Worst. Offseason. Ever.

January 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Is revenue sharing good for baseball?


...and no.

With the rich sharing with the poor and every team raking in millions of dollars a year just from TV and internet revenues, even the lowliest teams can afford to lock up their young talent and prevent them from reaching free agency (Unless that team is run by an owner that would rather line their pocket than put a decent team on the field. See the Marlins, Twins and A's.)

The downside of this is that there aren't as many high-profile free agents hitting the market as there used to be. Everything seemed to come to a head this offseason. Between the A-Rod fiasco and the continuing Johan Santana/Erik Bedard circlejerks, this offseason has been boring as hell.

All you have to do is take a look at the top 10 rated free agents left on ESPN.com to really get an idea of how truly bad this offseason has been. I know it's about 6 weeks till pitchers and catchers report and most of the "decent" free agents have already been signed, but it's not like we had a bunch of Hall of Fame players on the market this year.

Let's take a look at that list.

1. Barry Bonds
The best free agent on the market is a 43 year old with no knees that's guaranteed to infect a clubhouse faster than an outbreak of the clap? Awesome. Remember that Barry is in a little legal trouble right now and that he may not be able to play baseball this season, unless you count the softball team that Cell Block E is putting together.

2. Kyle Lohse
You thought last year's spending spree on pitching was crazy? Wait until Kyle Lohse gets a 4-year, $40 million deal. I think he deserves it. It's not every day that someone puts together a season for the ages like Lohse did last year for the Phillies: 9-12, 4.62 ERA. The Phils didn't make the playoffs becuase of Lohse, they made it despite him.

3. Mike Cameron
At first I thought that this wasn't too bad a ranking. Sure, Cameron's batting average isn't scaring anyone, but he's a legit 20/20 threat every year and plays stellar defense in center field. But then I remembered 2 important things. First, Cameron is suspended for the first 25 games of next season. And, a bit more importantly, HE'S ALREADY SIGNED WITH THE BREWERS! Way to stay on top of things, ESPN.

4. Brad Wilkerson
I have nothing against Brad Wilkerson, but there's no way he should be ranked the 4th best free agent right now. Come to think of it, the only thing Brad Wilkerson should be ranked as high as 4th in is "Guys That You Can Tell Smoke Pot Just From Looking At Their Picture".

5. Bartolo Colon
Sure, he won the Cy Young a few years ago, but he has yet to crack 90 MPH in the Winter Leagues. Not once. Oh, and I seem to remember the Expos trading for him years ago. Anyone the Expos have ever wanted can't be any good in my book.

6. Octavio Dotel
This guy couldn't even stay as the closer for the Royals. The Royals, people. And speaking of, doesn't it seem like the Royals haven't had a decent fantasy closer in forever? Sure, they've sucked, but even crappy teams can have a guy rack up 25-30 saves. I seem to vaguely remember Mike McDougal being decent a few years back, but other than that? Nothing.

7. Shannon Stewart
With Bartolo Colon being at #5, Shannon Stewart is looking up at him on this list. Anyone who has seen Colon over the last 10 years knows that he is one of the last people anyone would ever want to view from directly below. Being below Colon is Stewart's punishment for conning his way onto any top 10 list.

8. Kenny Lofton
Don't you think someone who is 145 years old is owed a little more respect than being 8th on this list?

9. Livan Hernandez
See #8 (As you can probably tell by now, I'm getting bored with this list. Do you blame me?).

10. Armando Benitez
I'm pretty sure the only reason Benitez is on this list is because no one wants to see a "top 9" list. 10 is much more even and acceptable. Benitez is lucky, because if that weren't the case, he'd have to lift that 5.36 ERA from last year and find another list to be on. I suggest the National Competitive Eating Rankings.

Why is this guy making $40 million more than you will see in your life?