Mark Topkin is reporting (via Twitter) that the Rays contract with Roberto “I’m not allowed to call myself Fausto Carmona anymore” Hernandez, is a one-year deal worth $3.25 million. And if that is not enough, it includes $1.85 million in incentives (likely based on innings pitched and/or games finished).
That is potentially $5.1 million for a player that will most likely be a long reliever or a groundball specialist most of the year. Even if the Rays are planning on using Hernandez as a starting pitcher (which would make the salary more reasonable), how much of an upgrade is he over Jeff Niemann or Alex Cobb, who would be replaced in the rotation?
I typically don’t complain about money spent by the Rays*. Any money spent is better than no money spent. But if the Rays now turn around and are forced to sign another Brad Hawpe or Hank Blalock to be the DH savior, this signing is going to be the reason.
And once again the Rays will have an awesome bullpen that will be called upon to protect 3-1 deficits.
* I believe the last time I complained about a contract was Kyle Farnsworth. And my biggest beef with that one was the second year. And that one ended up a lot like this one. The Rays paid $6 million for what turned out to be one decent year.