Yesterday night, the Rockies agreed to a 1-year contract with outfielder Seth Smith. While the terms haven't been officially disclosed, Thomas Harding is reporting that the deal is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.4M.
Similarly, 2 days ago, the Braves signed Martin Prado to a 1-year, $4.75M contract. Difference is, there's still talk that Prado could be the Braves' long term Chipper replacement. Smith, is clearly not going to be that guy for the Rockies.
I still haven't settled on how I feel about this whole Smith situation, but it seems that the team may have been a bit eager in moving Smith. If not eager, at least too vocal about their interest in moving him. Granted, we've drummed up a bit of the Rockies eagerness ourselves, given the way things tend to escalate and dissipate in discussion around here, but he's been a trade candidate for some time now. The issue in my mind is sort of that Smith has been pinned to Prado, but now it's kind of like the market has shied away from Smith, given the tension between the Rockies and Braves about Prado v Smith (well, the implied tension from all of the "talks not dead" tweets we've seen in the past couple of months). Thing is, the Braves have more leverage than the Rockies, as Atlanta is completely content with keeping Prado past this season, while Colorado may not be so much.
Now that we've revisited the dead horse beating, it still remains that having Seth Smith on the team shouldn't be considered a bad thing... necessarily. The concern I have is that if the Rockies aren't completely pleased with Smith's attitude, having him disgruntled from almost being traded isn't likely the way to get the best out of a player. Then again, this could be that wakeup call that Smith might just need. Ah, psychoanalysis based on limited information.
Work ethic aside, Smith may not be a gigantic power threat like the Rockies seemingly wanted him to be, but he did have 55 extra base hits (including his 15 HR) in only 533PA and a .200 ISO. Furthermore, Smith still had good PH numbers in 2011, so if all else fails, there's that.
5 years, $42M. That's a decent chunk of money, but that's easily a good deal for the Nationals, given the price pitching is going for these days. He's been a 3+ fWAR pitcher the past 2 seasons, putting up 200 innings in each of those seasons with a low 3's ERA. 2011 was only Gonzalez' 4th season in the majors (he's accumulated about 3ish years of service time). Not to get TOO far ahead of myself, but might we need to be thinking about numbers like that in a few years with Drew Pomeranz and Jhoulys Chacin?
Check out some of the comments by user "Felix". He's bringing some interesting information to the table. Specifically, Cespedes might seem to be a baseball crusher, but if the Cuban Leagues are similar to High-A/AA baseball, then we could easily have some teams paying big money to a questionable talent.
Honestly, all social/political commentary aside, I wish there wasn't Communism in Cuba still so we could actually see some more of these Cuban ballplayers. Watching some of them against Australia in the World Baseball Classic was pretty fantastic.