I bet right now, Doug Melvin is at a yard sale somewhere, going through other people's post-Christmas discards to see what he could fix up (and turn into a starting pitcher).
MLBtraderumors.com looked at the free agent bargains and busts from 2008, and unsurprisingly, you-know-who was right there in the mix.
Top Ten Bargains
- Willie Harris: +$14.6MM (paid $800K, worth $15.4MM)
- Mike Cameron: +12.55MM
- Jerry Hairston Jr.: +10.375MM
- Milton Bradley: +10.3MM
- Eric Hinske: +$8MM
- Aaron Miles: +$6.9MM
- Rod Barajas: +$6.2MM
- Cesar Izturis: +$5.25MM
- Russell Branyan: +$4.8MM
- Pedro Feliz: +$4.4MM
Two players, in the top nine!
Cameron is particularly interesting: if I'm reading this right, he was worth about $18 million ($18.05 million - $5.50 million in salary = $12.55 million). New York Yankees, please pay attention: even with a $10 million salary, he'd still have qualified as the fifth-best bargain in baseball. (You dopes.) Last season was Cameron's most valuable season in his career.
Melvin was in fact singled out for his resourcefulness:
Doug Melvin and the Brewers came out almost $20MM ahead with their signings of Cameron, Branyan, and Jason Kendall.
There were no 2008 Brewers on the Top 10 Busts list, although Mike Lamb sheepishly checks in at #4. THAT would be a neat trick: if Doug Melvin could turn a 2008 Bust into a 2009 Bargain. It's also interesting that we lost one of our Bargains to free agency, tried to trade our other Bargain, and signed a 2008 Bust.
Finally, a surprising and apt observation:
Of the eight free agent hitters who cost $10MM or more in 2008, six did not earn their salary.
Though I'm sure Doug knows that already. In fact, I'll go ask him --- he's rummaging through my recycling bin right now.