Well, That Was Great

I didn’t think it was possible to give up four runs that quickly.

Kevin Millwood didn’t look that good, but pitched around a lot of jams. Miller and Rhodes looked outstanding. But it was all for nought, for Wickman came into the game in the 9th and threw BP to the White Sox. Suddenly a lineup that had been effectively shut down for 16 innings looked like the 1927 Yankees.

Enough of that. I sure don’t want to talk about it anymore.

The terms of Victor Martinez’s five-year extension were released on Wednesday. The Indians have an option for 2010, which could keep Victor around an extra year, since he’d be eligible for free agency by then. As with these types of contracts, both management annn player take big risks. Giving a five-year deal to anyone is risky, and the Indians are on the hook for $15M through 2009. Of course Victor will be vastly underpaid if he continues to play at an All-Star level through the balance of the contract. Here’s the breakdown by year of the dollars:

Signing Bonus: $1M
2005: $500,000
2006: $800,000
2007: $3M
2008: $4.25M
2009: $5.7M
2010: $7M Club Option (or $250,000 buyout)

My early take is that this is an absolute bargain for the Indians, provided Victor stays healthy; they have the option of buying out a free agent year to boot. But remember that these types of contracts don’t always work out: see Joe Mays and Jaret Wright.

The next target for an extension should be CC Sabathia. The difference with Sabathia is that he has much more leverage than Martinez did. CC is eligible for free agency after the 2006 season, and given the exhorbitant contracts given out to starters last offseason, he could cash out in a big way if he tested the market. For the Indians, the Johan Santana signing may provide somewhat of a roadmap to get a deal done. Santana received a four-year contract worth $40M from the Twins in the offseason two years before he could test the free agent waters; obviously the Indians aren’t going to go as high as that, but at least it gives the club something to work off of.

What about Travis Hafner? I don’t think there should be a rush to lock him up. Wait a year, see if he can repeat his tremendous 2004 effort this year, and begin negotiations then.

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