While looking again at the trade of Brian Stokes to the Angels to Gary Matthews, Jr., a crazy fact became apparent:
The Angels paid $21.5M for Brian Stokes.
Wow. That pretty much makes him the most monetarily valuable player in baseball, doesn’t it?
I did a bit of research and couldn’t find another player who was acquired for that much dough. The Mike Hampton deal was the only similar salary dump on record, but that one was much more complicated, involving several more players and three teams. In regard to cash deals that involve one player moving to a new team, there doesn’t appear to be anything else comparing to the Angels’ “purchase” of Stokes.
If I missed something, please let me know in the comments. Even if there is a comparable deal, it’s pretty crazy, don’t you agree, that a middle reliever could be worth over $20M ?
Funny, I clearly remember MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn vetoing a deal that had the Yankees purchasing Vida Blue from the A’s for $1M. Kuhn claimed that such cash deals would be “bad for baseball”. One must wonder what he’d think of today’s salary dumps, if he were still alive.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.