The Braves pursuit of Billy Wagner lasted one whole day as the New York Mets nabbed the lefthanded closer for 4 years and $43 million, as reported by our friend Eric over at Amazin' Avenue. If there were any doubts that BJ Ryan set the market price for closers (see Rox Girl at Purple Row), those doubts are now long gone.
In the mean time, our colleagues over at Athletics Nation are jumping for joy over today's signing of Esteban Loaiza. Now I love Blez and his amazing following, but come on guys. $21 million for 3 years for a pitcher who will turn 34 in December? I think Basil at Federal Baseball really nailed it with his analysis of Loaiza. Oakland may be a pitchers' park but it sure isn't RFK.
In 2005, an average of 9.09 runs per game were scored at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. At RFK Stadium in Washington, that total plummets to 7.52 runs per game. In McAfee, 146 homers were hit in 2005. In RFK, only 112 home runs were hit. Now I realize that the DH plays a vital role in how these stats shape up, but that also means the DH will probably play a role in Loaiza's success (or lack of success). And just to further my point, at home Loaiza posted a WHIP of 1.08. Outside of RFK, that rate jumped to 1.52. You can't tell me you're not just a little leery of what you're going to get out of Esteban.
For all the talk about Billy Wagner being overpaid at $10+ million per season, that sure doesn't look so bad when you compare it to Esteban Loaiza at $7 million a year.