Friday, January 07, 2005

Million Dollar Desi

The Rockies signed Desi Relaford to a 1 year, $1.05 million contract yesterday. On the Royals discussion board, there is one fan who is crying tears of joy for her beloved Desi.

When the Royals first picked him up, I thought it was a nice move, remembering his very good 2001 season with the World Series-bound New York Mets and decent 2002 campaign with Seattle. He was decent for the 1st half of 2003, but after having watched Relaford with the Royals for the much of last year and a half, I can't recall any player outside of Neifi Perez less qualified to occupy a spot on a 25-man roster, much less get paid $1.05 million to do so. Check out his normal curve of productivity over his career:

Desi's Value Over Replacement Level, 1998 - 2004

1998: 2.9
1999: 0.1
2000: 8.9
2001: 30.9
2002: 14.1
2003: 9.0
2004: -10.8

Mind you, his contract with the Royals was 2 years, $900,000. As a reward for his far below replacement level performance in 2004, his salary more than DOUBLED. Apparently it pays to stink if you're "versatile" in Colorado.

It goes without saying that the Rockies would have been better off using a replacement level 22 year old with a whiz glove from their minor league system for the versatility role, since players like that are a dime-a-dozen.


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