You are wondering if any team would be crazy enough to sign an unproductive, uncooperative utility infielder stripped of his range, his pop and his health.
Your question can be answered with a single word: Yes.
Nobody, however, outdoes Pittsburgh. Seemingly year after year, the Pirates complete one boneheaded off-season move, then overhype it in an effort to hoodwink naive loyalists into thinking the organization is on the right track. Last year it was bringing in Eric Hinske, the long-ago AL Rookie of the Year who now evokes comparisons to a middle-aged Hensley Meulens. In 2008, it was the addition of Mientkiewicz (when it comes to bad teams, big Doug gets around). In 2007, it was the addition of Elmer Dessens. In 2006, it was the addition of Jeromy Burnitz, Sean Casey and Joe Randa (ie: The Holy Trinity of quintessential Pirate signees). The list goes on and on -- a Wayne Krenchicki Tribute Band brought to fruition.
What? I didn't care much about Mientkiewicz one way or the other, but how was signing him in any way "boneheaded"? Why was signing Hinske a dumb idea? And what does Elmer Dessens--who was signed to a minor league contract, never even played for the Pirates in 2007, and never presented even a small amount of risk to the Bucs--have to do with anything?
And, uh, why would signing Jermaine Dye, who hit 27 homers in 2009 and was a borderline MVP candidate in 2008, be boneheaded? Weird for the Pirates, sure, but boneheaded?
For those of you who have seen Pearlman's ridiculous, fact-challenged and inflammatory articles before, his apparent misunderstanding of the way baseball transactions work probably comes as no surprise. But just in case he happens to read this--he seems like the type who Googles himself daily--I'll spell it out: every team signs players to inexpensive contracts and minor-league deals to fill out its AAA roster and the back of its major-league squad. For example, the Yankees signed Angel Berroa before the 2009 season! In 2008, it was Chris Woodward (and Billy Crystal--talk about your inane, attention-hogging signings)! Before 2007, they signed Mientkiewicz! Whatever, I'm sure somehow it wasn't "crazy" or "boneheaded" when they did it.