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Contracts from the past

The five most ridiculous contracts of the ridiculous offseason:

  1. Gil Meche - 5 years/$55M
  2. Gary Matthews, Jr. - 5 years/$50M
  3. Juan Pierre - 5 years/$44M
  4. Carlos Lee - 6 years/$100M
  5. Miguel Batista - 3 years/$27ishM

Ted Lilly -- a league-average pitcher who has never gone above 200 innings, and was paid 4 years/$40M -- didn't even make the list. It was tough leaving Alfonso Soriano off, but he's actually, you know, good. If someone told you the contract Soriano would eventually receive at the beginning of 2006 -- remembering he hit .268/.309/.512 in 2005 -- what would you have guessed he was going to hit in 2006 to deserve that contract? .350/.420/.790 with 60 homers and 60 steals would have been my guess.

I didn't think that Batista's contract was too crazy, but then I realized he was 35. He's also a below-average pitcher. Here's $30M. Knock yourself out.

Gil Meche isn't being paid for results. He isn't being paid for durability. He's being paid $45M because he was throwing hard at the end of last season. Darren Dreifort kind of feels ripped off right now. It's easily the most insane contract in baseball history; that's even taking into account that Kansas City had to overpay to get anyone. Meche's best comparison: Brett Tomko without the health. Franchise player.

This is more amusing than anything, but only because the Giants are on the sidelines. You'd have to wonder what some Giants throughout history would have received in this market:

Mike Krukow

1987 stats: 245 IP, 3.05 ERA, 20-9, age 34

His agent would say: This guy's all guts and savvy. Savvy and guts. He's a 20-GAME WINNER, and he'll be able to teach the secrets of pitching to any young pitchers you come up with.

Contract in this market if he entered free agency after a season like '87: 4 years/$48M

Kevin Mitchell

1989 stats: 543 AB, 47 HR, 125 RBI, .291/.388/.635, age 27

His agent would say: MVP. Seriously, do see any other MVPs on the market? Here, let me pull out my list of free agents, and...oh, you believe me that there aren't any other MVPs available?

Contract in this market if he entered free agency after a season like '89: 8 years/$150M

Shawn Estes

2000 stats: 190 IP, 4.26 ERA, 15-6, age 27

His agent would say: Left-handed pitching doesn't grow on trees, my friend. Have you seen that curve? This kid is just about to harness his stuff. Plus, he is a proven winner.

Contract in this market if he entered free agency after a season like '00: 5 years/$60M

Willie Mays

1962 stats: 596 AB, 49 HR, 141 RBI, .304/.384/.615

His agent would say: Hi, I represent Willie Mays.

Contract in this market if he entered free agency after a season like '62 15 years/$350M, a ride to the ballpark everyday on a rickshaw of pure gold that's pulled by the Nobel Prize winner of Mays's choice; another 15 year/$400M option that automatically vests after Mays hits four doubles over the life of the contract; the secret of fire; all of the cool powers that come with being a vampire without any of the downside; autonomous control of the world's penicillin supply just in case; when coupons say something is "buy one, get one free" and the fine print says that the free item is the one of lesser or equal value, Mays would be able to take the more expensive item for free at any store in the world; additional womens and foodstuffs as requested.

Comment starter: Other Giants throughout history, obviously. Plus, any additional whining about the insane market would be welcome.