I feel like revisiting this, so here's Brian Graham:
Well, apparently it does. Oops.
Shelton is no Albert Pujols. But he's a solid slugger, far better than any hitter except the Pirates currently have except Jason Bay. If the Pirates had kept Shelton, they could have started him along with Jason Bay and Craig Wilson at the corners and pooled the money used to acquire Jeromy Burnitz, Joe Randa and Sean Casey to get a real slugger.
In the past five years or so, have there been any stupider baseball decisions than leaving Shelton unprotected? Certainly there have been decisions that were more costly, and there have been decisions that have turned out worse, but I'm talking about decisions that were incredibly stupid based on the information available at the time. Here is a non-complete list of some other candidates:
- Diamondbacks sign Russ Ortiz to a four-year, $45 million contract.
- Tigers sign Magglio Ordonez to a contract for up to seven years and $105 million.
- Mets trade Scott Kazmir to the D-Rays for Victor Zambrano.
- Yankees sign Jaret Wright to a three-year, $21 million contract.
- Dodgers sign Derek Lowe to a four-year, $36 million contract.
- Rockies sign Mike Hampton to an eight-year, $121 million contract.
- White Sox trade Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe to the Bucs for Todd Ritchie and Lee Evans.