A Royal Dump

Man, I feel bad for Royals fans. Today, they announced a two year contract for Willie Bloomquist, worth a total of $3 million. That gives us this unholy quarter of transactions:

Kyle Farnsworth – 2 years, $9 million, 2006 to 2008: 0.1 wins above replacement
Mike Jacobs – 1 year, $3.5 million, 2006 to 2008: 0.7 wins above replacement
Horacio Ramirez – 1 year, $1.9 million, 2006 to 2008: 0.2 wins above replacement
Willie Bloomquist – 2 years, $3 million, 2006 to 2008: 0.3 wins above replacement

Those Win Value totals are not per year, but three year totals. Over the last three seasons, that foursome has been worth 1.3 wins combined. That’s 12 player-seasons to accumulate just over one marginal win. If you were trying to scrape up examples of major league players who represent replacement level performance, you couldn’t do much better than this group.

That those four will earn a collective $11.4 million in 2009 is pretty staggering. $11.4 million for four guys who, if everything goes right, will add something like one win to the Royals roster next year. $11.4 million for one win. I guess it’s better than the $12 million they spent to get 0.2 wins from Jose Guillen last winter, but that’s in the same way that getting stabbed is better than getting shot.

Dayton Moore came from Atlanta with a strong record of player development. He’s going to have be a Hall of Fame caliber GM at cultivating talent from within his own organization to overcome what can only be described as a devastatingly poor ability to evaluate major league players.

Really, in a market that could only be described as the best buyer’s market we’ve seen in a long time, Dayton Moore has still managed to squander money on unproductive players who do nothing to help his team win. That’s amazing.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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A smart GM will call to see if they value the prospects this poorly as well. Or maybe to pawn off the expiring contracts or something…