Here a signing, there a signing
A lot has been going on this week in MLB, and most recently Boston acquired Matt Clement.
So lessee here...
J Wright (3 yr/$21mil) -- 186.3 IP, 3.28 ERA, 159 SO, 70 BB
K Benson (3 yr/$22.5mil) -- 200.3 IP, 4.31 ERA, 131 SO, 61 BB
M Clement (3 yr/$25.5 mil) -- 181.0 IP, 3.68 ERA, 190 SO, 77 BB
Wright's 2004 was an aberration when you look at his numbers. He's got a career 5.09 ERA, and this was just the second season in his career in which he pitched more than 150 innings. Of course, the important thing to remember here is that the Yanks have also acquired Carl Pavano and (in all likelihood) Randy Johnson. They can survive a regression from Wright.
Benson's shown flashes, but has never really asserted himself as a big time starter. The Mets have no reason to expect too much improvement over 2004, which was pretty much in line with the rest of his career. Benson's contract was partially a result of the pressure on the Mets to resign him after the deadline deals they made to acquire pitching (which included Benson). Still, Mets fans have got to be a little troubled by contracts like this one. Being in a large market does you no good if you just throw the money away. They'll be paying Benson and Pedro about $20 million combined per season for the next several, and that could haunt them.
Clement, on the other hand, has put together three consecutive solid years, has a K/IP rate much better than those of Benson and Wright, and has started at least 30 games in every year since 1999. At this stage at least, it looks like the Sox got a nice bargain, not that this is necessarily surprising considering Clement's unlucky W-L record (he suffered from a serious lack of run support in 2004).
Elsewhere, the Mariners tied up $114 million in Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexon. Both of those guys have some questionmarks--did Beltre start a new career trend in 2004? Can Sexon stay healthy? Will either be worth the money?
The A's dealt Tim Hudson to Atlanta for a good group of young players, including Charles Thomas. Good move for both squads. Hudson's acquisition is absolutely huge for the Braves, and it probably makes them actual contenders in the playoffs now (yikes).