Signing Pitchers to Long Term Deals: Bad Idea
Check this article out. Offers a pretty good analysis of how long-term contracts for pitchers has panned out over the years.
I generally agree with this principle. Particularly now, as a Yankees fan, having watched Carl Pavano go from coveted free-agent to team cancer in a two year span. It's one thing to not pitch well (see: Jaret Wright) but it's completely inexcusable to act like a complete pussy like Carl Pavano has been over the past two years. He made only 17 starts in his first season, followed by the Yankees babying him with his "sore" shoulder the entire season before he got into a fucking car accident which he didn't tell the team about until well after it happened. What a fucking douchebag. He can burn in hell for all I care.
This brings me to another point: Why do pitchers get babied nowadays? Like how the hell did pitchers go from being able to throw 500 innings in a season to now 200+ if they're lucky? How does this collectively happen? It's ridiculous. Particularly when you consider the fact that pitchers these days are obviously stronger. Can't one team try out just throwing two good pitchers every other game all year just once? This could work, right? Or is this some vast conspiracy concocted by the ever-powerful baseball players' union? I think I might be on to something here.
I think the article misses the point just a little bit though. It's not ALWAYS wrong to sign a pitcher to a long-term deal (see: Schmidt and Mussina), but you better have a STRONG track record to support it. Someone's going to give Jeff Weaver four years this offseason. It's going to happen. That team will also not be very happy with the deal two years later. However, whoever signs Zito for five years may end up very happy with the deal because Zito is a guy who has pitched consistently well for over half a decade now.
Also, I'm very happy with the Sheffield trade as a Yankees fan. Sheffield obviously was not going to be very fun in the clubhouse if we made him play first base for a whole season. Now we can add a major league ready top pitching prospect and two other pitchers instead? I'll take it. Plus, Humberto Sanchez is really fat, and I love fat pitchers. Plus, he's from the Bronx. Awesome.