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Royals Sign Meche for 4 Years, $45 Million...No, Really
2006-12-07 08:32
by Mark T.R. Donohue

I am deeply shamed.

The Kansas City Royals -- the official doormat franchise of Major League Baseball for well into their second decade -- have signed free-agent pitcher Gil Meche to a four-year deal worth $45 million. I have no rational explanation for this signing from either side's perspective. What do the Royals need with Meche? Why would Meche want to play there? It boggles the mind. It's April Fool's Day in December. This offseason has officially gone from a little out there to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

But here's where the shame part comes in. The Rockies can't seem to get an extension done with Jason Jennings, the best pitcher the system has ever developed, a former Rookie of the Year, and the anchor of their pitching staff for several years running. At last report Jennings had turned down a deal for 3 years and $24 million.

The Royals can afford to pay Gil Meche more than ten million dollars a year, and the Rockies can't give Jason Jennings, who's actually good, more than eight? This is an unfunny joke. Dan O'Dowd, stop insulting Jennings and his agent's intelligence and give him 4 years, $50 million or five and sixty right this minute or else resign. You've always dreamed of being a major league general manager, but if your team is more broke than the Royals -- the ROYALS!!! -- then your dream is going unfulfilled. You might as well be the GM of the Newark Bears. What a sad state of affairs this is.

Update: Now the word is 5 years, $55 million. Well, okay, now the deal makes sense. It also looks like I pulled the trigger too soon on spreading the word about the Jon Garland/Willy T. White Sox-Astros deal. The Houston Chronicle: "Just hours after the Astros were extremely optimistic about landing Garland, it appeared as though the Astros' trade talks for Garland hit a serious snag and possibly even died."

2006-12-07 09:52:26
1.   jkrometis
Now they're saying it's a 5-year deal, though there's no mention of the money involved...
2006-12-07 09:53:45
2.   C2Coke
I cannot decide which is the better version of Cuckoo's. The original movie is definitely a classic, but this off-season isn't half bad.
2006-12-07 11:10:37
3.   dianagramr
I'm reading 5 years between 55-60 ...


2006-12-07 11:22:02
4.   Shaun P
3 Somewhere, Rob Neyer is punching a wall and cursing Dayton Moore.
2006-12-07 11:35:16
5.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I happen to be reading Bob Spitz's Beatles biography this week and I'm at the part where after Brian Epstein's death, the group founds Apple and basically hires all of their acidhead hangers-on to burn through something like 300,000 pounds (in 1967 dollars) of back royalties in a couple of weeks. They hired a TV repairman to make an artificial sun and produced a whole line of unwearable shoddy, clothes which were then largely shoplifted by their own boutique employees. They spent 40,000 pounds making "Magical Mystery Tour," a complete piece of incoherent garbage, and 95,000 pounds on an uninhabitable hurricane-swept cluster of Greek islands.

And yet, even the Beatles at their most drug-addled couldn't waste as much money as the Royals are about to waste on Gil Meche.

2006-12-07 12:35:40
6.   nickb
This signing makes me want to Meche, I mean, wretch. Dayton Moore's credibility just took a major shot.
2006-12-07 12:52:59
7.   dianagramr
Annnnnnnd ..... Meche compiled those middling stats for a team that could actually kind of field the ball, whereas the Royals have finished in the bottom 3 of Defensive Efficiency in each of the last 3 years.

Double oy!

2006-12-07 13:21:05
8.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Wait, wait, I think I get it. Remember how the Mets justified overpaying for Pedro Martinez (who may never pitch healthy again) because they needed to land a big-deal star in order to increase their credibility with other free agents? This is just the beginning for the Blue Wave. Now that players know that mean business, they'll start loading up. Next step: Barry Bonds.
2006-12-07 13:40:47
9.   nickb
I thought that's why we signed Matt Stairs, Reggie Sanders, Mark Redman, Mark Grudzielanek and Elmer Dessens. I'd actually let out a shriek of joy if they signed Bonds.
2006-12-07 14:25:24
10.   Mark T.R. Donohue
4 From Neyer's Tuesday chat:

"I don't expect [Dayton Moore] to do much, or maybe I just hope he doesn't do much. Meche is exactly the sort of pitcher who's going to be terribly overpaid this time around. He deserves a spring-training invititation and the chance to win a rotation slot. Instead he's going to get a three-year deal for $25-30 million. And he's never thrown 187 innings in a season."

Three years, $30 million, Rob? Well, you're more than halfway there.

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