The Pittsburgh Alleghenys vaulted into the AL Playoff picture today, signing sure-fire Hall-of-Fame free agents Rafael Brogna and Maximo Cota.
Brogna gets a 5-year, $84.2MM deal; Cota will earn $30.8MM over 3 years.
Combined with their previous signing of SP Kaz Lim and the anticipated promotions of former #1's D'Angelo Cerda and Jung Wanatabe, the moves give Pittsburgh a core group of superstars that rivals any in the league.
Rumors swirled that Brogna was about to sign with Syracuse or Austin, but the Alleghenys swooped in with a better offer at the end of the PM part 2 cycle. Chaloupas GM blanch13 confirmed the team's interest: "We thought somebody was offering the max, but then we had the nod at the end of pm part 1. His agent left a lot of money on the table by not giving us a chance to counter. That's how these things go sometimes."
Pittsburgh gets 2B Rafael Brogna - 5 years, $84.2MM. Boasts a .944 OPS over 9 seasons, an MVP in Season 10, and numerous other awards. This deal represents a 26% discount from Victor Morales' max contract last year. Grade: A
Pittsburgh gets LF Maximo Cota - 3 years, $30.8MM. .931 career OPS, ROY Season 6, MVP Season 11, lots more awards. He's maintained his power rating quite well into his early thirties...he should still be a force in teh last year of this contract. Grade: A
Austin gets SP Jesus Javier - 5 years, $71.5MM. Struggled in his first 3 years and came into his own aftter being traded to Mexico City. Biggest limitation is his stamina, but still capable of 200 innings. Anytime you can land a true ace in free agency, it's a bargain. Grade: A
Madison gets SS Cookie Martin - 4 years, $25MM. Plus hitter at SS (.340 career OBP) and a decent defender. Should be comparable to the departed Terry Owen. Grade B+
Augusta gets SP Ozzie Calderon - 5 years, $30MM. 83 wins and a 4.20 ERA over 6 years with Jackson. Nice price for a pitcher of this caliber. Grade B+