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Ken Rosenthal Hates the B.J. Ryan Signing

Mike SteffanosSaturday, November 26, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

Writing on FoxSports.com, Ken Rosenthal doesn't mince words:
On the list of bad contracts, this one would rank among the worst. Five years, $47 million for left-hander B.J. Ryan, a free-agent reliever who has been a closer for exactly one season and never pitched in a late-season pennant race.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi and club president Paul Godfrey would not confirm the signing Saturday night, perhaps sensing that they're about to be fitted for industry dunce caps.

C'mon Ken, don't be shy. Let us know how you really feel.

Rosenthal points out that this would be the largest contract ever give to a reliever. He also points out that a fourth year is almost inevitable for Billy Wagner now -- maybe even a fifth year option. Of course, it gets the Mets off the hook a little for the Benson contract for last year:

Ryan's contract would dwarf last year's market-buster -- the three-year, $22.5 million gift that the Mets awarded right-hander Kris Benson. That deal merely elevated salaries for other mediocre starting pitchers.

Ouch... Rosenthal goes on to point out that this contract will not only raise the market for other closers, but for just about everyone. Omar's move to sign Delgado quickly looks better and better in that regard. In fairness to the Blue Jays, who hope to compete in the AL East, they probably got tired of large market teams divvying up the top free agents and trying to scrape by on what was left.

It just keeps getting more interesting, doesn't it. It will be intriguing to hear what Wagner's agent Bean Stringfellow has to say about this.

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