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The bats you get for $500 million

Half a billion dollars sure doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to.

Half a billion dollars sure doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to.

Curious what that massive amount of money would bring in this year’s baseball hot stove season, Metro yesterday went about putting together a $500 million lineup.

The ground rules:?The cash is the total value of deals players have signed or agreed to this offseason, and only the nine batting spots in an AL lineup?(no pitchers) were included. Amounts, from ESPN, are rounded.

The half-billion-dollar lineup we were able to put together would surely be among the best in baseball next season. But given the pricetag, it’s not really that amazing. Three of the players have sub-100 OPS+ scores, and all but one is older than 30.


Paul Konerko (three years, $38 million, White Sox) provides plenty of pop at 1B, but he’s going into his age 35 season. He had a prototypical contract year in 2010, posting a .977 OPS after seasons of .841, .783 and .842. 3B Ty Wigginton (two years, $8M, Rockies) offers value for his versatility, if not always his bat. He’s played all over, but career 102 OPS+ is average.

Middle infield

2B Juan Uribe (three years, $21M, Dodgers) turned another roughly league-average season into a big-money deal in L.A. SS Derek Jeter (three years, $51M, Yankees) is a bit angry at being denied a huge deal.


C Victor Martinez (four years, $50M, Detroit) is going to prove to be a big loss for the Red Sox. DH Adam Dunn?(four years, $56M, White Sox) only socks dingers, walks and strikes out.


The big bucks really kick in out here. Jayson Werth?(seven years, $126M, Nationals)
basically ruined the market for the owners with his megadeal. There’s no way Washington won’t regret that one. Carl Crawford (seven years, $142M, Red Sox) parlayed speed and the Werth deal into big bucks of his own. Only Cliff Lee will end up getting more than him. Next to those numbers, Lance Berkman?(one year, $8M, Cardinals) is an absolute bargain. His .808 OPS in 358 games in the?NL last year is surely worth what he got in this market.

He’s reportedly going to play left field for St. Louis.

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