While the baseball world reacts to the Granderson/Jackson/Scherzer blockbuster from yesterday, a few smaller deals haven't been discussed much on MLBDD. I'll get the post updated each time I add another quick take. Let's dig into them here:
Mark Teahen Signs Three-Year Extension With White Sox
Yesterday, the White Sox extended Teahen through his final two arbitration years and his first year of free agency. The deal pays the 28-year-old former Royal $3.75M in 2010, $4.75M in 2011, and $5.5M in 2012, for a total of $14M guaranteed. While the deal gets Teahen for cheaper than he would've gone going year-to-year, he likely would've gotten around $16-18M had the White Sox let that happen, barring a big breakout similar to what he did in 2006.
I'm not really sure why the White Sox felt the need to guarantee the money for Teahen, he's a below-average defender at third base, where the Sox plan on using him at least in 2010, and he's essentially a league-average bat, so it seems like an odd move considering his track record of disappointment. The White Sox might expect him to breakout with a move to the Cell, but giving up Chris Getz, Josh Fields and $13M (they got $1M from Kansas City) for three years of Mark Teahen seems like a really high price.
Ross Gload Signs Two-Year Deal With Phillies
After receiving interest from every team in the NL East except for the Mets, Gload signed with the Phillies to essentially take Matt Stairs' spot on their roster. Gload is capable of playing first base and both of the outfield corners, and he posted a .261/.329/.400 line in 2009 with the Marlins, leading the league in pinch hits and posting a career high walk rate. Gload has always been more of a contact hitter, his career ISO is just .125, and he never posted a walk rate higher than 5.6% from 2005 to 2008. Presumably, the money is very minmal, but I do find it odd that someone as mediocre and fungible as Gload managed to land a multi-year deal.
Bobby Crosby On Verge Of Signing With Pirates
Crosby, 30 in January, gives the Pirates "competition" at shortstop with incumbent Ronny Cedeno, acquired in the Jack Wilson deal. Crosby seems likely to win the job over Cedeno, considering that Crosby has a far superior career wOBA in spite of playing in the tougher league while hitting in one of the worst offensive parks in the game half of the time, with a .302 mark compared to .272 for Cedeno.
Both are solid defensively, and while Crosby didn't play much shortstop in 2009, he consistently posted above-average defensive metrics in the previous few seasons, and his +4.1 UZR/150 for his career easily trumps that of Cedeno, who has a -5.6 UZR/150 for his career at shortstop. Considering that Crosby walks more, has flashed superior power potential, and has a better track record defensively, it seems likely that the Pirates are about to add their 2010 everyday shortstop, as unfortunate as that may seem.