Imagine you were in the stands at Coors Field for the low point in Jeremy Guthrie‘s brief tenure with the Colorado Rockies. After struggling his way through start after disastrous start as a member of the team, he sarcastically tipped his cap to the booing fans on his way off the mound in a game in which he surrendered 6 runs in the 3rd inning alone.
Imagine you were in attendance that day, booing to your heart’s content, and then you saw him mock you for it. You would have booed even louder, right? You might have spiked your cap. You might have turned to the fan next to you and said, “Can you believe this guy?” You might even have gone so far as to thumb out a nasty tweet or let the world know your displeasure in a dramatic Facebook status update.
Now imagine if that guy had turned to you and said: “I bet the Rockies will trade him, and then he will sign a contract for like $25 million with his new team.”
You probably would have punched him in the face.
And yet here we are. After being traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez, Guthrie has re-upped with them for 3 years and $25 million. Somehow Guthrie came out on the other side of his disastrous Colorado experience, found a team that wants him, and earned a nice payday.
Presumably the Royals are paying for what the Rockies were hoping to get out of Guthrie: durability, dependability, and a certain measure of consistency, even if it is consistent mediocrity. It seems to me that the Royals could have waited Guthrie out, let the pitching market take shape, and swooped once Guthrie realized he is not worth 3 years and that much money on the open market. Apparently they did not want to wait, and they got their man.
At least we could be on the correct side of our hypothetical conversation in the stands that fateful day in Coors Field.
“Hey, I bet that this guy who just sarcastically tipped his cap to the crowd after a bad performance will get paid $25 million this offseason.”
“At least the Rockies won’t be the ones paying him.”