Friday, February 3, 2012

Contract Corner-Edwin Jackson, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Gerardo Concepcion, Casey Kotchman

Clearly, I tried to find the most adorable name for contract discussion, and frankly it saddens me that there isn't a key for a backwards "R". Anyways what I'm going to do with this is just offer brief opinions about recent signings.

Edwin Jackson
Jackson last year with the Cardinals
 If everyone in the MLB retired today and wrote an autobiography about there careers, I'd want to read Edwin Jackson's before everyone else. In Jackson's nine year career he has pitched for seven different teams. His career stats look like those of a back of the rotation pitcher (4.46 ERA, 60-60 win loss) but has steadily improved, last year posting a 3.79 ERA and a 12-9 win-loss. He was the author of the ugliest no hitter I've seen in my life, throwing 149 pitches and walking eight batters. He was also one of the main players in St. Louis' Hail Mary series of trades that got them in to the playoffs and eventually won him a World Series ring. And now, for one year, he's a Washington National.

So what's with the Bobby Bonds treatment?  Edwin Jackson is a deceptively good pitcher. Every fourth or fifth outing it seems like he gives up 15 runs in two and a third innings, but he wins more than most four pitchers. I'm not saying he deserves Cliff Lee money but if Suppan can get 4 Yrs 42 Mil then I think Jackson deserves to at least get to know his neighbors. If I had to guess, the Nationals trade Jackson to the Rangers on July 15th.
Edwin Jackson's No Hitter

Ryan Rowland-Smith

I don't know much about this dude. He's an Australian and I saw him get smoked in an interleague game that brought Seattle to Miller Park. I also know that his dad is a "celebrity trainer".
That being said, apparently he's also part of Theo Epstein's mystery plan that is going to put rings on the fingers of the Chicago Cubs some day. I'm skeptical about the whole Epstein revolution and it doesn't help my skepticism that he is bringing a guy around who neither the Mariners or the Astros felt was up to standard. I guess we'll see.

Gerardo Concepción
I don't know very much about Concepción other than the fact that he's a young Cuban pitcher with a pretty decent amount of promise. What I do know that there is an incredible amount of mystique around all of the foreign free agents who have come to light this offseason. Darvish and Cespedes being obvious examples, but even some Milwaukeeans have already adopted Aoki as an adequate substitution for Braun assuming a suspension takes place. None of this has to do with Concepción necessarily, but it wouldn't do Cubs fans much good to look at this guy as some definite ace. For the record I've heard most scouts put his ceiling at a high four, low three pitcher. Still, a very young and promising looking prospect is never a bad acquisition. Concepción looks a lot more like a sneaky Epstein move for potential championships down the road.

Casey Kotchman
This signing actually made me a little jealous. Being of the mindset that defense wins as many games as home runs do I had no idea why no one in Milwaukee thought would be a good platoon partner for Gamel in games when one or two runs might make the difference. Alas, Kotchman is now an Indian. I think it's an awesome, relatively cheap signing for the Tribe who only have former Brewers prospect and current bust Matt LaPorta manning first. Travis Hafner is also capable of maybe playing first but my guess is that he is too busy watching sick 1999 clips of the WWE because according to Wikipedia he's a "huge fan of Stone Cold Steve Austin". 

To be honest I don't have much to say about this signing and what it means for Cleveland, but I will use it as a pedestal to talk about how horse shit awards are. Golden Gloves being the obvious example in this case. Here's an interesting Kotchman fact: he holds the major league record with 2,379 chances without an error at first base. Gold Gloves? Zero. Here are some first basemen with Gold Gloves in the AL-Mark Teixeira, Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzales, Mark Teixeira, and Mark Teixeira. I'm not trying to take anything away from the dude, but if he weren't a Yankee and a slugger, Mark Teixeira would not have four gold gloves. The same could be said for Jeter's five. 

Awards are meaningless anyways but if I didn't appear crotchety on here I wouldn't be doing my job.

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