After Randy Winn was signed for a chunk of change, I wrote this. Other than my initial reaction to the Pierzynski deal, it might go down as my most brilliant piece of buffoonery and satire. And you all thought I was serious? Wacky.
While the common reaction was that the Giants overpaid for a career year, what would Winn have received this offseason if he had hit his normal .285/.350/.420? With Gary Matthews, Jr. getting 5/$55M, the runner-up could have shelled out 4/$30M or higher for Winn. The runner-up for Matthews would have been the Giants, most likely, so the logic behind the extension makes some sense even in retrospect. Winn's salary is mostly in line with what his career numbers were, at least in the goofy new market.
The problem was that Winn didn't have his typical season. Well, he did before the All-Star break, but the wheels fell off in the second half. Also, the transmission dropped. And maybe the muffler was dragging. The wipers caught on fire, now that you mention it. There might have been a murdered drifter in the trunk, and the tags were expired. Also, Randy Winn didn't hit well at the end of last season.
Winn is also a great candidate for a Lowry-like injury excuse to be used in his favor, as he was struggling with nagging calf and elbow injuries throughout the second half of the season. But he ain't gettin' any younger, so expecting injuries to go away just because he once had a history of good health isn't too wise. Call it the Durham Fallacy. Still, I think he goes back to being the Randy Winn of the Mariners, even if just for one or two more seasons, and that isn't a bad player to have. For $8M in 2008, it isn't a good player to have when constructing a roster, but that's another issue.
And other than his noodle arm, I have absolutely no problem with him defensively in center. He isn't anything special, but he isn't a liability either. The stat book doesn't back me up, conventional wisdom doesn't back me up, and popular sentiment doesn't back me up. Is anyone out there who kinda sorta agrees? Maybe we could hold meetings or something.
Edit: And, of course, any mention of his contract being anything close to reasonable assumes he's a center fielder. As a right fielder, he's one of the least productive in the game.