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Impatient Ned Colletti flushes at least $2 million down the toilet

Nov 3, 2011, 5:44 PM EDT

Ned Colletti AP

A 29-year-old Jonny Gomes was a free agent two winters ago after hitting .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers and 51 RBI in 281 at-bats for the Reds. He re-signed with the Reds for $800,000.

A 33-year-old Andruw Jones was a free agent last winter after hitting .230/.341/.486 with 19 homers and 48 RBI in 278 at-bats for the White Sox. He signed with the Yankees for $2 million.

A 34-year-old Marcus Thames was a free agent last winter after hitting .288/.350/.491 with 12 homers and 33 RBI in 212 at-bats with the Yankees. He signed for the Dodgers for $1 million.

A 34-year-old Pat Burrell was a free agent last winter after hitting .252/.348/.469 with 20 homers and 64 RBI in 373 at-bats with the Rays and Giants. He re-signed with the Giants for $1 million.

A 33-year-old Juan Rivera was a free agent this winter after hitting .258/.319/.382 with 11 homers and 74 RBI in 466 at-bats for the Blue Jays and Dodgers. He re-signed with the Dodgers for $4.5 million.

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Dodgers GM Ned Colletti simply couldn’t wait to lock up Rivera this winter, clearly overpaying him in order to do so.

I’d put Rivera’s free agent credentials ahead of those of Thames and Burrell, but I’d say he’s a worse bet than Gomes was two years ago or Jones was last year. Rivera also disappointed in 2010, coming in at .252/.312/.409. He’s now three years removed from his last quality season, he hasn’t had an OPS better than .730 against righties since 2006 and he’s a below average defender in left field. He has his uses as a guy who can smack left-handers around and not embarrass himself against righties, but that kind of player isn’t hard to find and the going rate is $2 million or less. If the Dodgers had waited, they almost certainly would have been able to sign him for less.

  1. hep3 - Nov 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Ned Colletti is a competent GM in the same way Barney Rubble is a competent actor.

    • bloodysock - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      That’s quite a slam on Barney Rubble.

      • Glenn - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        Beat me to it.

    • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:19 AM

      Barney Rubble is an actor? I thought he worked some kind of mining gig.

      • wendell7 - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        Bedrock reality TV – Keeping Up With the Flintstones

  2. dlevalley - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Secret Agent Ned strikes again!

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    General Managers make mistakes? I didn’t know it was even possible.

    • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:20 AM

      Some make more than others.

  4. APBA Guy - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Wow, Ned’s trying to make some of Sabean’s signings look good. Rivera and his .701 OPS for $ 4.5M. I guess that’s the new level for CoCo and the other veterans hovering around the .700 mark.

    I’d rather have a rookie.

    • goawaydog - Nov 3, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      Let us not forget Ned upping the ante on Sabean for Juan Uribe at 3 years $21M through 2013

  5. protius - Nov 3, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Does he have Mattingly’s cell number?

  6. paperlions - Nov 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    More proof that the “if he wasn’t good people in baseball wouldn’t keep signing/hiring him” argument doesn’t even hold ice.

  7. cur68 - Nov 3, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Ned needs a new wig. That one’s too big for his head.

    • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:54 AM

      Hey man, that’s 100% raccoon fur he’s sporting there. Doesn’t come cheap.

  8. dihigosghost - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Ok, I will agree that Colletti might have over-paid Rivera by about a million to a million and a half, big whoop. Strange that you brought up Andruw Jones. A few years ago Colletti gave him a contract for three years and over-paid him 50 million or more. Colletti is a disaster at free agent signings having blown at least 120 million dollars for non-performing players since he has been the Dodger’s GM. These types of gigantic mistakes are not limited just to Colletti though. Everyone’s poster-boy GM, Mr. Epstein, has made some huge mistakes himself. I bet if we went looking at every teams signings there would be hundreds of these 2 million dollar mistakes. It’s the 10 to 35 million dollar mistakes, made by teams in both leagues, that cause ballplayer’s to ask for more and more huge, whopper contracts.

  9. nprakash5 - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Accelerating the bankruptcy process are we?

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