Jorge Says No! introduced amnesty earlier and we are happy to present to you our NL West picks. Which contract would your team want to waive at the end of this season? Lets take a look:
How can a playoff team be saddled with so many bad contracts? Between Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, and Andruw Jones, the Dodgers have spent more than $100 million bucks on guys who did almost nothing to get them to the playoffs this season. That fact reflects the strength of the Dodgers player development to have enough quality young players to play in place of these struggling and injured veterans. But make no mistake, all three contracts have been a mistake. So who would the Dodgers most like to release?
Based on performance, it has to be Jones, who hit only .158 this season and is owed almost $18 million dollars through 2009. Yikes. Based on injury history, it has to be Schmidt, who is owed almost $15 million dollars through 2009. Schmidt has failed to remain healthy during his Dodger tenure because of massive shoulder damage. As we all know, shoulder injuries are very bad news for pitchers. Yikes.
However, neither Jones nor Schmidt are my choice here. Logically, the choice has to be Juan Pierre, who is still owed another $28.5 million dollars through 2011. That's an astronomical amount for a fourth outfielder who has no power. And to top it all off, the Dodgers are pretty set in the outfield with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Manny Ramirez, if they decide to re-sign him. Pierre is merely a waste of space at this point and would do alot better on a different roster.
Even though the Padres are trying to cut costs right now, there are really no contracts on this roster that are terrible. The long term deals the Padres have signed have been financially responsible and very team friendly. Amnesty would not benefit the Padres.
Barry Zito. Barry Zito. Barry Zito. Barry Zito. Is that really a surprise to anyone?
After the 2006 season, Zito was the most coveted free agent on the market because of his youth, track record, durability, and big curveball. The Giants believed that they were signing the "post Barry Bonds" face of the franchise so they had no problem giving Zito the seven years/$126 million dollars he desired. Zito was paid like an ace, but his performance has been bush league. Over the past two seasons, Zito has won only 21 games, while producing ERAs in the high fours and low fives. Zito has lost a few MPH on his fastball, which has made his breaking pitches much more hittable. And to top it all off, Zito's control still sucks. Walks continue to plague Zito, who can no longer get away with walking so many guys because the rest of his stuff is declined so far. Not a good combo.
All signs point to the decline of Zito's career, which is why the Giants would LOVE to get out from this horrific contract. Zito is still owed another $98 million dollars over the next five years. This contract could realistically harm the Giants for the next decade.
The Diamondbacks are another smaller market team that does not have too many long term contracts worth tons of money. However, the long term contract that the team gave to Eric Byrnes does not look too good right now. Byrnes missed a majority of the season with tears in his hamstrings, which is terrible because a majority of Byrnes game is based on his speed, intensity, and passion. Byrnes is owed another $20 million dollars over the next two seasons, which could be better spent addressing other problem areas for the Diamondbacks.
After the Rockies signed 1b Todd Helton to a 9 year/$141 million dollar contract in 2003, the Rockies thought they had just signed the face of their franchise for the next decade, which is a major accomplishment for the small market club. However, just three years later, the Rockies realized that Helton was on the decline and tried to move him to the Red Sox. A potential deal fell through, but the Rockies have continued to search for any opportunity to move Helton.
Simply put, his contract is killing the team because Helton is not the masher he once was; sure he hits for average, but the power is gone and the injuries are becoming more frequent. The Rockies still owe Helton almost $52 million dollars over the next three years, which is way too much for an aging and declining first baseman.