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December 07, 2005

Transaction: Wasdin Stays

Texas signed pitcher JOHN WASDIN to a one-year contract for $600,000.

Wasdin enjoyed a career renaissance in 2005, pitching very well in relief and improving his peripherals across the board. This contract recalls the $1 million bestowed upon Doug Brocail last year and the two years given to Herbert Perry after 2001; it’s really more a reward for a previous season’s unexpected adequacy. The free-agent pool will be filled to overflowing with pitchers of Wasdin-like ability after tonight’s arbitration deadline, but Texas evidently wanted the sure thing.

There’s no denying Wasdin’s improvement in 2005. As for 2006, well, cross your fingers. Wasdin didn’t do anything in pitcher-friendly Oklahoma to earn last year’s promotion other than wear his veteran’s badge and draw breath. He remains a flyball pitcher in a stadium that propels them to Grand Prairie, and his low .276 average on balls in play carries the strong scent of good luck, not skill.

If Texas intends to use Wasdin as a longman and team mop, fine. Nothing terribly wrong with having him on a team that will almost certainly carry twelve pitchers. He might allow Texas to save the bullpen and convert some early-inning 5-2 deficits into 8-7 victories. However, if Texas expects him to start or set up capably, they’re bound for disappointment, as are all of us.

Posted by Lucas at December 7, 2005 05:36 PM