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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Off season transactions

By David

The list of the top available free agents is dwindling as teams continue to sign players to handsome contracts. Many starting pitchers agreed to contracts this week and the most notable name on that list was Mike Mussina. At the age of 38 the ''moose'' agreed to a two year contract to stay with the Yankees.

This was a major move for the Yankees as they re-signed a pitcher who has solidified himself as the number two guy behind Chien-Ming Wang in the starting rotation. Last season, Mussina enjoyed his greatest success in pinstripes as he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA. His contract will pay him $23 million over the next two seasons.

Left hander Randy Wolf is headed west to play for the Dodgers after spending his first eight major league seasons playing for the Phillies. It seems that reliever Danys Baez has finally found a permanent home after he agreed to a three year contract with the Orioles. This will be the fifth team Baez will pitch for since 2003.

Starting pitcher Adam Eaton will be extremely thankful this holiday season after Philadelphia gave him a three year contract worth $24.5 million. My question is: For what is Eaton deservent of this large contract? After having a productive 2005 campaign with the Padres, he was traded to the Texas Rangers during the off season. He spent much of last season on the disabled list and in the 13 games in which he pitched he posted an inflated 5.12 ERA. It boggles my mind that in today's market a pitcher who has never won more than 11 games and has never had an ERA below 4.08 can be making $8 million a season.

On a brighter note lefty Jeff Francis of the Colorado Rockies agreed to a new four year contract that will pay him $13.25 million. At the age of 25, Francis is blossoming into one of the best young pitchers in all of baseball. Last season he enjoyed his greatest success as he went 13-11 with a 4.16 ERA. That might not seem like much, but take into account that he's pitching in Coors Field. His ERA dropped by an impressive 1.52 from the previous season and became the fourth lowest in team history.


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