Near the end of last week several laughably awful moves were made around MLB. First, the Angels signed Joel Pineiro to a two-year, $16 million deal. Sure, Pineiro had a nice year in 2009, but he was pitching for the Cardinals in the NL Central. The last time he pitched a full year in the AL was 2006, when he threw for the Mariners to the tune of a 5.24 FIP (6.36 ERA) and was worth 0.6 WAR or $2.4M. A 3.49 ERA in 2009 or not, $16M for a fluke year from Piniero is indefensible; Angels GM Tony Reagins usually seems to be a bit more of an astute judge of talent than that.
Never one to be out-bad-GMed himself, Dayton Moore signed Rick Ankiel -- he of the herculean .672 OPS in 404 plate appearances in 2009 -- to the Royals for $3.25 million.
And of course, as per The Contest, Omar Minaya simply can't allow a bad Moore move to occur without a corresponding one of his own, which last week came in the form of the acquisition of Gary Matthews, Jr. While I've heard some try to defend this move given that the Angels will be picking up most of Matthews' salary, it still doesn't change the fact that Matthews is awful, being paid $19.8 million to post OPS+'s of 77 and 83 during the last two full seasons.
ESPN's Buster Olney apparently spoke to several people around baseball about the Mets picking Matthews up, and the general thought is that he "can't hit for average, can't hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors, and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative." So not only does he suck, but he's also a jerk.
Additionally, according to Fangraphs, Matthews has actually been worth negative $7.4 million to his team the last two years. I know Beltran won't be available to start the year, but jeez. All I can say is I continue to be elated that I was not raised a Mets fan.
Anyway, the Ankiel signing -- along with the rest of Moore's genius acquisitions this winter -- resulted in a bit of a chatter on my daily Yankee e-mail list about just how futile the Royals offense will be in 2010, so I wanted to take a quick look at what one could reasonably expect their hypothetical lineup to do this year. I'll use last year's wOBAs and Marcel's 2010 wOBA projections, since Marcel seems to be the most amusingly pessimistic projection system:
Yikes. That's a rough team, although two of their three (!) sub-.300 wOBA players from 2009 are expected to bounce back somewhat. However, there's still plenty of time for Moore to inflict additional damage to his squad before the season starts -- Preston Wilson's looking for a job, and his .316 wOBA in 501 at-bats in his last full season in 2006 and .257 in 64 at-bats for the Cards in 2007 would fit right in with the 2010 Royals.