In the wake of the recent trade, new Braves center fielder Mark Kotsay deal has been analyzed to death, and talented head case Joey Devine agonized over. However, there is one key player in the deal that has not been adequately scrutinized, despite being the only conceivable reason the Braves would give up both Devine and Richmond: $5 million dollars.
Though it cannot hit, field, run, or throw, $5 million dollars is arguably one of the most versatile players in the game. Its value has diminished since 2000, when it was worth $6,100,000, but it can still purchase a 7,000 square foot condo in Miami Beach, 3,333,333 hot dog and soda combos at Costco, 3.8 diamond-encrusted Peter Aloisson Ancort crypto smartphones, 6.7 Tanyon Sturzes, or nearly half the Marlins roster. It is always a popular teammate and tends to improve team chemistry.
Unlike other prospects (unlike Joey Devine) $5 million dollars never gets too old or outlives its potential, no matter how unwisely it's allocated or how idiotically it's spent. For example, while $2 million will go to pay the salary of Mark Kotsay, who had a .199 EqA and 3 Win Shares in 2007, $5 million dollars will likely be enough to pay the salaries of Matt Diaz, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann, Chuck James, Peter Moylan, and Rafael Soriano, who combined for 104 win shares in 2007.
It appears that the Liberty Media pursestrings, which were briefly rumored to be opening when we made the Teixeira trade, are closing fast, and that doesn't bode well for our offseason efforts to sign Tex to a long-term deal. If we're getting nickeled and dimed over our prospects, it's not going to be easy to sign a Scott Boras client who happens to be the best switch hitter in the game other than Chipper Jones. By himself, Mark Kotsay can't kill our chances for the postseason. But the continuance of the fiscal austerity era that Time Warner imposed 4 years ago could put a serious crimp in our style, and force Wren to make more bad, rushed decisions like this. Here's hoping that our corporate masters will be willing to spend the pennies when it counts.