STOP THE MADNESS
It seems as if MLB GM’s are going to wig out with their newfound wealth. For your consideration: The Baltimore Orioles.
They just gave Jamie Walker 3 years and $12 million. Walker, as you likely don’t know, is a left-handed specialist. He’s 35 & decent at his role, posting a 2.81 ERA last year. He has good control. Last year he posted 37 Ks to just 8 BBs. He did give up 8 homers. He pitched in 56 games and only 48 innings.
In fact, Walker has averaged just over 50 innings per year since 2002. Apparently that’s good for over $4 million a year. I’m not exactly sure how to calculate VORP for pitchers, but it’s safe to say that Walker is not worth that much money, especially when you consider the Orioles aren’t exactly a left-handed reliever away from winning it all.
Here are the 5 pitchers directly ahead of Walker in terms of 2006 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player): Wes Littleton, Duaner Sanchez, Rick Bauer, Noah Lowry & Jose Mesa.
And here are the 5 that directly follow Walker: Matt Capps, Kiko Calero, Tom Gordon, Russ Springer and Trever Miller.
The point is that while Jamie Walker-types don’t grow on trees, they aren’t worth $4 million a year either. Of course, Orioles GM Mike Flanagan was a left-handed pitcher. And according to this article, the O’s have also offered deals to Mike Stanton, Justin Speier and Danys Baez, while also trying to sign OF Carlos Lee.
The Orioles finished 70-92 last year.