Over the weekend, Nelson Cruz signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles. Cruz appears to be the biggest loser of the qualifying-offer era so far, but with inconsistent starter Ervin Santana still out there, Cruz might not hold that title for long. Although the cost of draft pick has certainly been a factor in Cruz's struggle to find a new home this offseason, there is another issue that might have affected Cruz's value on the open market: PEDs.
If you were among those wringing their hands when Jhonny Peralta landed his four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals, you might be dancing in the streets now. The Biogenesis-connected shortstop didn't see much of a downturn in his market, but the one-dimensional slugger did. Hooray for progress! Or whatever.
I can't bring myself to work up a good lather of rage on PEDs at this point. There is a testing policy and the league enforces with impunity. Sure, some people still get away with using, but the incentives have been limited and baseball is doing a far better job of curbing the problem than many other sports, including an extremely popular one that features hulking Goliaths smashing into each until their life expectancy drops into the mid-50's. I am probably not in the majority on this, however. PEDs really bother some people (at least in baseball). And seeing guys who were recently caught using PEDs getting millions of dollars bothers those people even more.
Are you happy with MLB's current PED policy? If this problem still really bothers you, how would you change the MLB's policy? Maybe, PED users deserve the red letter-A that currently comes with the qualifying offer. Get caught using, you cost the signing team a draft pick the next time you hit free agency. It's just a thought. Tell me what you think.
Breakfast Links 2/24:
The two-sides are reportedly discussing a deal in the $150 million range, but as with any good fishing tale, this one just keeps getting bigger with each retelling.
The 30-year-old will remain in the Yankee outfield for the next four years.
Read More about the Brett Gardner extension at Pinstripe Alley:
Once you say "screw the draft," the sky is the limit, but in this scenario, Ervin Santana's the sky.
JK Ward continues the time-honored tradition of imitating literary masters to yell a lousy owner, next up in the series, Old Man Wilpon and the Sea.