OK, truth is we want to look at VMart, and the Giants signing of Aubrey Huff here, but I cannot start without noting that Arizona signed third baseman Sean Burroughs to a minor league deal. Burroughs, who played his last major league game in 1996, and his last minor league game in 1997 does tell us there is always hope.
OK, so to Martinez, and his signing by the Tigers for four years at $50 million, or $12.5 million a year, which is a lot for a DH, the role the Tigers have sloted for the former backstop.
At 31 (Vmart will be 32 just before Christmas this year) Martinez certainly has a solid body of work (.300-131-638 over 1004 games) but, as noted, the cost is a lot for a DH whose offensive skill set will likely drop over the coming years. Should the Tigers get 80-plus games behind the dish from Martinez over the next three years, that makes the investment different.
And, it is true that now expatriated hitters Carlos Guillen and Maglio Ordonez probably could have been had collectively for the cost of Martinez. Although it is also true that both are so brittle, it is unlikely Detroit would get a collective 800 at-bats from the pair.
However, the question begs if Detroit could have had Adam Dunn, for example, just 31, with a 40 homer average over the past ten years, and with none of the wear and tear possibilities of a catcher that portend Martinez.
Either way, I don't think the addition of Martinez to the Tigers roster will make the difference in their success.
Turning to the National League, the World Champion Giants retained the use of their mostly first sacker Aubrey Huff--and ideally his lucky red thong--for two more years at $22 million, and again, I have to question this.
Huff did have a great 2010, no question, but, he also tends to alternate mostly good years (.297 in 2004, .267 in 2006, .304 in 2008, and .290 in 2010) and bad years (.261 in 2005, .280 in 2007, and .241 in 2009) and Huff turns 34 next month.
More so, Brandon Belt is in the wings as the 2011 Buster Posey nominee, and there is no way Huff covers the hot corner. Meaning in all probability Huff will have to play left field, or as a stretch right field.
And, as with Martinez, that is a lot to pay for a guy who has likely seen his best days.
And, after the problems the Giants have endured with contracts like those of Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand, and Mark DeRosa, well, one would think the San Francisco brass would act with a bit more caution.
On the other hand, the Giants succeeded with a lot of money on their post season bench, so maybe that is a key to success the rest of us have not considered?