Byrd upping the ante

So much for the mutual goodwill that led Paul Byrd to talk about being open to signing another one-year contract with the Halos. Now that all 30 teams can openly negotiate with free agents, Byrd's agent Bo McKinnis says that his client has been offered many deals, including at least one offer guaranteeing three-years. Now, I would love to see Byrd in a Halo uniform in 2006, but if a team wants to give a three-year deal to a 34 year-old finesse pitcher with a Tommy John surgery in his near past, I tend to think that the Halos should let him walk.

If Stoneman and the Halos are going to be forced to throw $15 million over three years at Paul Byrd to keep him, I tend to think that he should just spend $25 to $28 million on Jarrod Washburn and lock up the better of the two pitchers instead. The primary reason I have been luke-warm on re-signing Washburn was simply economic. I didn't want to see Stoneman spend $18 to $25 million for a middle of the rotation pitcher. Well, if Byrd gets $15 million in guaranteed money that is exactly what would be happening and methinks that Washburn is a better bet to succeed over the next three years than Paul Byrd.

Either way, it is nice to know that the rotation is 80% set for 2006 with Colon, Escobar, Lackey and Santana. But, with Colon's injury in the ALDS I tend to think that he is a bit of a question mark heading into spring training - at least until he proves he is OK. Also, Escobar is coming off of an injury filled season, Lackey reached a new performance level for the first time and Santana is a 23 year-old sophomore. So, while everyone would agree that the starting rotation is a strong point for the Halos, it isn't without issues. So, while Byrd isn't the most overpowering arm in MLB, he is a perfect #4 or #5 for the Halos. Now, is that worth $5 million per year for three years? I say no. Bill, what do you think?

Here is the LA Times article in question.


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