This amazes me. Half a million for John Thomson? That's a steal, regardless of what the incentives are. The fact that Jason Marquis got a $20M, 3-year deal and John Thomson is playing for the MLB version of table scraps astonishes me.
I wrote about Thomson in my Hardball Times column last week:
If he's healthy, though, he could outperform many of the pitchers scoring three-year deals. Thomson has thrown 160 innings or more in five separate seasons, and his lowest ERA+ among those campaigns was 98, in 2002. His '06 performance is tough to put in a positive light, but '05 is a different story: while his ERA was below average in about 100 innings, his FIP, at 3.39, was a full run lower than his ERA. He'd be a gamble, but a few million bucks for a league-average starter? I'm surprised no one has yet rolled the dice.I'd much rather have him than Claudio Vargas. Were I in Doug Melvin's position, I would've been tempted to sign him and make Vargas a reliever until somebody got hurt.
Those better be some darn good incentives.
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