Brian Stokes: MVP ?

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.

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. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. gary s. January 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm
    they dumped the wrong guy..the only way a slug like matthews should have beed acquired was if the angels took castillo off of our hands..
  2. Eric_Valent_Hit_For_The_Cycle January 27, 2010 at 6:32 am
    They didn’t pay 21 million for Stokes. That was a sunken cost for the Angels. They prolly would have just released him anyway. The Mets actually did them a HUGE favor. They picked up 3 mil of the salary and gave them a 96mph flame thrower in the process. WOW. This deal should win alot of fans for the FO of the Mets. Fans like the GM of the Angels the owners, Mike Sciocia and the….Stupid deal if you ask me. I would have been happy with a defensive specialist in Jeremy Reed at least we know what we got with him.