Step away from that ledge, kids

Yes, this was our worst free agent signing since at least Mo Vaughn, and possibly Joe Rudi, but if you lean in close I'll tell you a little secret: It probably makes us a better team for 2007-08.

The only thing we're given up for Garbage is money and a draft pick of someone who wouldn't be ready for several years. And don't kid yourself -- Matthews has been on the whole a better hitter than Figgins the last few years. Their OPS+s (which adjust for home park distortions):

  1. 101/101
  2. 96/103
  3. 119/89
Garbage at his recent worst has been about as good as Chone as his recent best. Furthermore, though I think Figgy could make a fine CF if they just stuck him there, Scioscia will never do that, so I expect Matthews' defense to be more consistent and good.

Meanwhile, we have the following people to trade for a Grade-A third baseman:
Figgins, Cabrera (or Izturis or Aybar), McPherson, Adenhart, Arredondo, Molina.

Losing all them would cause zero appreciable pain. Shields, Santana/Saunders, or Mathis would be painful, but I can't see having to give up more than one of them.

Point being, we just upgraded at CF, if slightly and expensively, and created more surplus to trade. And this after bolstering the bullpen with Speier. We're still the front-runners for 2007; I'm more worried at this point about 2009.

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