If the initial reaction to the Dodgers giving Yasiel Puig the contract they did wasn’t pessimistic enough to make you feel the same, then Ben Badler‘s compilation of reactions from around baseball might send you down that road.
The Dodgers appear to have made a statement with an expensive Cuban signing, but the message they sent across baseball has mostly elicited the same response:
What are the Dodgers thinking?
One executive called the deal “crazy.” Several others were floored by the reported contract terms.
“I don’t know,” said one international director, echoing several of his colleagues. “I don’t know what’s going on in Dodger land. They must have seen something.”
“Leslie Anderson’s numbers were good in Cuba—where’s he at?” said one Latin American director. “It means nothing. You don’t want their numbers to be bad, but just because they’re good doesn’t mean anything.”
“You had many chances to see Cespedes play,” said a second Latin American director. “This guy’s kind of an unknown. I don’t know. That’s their flavor.”
“Cespedes is a much better athlete, more of a complete package,” said a third Latin American director. “He’s a center fielder, good arm. (Puig has) got power and he runs OK, the bat stays through the zone quite a bit. He’s strong, not quite as strong as (Dayan) Viciedo, but he’s currently got plus power. I don’t know if they even had anyone close to beating them.”
“For me, you have to have history in order to make that kind of investment,” said the third Latin American director, “and we certainly didn’t have that kind of history.”
If you’re trying to look for a light, talent evaluators are wrong a lot. Unfortunately, there seems to be a consensus here that the Dodgers went insane with the spending, even with the new CBA coming into effect.
Buster Olney of ESPN reported that one team evaluated him as a $500,000 talent.
Huge disparity of opinion around the game on LAD’s $42m signing of Yasiel Puig. One team told me they pegged him as a $500,000 player.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 29, 2012
Surely a bit of gamesmanship and hindsight, but it does give one the idea that most teams weren’t anywhere close to the figure the Dodger doled out.