Welcome Keith Law haters! I’m sure you morons will have lots to piss and moan about with this one, as KLaw made his debut as co-host of the recorded-through-tin-cans-sounding ESPN Baseball Today podcast this afternoon, and punctuated it with a little analysis of the Jays’ recent big signing. It’s not anything we haven’t heard before, only maybe a little more harsh than usual. Still, you may want to cover your ears… er… eyes…
ERIK KARABELL: Mr. Law, is this a good contract?
KEITH LAW: No. Of course not. [Laughs]. You have a player with an extremely spotty track record of performance and playing time who has one wildly outlying breakout year. You do not rush to give this guy a five-year contract, because the history of players like that—particularly players—I mean, it’s not like Jose Bautista is 24 or 25 and just kind of emerged as a hitter. He’s way past that point. The history of those guys is very poor. He’s extremely unlikely to maintain that level of production.
The Rogers Centre last year played as a crazy home run park, and particularly for Blue Jays hitters, which is a very unusual split, and sure enough, Bautista was substantially better at home—another thing that I just don’t think he is at all likely to maintain. And the fact that he is pretty much a dead pull hitter, you can bet that over the course of this off-season plenty of front offices across the American League were looking at Bautista, saying, ‘why aren’t we pitching this guy differently?’ You will see that come into play in 2011.