I think I have been shocked into hiding by the signing of one David Eckstein. Once that happened, my view of the Cardinals deteriorated rapidly. I thought it was shrewd not to sign Mike Matheny - there was a capable backup and that money can go to pitching. I thought it was shrewd not to sign Edgar Renteria - a great player, but due to the overvaluing of SS, way too expensive @ $10 mil per. I thought it was fantastic to resign Matt Morris for $2.5 million - because he is still relatively young, and if he is healthy he can have a huge upside. Morris signed for one million less than Woody Williams - and is eight years younger. I have definitely come around to the Mark Grudzielanek signing, even though as a part-time Dodgers fan, I still don't trust him. But, for only $1 million dollars, he is a capable bat and decent fielder - possibly even an upgrade over Womack.
I also like the Mark Mulder deal. Now we can have X-Files commercials to promote the Cardinals. I think that Billy Beane got a lot of talent for Mulder, but for a true ace like him (if healthy) it is a very small price, both in terms of the talent traded and the amount of money he makes for the next two years. Then again, when it comes to pitching there are no guarantees. Mulder could be injured and Haren and Calero could be the next Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera. I think it was a good calculated chance, though if I had my druthers, I think I would have preferred keeping the young talent. However, I won't complain about that trade.
What I will complain about, and complain from the top of the rooftops and the shores of Tripoli, is that the David Eckstein signing has to be the WORST EVER. No ma'am, I am not prone to hyperbole. WORST EVER. Where is the comic book guy when you need him? WORST EVER. Given a choice between a seasick crocodile and Eckstein, I'll take the seasick crocodile. WORST EVER. Simeon and Sammie Haley have nothing on David Eckstein. WORST EVER. Oh my gosh, I just stepped on a rusty nail in the middle of Antarctica, a storm is moving in, threatening several feet of snow, the wind is hurricane force, I have no more water and I had to eat my childhood pet to survive two days ago. THE ECKSTEIN SIGNING IS WORSE.
Ok, let's look at a couple of things. Where does David Eckstein rank defensively in terms of Win Shares? 24th out of all the shortstops. Where does he rank offensively? 26th. Total? 25th. WOW, that's a peach, hon! All this for only $3.4 million a year? Oh my gosh, where can I get one? You know, as successful as Elmer J. Fudd was, he owned a mansion and a yacht, he never had a bright new shiny Eckstein.
Am I being hard on the little hustler? He works so hard and positions himself so well, maybe I should respect him? This has nothing to do with respect. I am sure the little fellow is nice and able to take care of himself. I bet he even goes to the store on his own to buy his groceries. But, let's look at the money. THE FREAKISHLY large amount of money spent to get this man with the size and mobility of a garden gnome. He is paid just under Mike Matheny - at least Matheny is EXCELLENT at something - he is just about the best glove man behind the plate right now.
I can't go on. You can look for yourself at the players signed for less than Eckstein here. Highlights are Pokey Reese and Craig Counsell who signed for less than half of Eckstein. I think this was a panic signing. Yes, I am sure it will be fine with the rest of the team, but the first bad move always seems to lead to more. I mean, look at the Royals.