Thursday, January 6, 2011

Renteria Tricks Reds into Overpaying

According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, Edgar Renteria has found a new home.
The Cincinnati Reds will announce the signing of shortstop Edgar Renteria to a one-year contract Thursday afternoon, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The deal could be worth as much as $3 million with an incentive package.
Really?  $3M?  For Edgar Renteria?  The same Renteria that put up a triple slash line of .261/.312/.356 and 1.6 WAR in 262 games?  Yes, apparently that one.

After winning the World Series MVP, the Giants offered Renteria a one year $1M contract, which he described as "a total disrespect".  I'm not really sure what he was expecting.  He's a 35 year old shortstop with replacement level player offensive skills.  He doesn't take walks, hit for power, or run the bases particularly well.  Yes, he won the World Series MVP, but that really doesn't mean anything.  It was five games.  Even the worst offensive player can hit well over a five game period--yes, even if the five game sample is in the World Series.  Renteria proved that in 2010.  Such is the mirage of small sample sizes. 

Somehow, Renteria has fooled some poor sap of a GM into believing he'll actually be worth $3M next season.  Surprisingly, that "poor sap of a GM" is Walt Jocketty who typically is a pretty solid judge of talent.  Nobody's perfect, I guess. 

I'm not sure why the Reds didn't opt to go into 2011 with 28 year old Paul Janish as their starting shortstop.  He's younger, a lot cheaper, and has the same mediocre skill set as Renteria.  I can't help but think they could have spent the $2.5M they would've saved by going with Janish over Renteria a little more effectively.  For a small market club like the Reds, they need to draw value from every available resource.

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