wade allowed some slack? We're just one year into a three-year deal. Lindstrom was expendable - and traded - because Lyon was solid, more solid than Lindstrom, and brought in two prospects. Was Lyon lucky in 2010? Apparently that's what giving up two home runs in 2010 means. Neyer quotes FanGraphs as saying that Lyon was worth approximately $4m in 2010. If he does as well in 2011 as he did in 2010, the Astros will have gotten out of him almost what they put in.