One way to view the MLB "Free Agent Tracker" is to do so by sorting it by date signed, which is almost like reading a web-based email inbox with the newest emails first. You get the From, To, Subject, and Date fields, but you still have to click the subject link to find out what's really going on. Also, this is only your inbox for signings -- your full inbox of offseason roster moves is elsewhere, but not as neatly organized.
I do sort of wish they'd put the actual contract numbers up on the main hot stove season page, though, so you could just see at a glance how ridiculous it is.
Last season, I remember thinking Troy Percival's 2yr/$12m contract wasn't so ridiculous at the time -- he was a good, proven closer, and I used to really like the Angels bullpen for some reason, although Shields-Donnelly-Percival was just a formidable set for a while there. Thing is, Dave of USSM pointed out that "I’m rarely in favor of paying $6 million for any reliever. I think if you’re going to spend that much on a guy who is only going to throw 60 innings, you better be certain they’re going to be 60 awesome innings..." "...he was paid for the closer label, and in my mind, that’s always a bad idea."
Well, that sure made me think about it, and in time, I got what he was saying there.
Here we are, a year later, and not even counting injuries, Percival's contract almost looks reasonable now. B.J.Ryan for 5/47? BILLY WAGNER FOR 4/43? Are these people insane? I mean, I'm glad the Phillies weren't nuts enough to pay that much for Billy, but at the same time, I'm annoyed to see him go to a division rival.
Then again, dude, this is the Mets. I'm beginning to think the Mets want me to hate them or something. First I have to see Billy in a Mets Uniform dissing the Phillies, then going back I see Carlos Delgado in a Mets uniform, talking about the damage he expects to do with his friends "Mr. Floyd, Mr. Beltran, and Mr. Wright", and then the Mets bought Tike Redman from the Pirates? Hmm.
On the other hand, Aaron Rowand looks good in a Phillies uniform. I'm still out on the other Abraham Nunez though; not sure what to think of that one. It'd be funny if someday the NL Abraham Nunez could end up in the same game as the Abraham Nunez who currently plays for the Rainiers, wouldn't it?
Anyway, contracts this year are ridiculous, although I actually have to give huge kudos to the Pirates for signing Jason Bay for a 4 year, $18 million contract extension. That's probably going to be the best contract of the offseason, honestly. Also, the Pirates seem to have some pretty good new kids coming up, which is kind of exciting -- I went down to PNC Park finally yesterday (they left the right field gate open, so I walked around behind the outfield stands area. That was kind of cool), and picked up some back issues of the Pirates magazines so I could read the interviews and articles about Bay, and Zach Duke, Brad Eldred, Ryan Doumit, Ian Snell, Chris Duffy, etc. I still don't expect the Pirates to contend next year, of course, but I'm sort of excited about coming back here and seeing some of those guys play.
On the other hand, if you want any Pirates t-shirts at all, you better be a large beer-guzzling yinzer, because everything there is pretty much only available in size 2XL, except for a plethora of reduced-price Matt Lawton shirts.