Mark Mulder has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cards in which he gets two years and $13 million in guaranteed money. If he makes 30 starts in both years, an option kicks in that would apparently make the deal worth a total of $45 million over three years.
That would be such a spectacularly huge amount of money to pay a guy who's been fading for several seasons now. 2006 was the first time Mulder was outright bad, and while injuries had a lot to do with that, they were shoulder problems, so they might continue to affect his performance even if he's healthy enough to go out there every five days. And Mulder's peripherals have been getting steadily worse since 2002.
This deal is convenient for the Cardinals in that it addresses their starting pitching needs, but it could end up being a debacle for them.
UPDATE: It looks like the 2009 option is actually a team option and that the value of the option increases based on the incentives described above. So this isn't so bad.