Top 5: Overrated offseason moves

Top 5: Overrated offseason moves

Top 5: Overrated offseason moves
By SHAWN HARTLEN

Trevor Hoffman  (Milwaukee Brewers)

In following the recent tradition of a new closer each season, the Brewers will shell out $6 million for future Hall-of-Famer Trevor Hoffman this season.

The problem is that the soft-tossing Hoffman is now 41 years old and has shown signs of serious decline over the last few seasons. A horrific first half last year led to Hoffman posting his worst ERA (3.77) since 1995. Now that he's going from the best pitcher's park in baseball to one less kind, the Brewers brass might find themselves looking for another new closer in 2010.

Milton Bradley (Chicago Cubs)

There's no doubt that Milton Bradley has the ability to put up solid numbers for the Cubbies this season. But is the risk worth the reward?

Bradley has managed over 414 plate appearances only once in his nine-year career and has had less than 377 in seven of those nine seasons. In fact, Bradley has only come close to playing a full season once in 2004 when he hit .267 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs in 141 games for the Dodgers.

Not only is his health an issue, Bradley has a history of anger issues which have led to numerous suspensions during his tumultuous career. He's had prior altercations with teammates, broadcasters, fans, managers, front office staff and will now be managed by one of baseball's all-time classic hot heads.

Something's gotta give and it won't be Lou Pinella.

A.J. Burnett (New York Yankees)

Everyone knows that the Bronx Bombers needed starting pitching help after last year's rotation struggled with youth and injuries. But forking out $82.5 million to an overrated, aging, injury-prone hurler is a bit excessive to say the least.

Scouts have always loved A.J. and have said that he has the “stuff” to be a top of the rotation guy, but until last year that stuff was on the shelf more than on the mound.

Burnett's 18 wins in 2008 marked the first time in his career that he has notched more than 12 wins in a season. Couple that with, annual injury problems that have plagued the fire-balling righty and you can see the cause for concern. Only twice in ten seasons has he made more than 30 starts and now that he is 32 years old, the chances that he ends up missing a chunk of the season are more likely than not.

Derek Lowe (Atlanta Braves)

The one thing the Braves will be able to get out of the 35-year-old Lowe is innings. He has no problem chalking up  30-plus starts every year, the only problem is that they are usually filled with about a hit per inning and close to as many wins as losses.

That might be okay for someone who didn't have the advantage of playing in pitcher-friendly Dodgers stadium for the last four seasons. But Lowe did.

Expect to see his ERA rise above 4.00 as he will now have to make the majority of his starts in a less hospitable environment.

Brian Fuentes (Los Angeles Angels)

How can an acquisition not be overrated when the player being brought in is replacing someone coming off the best statistical season for that position ever?

That is exactly what Brian Fuentes is being asked to do.

Fuentes, will try to fill the shoes left by fan-favorite Francisco Rodriguez who signed with the New York Mets in the offseason.  A capable closer, Fuentes rebounded nicely in 2008 after losing his job to Manny Corpas during the Rockies' improbable World Series run.

He should get plenty of save opportunities for the Halos. But if he falters like he once did in Colorado, don't be surprised to hear the spoiled Anaheim faithful calling for his head.

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