On the heels of our Andruw Jones update, we give you the sad tale of Gary Matthews Jr.
Gary Matthews Jr. is in the third year of a five year, $50 million contract with the Angels. That dollar amount sounds as crazy now as it did then. Fifty mil for a guy who has hit over .300 once and has a pedestrian .745 career OPS (just .646 last year). The Angels have gotten exactly 26 home runs and a VORP of -5.0 in 2008 out of Matthews as well.
And now, that $50 mil has given the Angels the most expensive fifth outfielder in baseball. You can imagine how well Matthews took the news.
As his teammates left camp to play the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday, Matthews asked for and received permission to take the day off.
“Just give me a day, guys, OK?” Matthews said when approached by reporters. “Thanks.”
Look, Angels, I’m not saying Matthews is a terrible player. He’s actually coming off knee surgery, which has to be a factor in his issues. But paying $50 million to a guy who’s a career .259 hitter with a .333 OBP is just asking for trouble.
Signing Matthews was a desperation move in 2006 because the Angels couldn’t hit the ball. Now it’s 2009 and the Angels still can’t hit the ball and lost Mark Texeira too.
I realize there are probably statistics that prove Matthews is a good player. But there is a hell of a lot more evidence that proves Matthews wasn’t even remotely worth his contract. It’s called his career.
It’s OK for the Yankees to pull shit like this. Hell, it’s funny when they overspend and get lackluster results. It’s the comedy that keeps baseball fresh and lets a ton of people make a very, very strong case for a hard salary cap in the league.
But when the Angels get exactly what they deserve for paying an overrated player, it’s just sad and pathetic. Sorry, Gary, you seem to be nothing more than a cautionary tale.
A cautionary tale who once made an utterly mind-blowing catch, but a cautionary tale nonetheless.