I don't hate it! I don't hate it!
(major bonus points to anyone who identifies the reference)
Anyway. I don’t hate the Miller deal, not at all. For a couple of reasons.
First, a one-year commitment is definitely what you want to be making to anyone other than an absolutely elite reliever. Better one year than two, especially for a 35-year-old. Sure, the shoulder is a risk, perhaps a significant one. But if he’s been pitching with it for two years, well, let’s just say he’s far from the only guy with significant structural problems in his arm who pitches with no symptoms.
But I think there’s a bigger issue here, and reason for optimism. By spending no more than $2MM on a LOOGY, and suggesting that they won’t make it a top priority to get a second LOOGY, the Cardinals are IMO indicating something about their plans for the rest of their holes.
Look at it this way. Say they had $20MM to spend. It could be a smidge lower, though not much lower. It could be $25-$28MM, depending on how high they’ve set the 09 budget and how some arbitration cases turn out. But either way, there was somewhere in the general neighborhood of $20-$25 million in the budget.
Now say they spend $4MM apiece on two different LHRP, maybe Affeldt and Rhodes. Mind you Affeldt would have been a terrific fit for this team, but in the end, LOOGYs are only so important. Starting 2Bs and SSs and starting pitchers are more important.
By limiting that outlay to somewhere between $2 and $4 million total, rather than $8 million, the Cards have put themselves in a position to be left with something other than scraps at other positions.
I may be proven wrong. And if they go to Spring Training with the only further additions being guys like Nick Punto and Adam Everett, then this was a mistake and they should have spent more on LHRP. But I think that may not be the case.
Just my $.02 of course; your opinion may vary. But the more small holes they can fix on small dollars, the more they can spend bigger dollars on bigger holes, which is as it should be.
-M, listening to Beck’s Modern Guilt and soliciting nominations for the annual year-end music review.