Friday, November 17, 2006

The Year of the Ex-Brave

A few former members of the world's best MLB team have been getting paid, and paid well. Here's a quick rundown of the following players.

Mark DeRosa-Chicago Cubs I really thought that back in Spring 2003, Mark DeRosa would beat out Marcus Giles for the 2B position but Giles won and produced his best year of his career. DeRosa fell apart in 2004 in what would become his final season with Atlanta. DeRosa came in to fill the 3B void left by Vinny Castilla the previous season. DeRosa was downright pitt-e-full. DeRo produced 10 errors in 72 games at third. This would lead to DeRosa becoming a bench player and the return of Chipper Jones to 3B. In 2005, DeRosa signed with Texas just had a career year. I think the Cubs signed him for 3/$13M which comes to $4.3M per season. It's easy to say the Cubs overpaid, and they did. DeRosa will be expected to keep those 2006 stats coming and hopefully he will, but I guess only time will tell.

Wes Helms-Philadelphia Phillies While in Atlanta, Helms hadn't accessed his power just yet. The most he played in Atlanta was 100 games in the 2001 season where Wes batted at measley .222/.293/.435 For some reason I always hoped Helms would break through with the Braves but his time ran short and he was sent to the Brewers for Ray King. Helms went to have a pretty good '03 for Milwaukee hitting 23 HR's, driving in 67, and batting .261/.330/.460. After a couple of injury plagued seasons, Helms was released by the Brewers and the Marlins picked him up to split time between 1B/3B. Wes went to hit .329/.390/.575 in 2006. The Phillies need a 3B and have taken a chance on Helms who was signed at 2/$5.5M. Helms is certainly an upgrade over Abraham Nunez and should add some pop to an already offensive heavy lineup.

Jaret Wright-Baltimore Orioles Wright at one was Cleveland pitcher of the future after his impressive performance in the '97 playoffs against those Yankees. After 1999, injuries began to rack up on Wright where eventually he left the Indians and traveled to San Diego before making it to Atlanta. The Braves gave him a chance and Wright certainly performed resurrecting his career. Jaret was then signed and overpaid by the Yankees where he struggled before last year where at times he pitched well. The Yankees have given up on Wright and sent him packing to the O's where he is reunited with Leo Mazzone. Can lightning strike twice?

J.D. Drew-?? J.D. Drew was similar to Jaret Wright as he came to Atlanta as a player that really needed a boost and just like Wright he had the best year of his career. Drew was traded by St. Louis along with Eli Marrero for Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. J.D. hit .305/.436/.569 with 31HR's and 93 RBI's for the Braves. After trying to resign him, J.D. shunned the Braves and took the bigger money that was coming from L.A. After two lackluster years with the Dodgers, J.D. is back on the market after opting out of his 5/$55M contract. Now that I look back, I'm glad he didn't reup with the Braves because #1, he would have gotten injured, and #2, he would have done the same thing in Atlanta. The Red Sox have sent an offer to him, hoping he will sign and replace Trot Nixon.

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