Another year of big contracts. Let's get right to it.
10. RP Jed Holmes - Anaheim Dodgers ($25M/4 years).
Big time relief player without much closing experience, but that's what Anaheim will try to do with him. He's a great player, but will he be enough to get Anaheim back to the World Series? Could be a pretty good bargain player, assuming he doesn't decline too much.
9. SP Lenny Davis - San Diego Conquistadors ($28M/4 years).
Davis has pitched for Cleveland the past four years, where he has been good but not excellent. San Diego is coming off of their 4th straight 2nd place finish, and hope Davis helps them win their first division title. Could be a good signing for San Diego.
8. RF Geraldo Valdes - Seattle Argonauts ($35.8M/4 years).
Seattle was looking for offense this year and they've spent some money to try and get it. Valles come over from Charleston where he never posted great numbers (OPS south of .800 in each of the past three seasons). Will he be able to improve in Seattle? They'll need him to if they want to compete with Toronto and Syracuse.
7. SS Erik Miller - Pittsburgh Pirates ($36M/4 years).
This was a rather quiet signing, and it looks like a good one for Pittsburgh. Miller played well for Toronto over the past four seasons. If he can keep that up in Pittsburgh, they should compete for the playoffs for seasons to come. Might be a concern that his power is already beginning to decline, though.
6. 2B Dale Kennedy - Anaheim Dodgers ($37M/5 years).
And Anaheim appears on the list again. Kennedy should fill a role for Anaheim on offense, but will these two signings (Kennedy and Holmes) be enough to fend off San Francisco and other NL powerhouses? This particular contract may not look so good at the back end.
5. RP Henry Hitchcock - Syracuse WHITETAILS ($37.5M/5 years).
Syracuse made the playoffs for the first time ever last season, finishing just a shade under .500 (80-82). They made this signing in hopes of making it back this year, but I'm not sure Hitchcock s going to help. For the most part he looks good, but he's going to have some control issues, and he struggled a bit in San Francisco last season (4.58 ERA). He's converted about 2/3 of his save changes over the course of his career. However, the price is not outrageous.
4. SP Richard Takada - Augusta Hitmen ($42.2/4 years).
After dropping out of races for the top tier offensive players this season, Augusta re-signed Takada, who had been a good pitcher for them over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, he suffered a major injury during Spring Training and will likely miss the entire season. If Augusta somehow squeaks into the playoffs, he could return. Otherwise, he will hope to contribute next season. The injury makes this look like an awful signing for the Hitmen, but hindsight is 20/20.
3. SP Oswaldo Vincente - Syracuse WHITETAILS ($44M/5 years).
Syracuse shows up on the list again, this time signing on this season's highest paid pitcher. While he will probably not win the Cy Young Award, he does look like a nice pitcher. He pitched great in limited time for Monterrey last season and Syracuse hopes that will carry over to this season. If it does, Syracuse will have the makings of a nice staff, and Toronto may have a challenge on their hands.
2. CF Kevin Bravo - Seattle Argonauts ($86.5M/5 years).
This is where Seattle is really hoping to get some run production. And for this kind of money, they better get it! I've learned from experience that dishing out this kind of money for position players can be risky business. He should be effective in the first couple years of the contract, but will Bravo be worth $17.3M/season in the final years of this deal?
1. C Edgard Saez - Monterrey Banditos ($86.8M/ 5 years).
The biggest signing this season goes to Monterrey, edging out Bravo's contract by roughly $300k. He is going to be an excellent hitter and help Monterrey score a ton of runs, but what is he going to look like in Seasons 14-16 when the contract really gets expensive? In the meantime, the Banditos will hope this is enough to get them into the playoffs.