Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make. Here's one Ed Wade got right.
A year ago, the name on everyone’s lips was Steve Finley, the 39-year-old center fielder who hit 36 home runs between Arizona and Los Angeles. The soon-to-be free agent was considered by some the most attainable marquee position player on the market that could fill a need area for the Phillies.
I remember posting Finley updates myself – whether or not he was open to playing on the east coast, whether the Phillies were in contact with him, etc. Finley was courted by several other teams, including the Giants, Padres and Tigers, all pursuing him harder than the Phils.
Eventually, he signed a two-year deal with Anaheim worth between $15 and $20 million.
Well, the Angels are in the ALCS, no thanks to Steve. So far, the pile of money has gone toward an oft-injured .222 hitter, who hit 12 home runs and lost his starting position in late August. He has one year remaining on the contract and already stated he has no intention of retiring.
So far in the postseason, Finley is 2-14 with no extra base hits and didn’t play in yesterday’s win.
Good FA pitcher passes: Eric Milton, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright. Players they could have had but did not pursue, and stank anyway: Paul Wilson, Russ Ortiz, Jose Lima, Al Leiter. Maybe could have helped, maybe not: David Wells, Brad Radke, Matt Clement, Derek Lowe. Missed opportunity on the cheap: Esteban Loaiza. Good short-term value, but fans would have had a fit: Paul Byrd, Kevin Millwood.