If it's arbitration time, someone is getting rich and someone else is being told that they suck. Take Tim Lincecum for example. Ok, he's not a pretty guy, but he did pitch exceptionally until last year when I had him on my fantasy team. Compiling 2 MVPs in his full seasons and pitching well as a rookie, the future was ahead of him, but apparently, the Giants felt lowballing him was in order. Granted, we must take into account that this is baseball money and that doesn't apply to real world numbers that most of us will never earn in our lifetimes, but...
In the end, he took two years for $23million and bonuses and the chance to do it all over again in 2012 and 2012.
I know baseball is all about the money, but how do you trash your future franchise in the name of a couple of million - especially when most teams overpay for guys with a good season in a walk year?
So for the Red Sox waste $12million on Jon Papelbon, the Brewers give ugly swinging home run menace Prince Fielder $15.5 million. Even Mike Pelfrey and his quick start gets $3.9million. Money is out there. All you have to do is avoid the hearing and settle early or hope that your list of good deeds is better than the team's list of, "well you're no Babe Ruth or Cy Young."
Thus, for the Reds to sign Joey Votto for 3 years and $38 million. At nearly $13million per, the Reds figured that they wouldn't be able to handle the salary of Votto even though he has one MVP award to his name and one All Star appearance because the fans are smarter than Charlie Manuel who didn't pick him on his own. Maybe we can blame this on the fact that every team must be represented (Michael Bourne, Chris Young), but still... Even triple threat / MVP potential / runner up Carlos Gonzalez was left off the team.
But in looking at Votto, his home runs went up from 08-09 and the rate of home runs increased, but the RBIs stayed the same. Call it your teammates, or whatever, but still... His average has always been right under or above .300 and he is young, so here's hoping he explodes into greatness. When the starting first baseman in the NL is Pujols and the choice of backup is Howard or Votto, give me Votto any day.
So will the pay day pay off?
Will the NL MVP make good or implode when the pitchers figure out his weaknesses?
Only time will tell.