From the Chicago Tribune -
Jeff Suppan has a nice contract coming his way, and it seems more likely than ever he’s going to get it after his most valuable player performance in the National League Championship Series.
No veteran player has done more for less the last three seasons than the nondescript, rock-solid Suppan. He gave the St. Louis Cardinals 18 victories for $1 million in 2004, including a triumph over Roger Clemens in Game 7 of the NLCS; 16 victories for $4 million in `05, and 13 victories (and counting) for $4 million in `06.
That’s a mere $191,489 per victory; contrast that to $545,455 per for Greg Maddux over the same time frame.
The point isn’t that Maddux has been overpaid, but how big a bargain Suppan has been for the Cardinals. Not surprisingly, a different set of agents (Scott Leventhal and Damon Lapa) will negotiate Suppan’s next deal. He fired the ones who got him the agreement with St. Louis after he split 2003 between Pittsburgh and Boston.
Entering the postseason, the Cardinals were hopeful, perhaps even optimistic, about being able to re-sign Suppan and Jeff Weaver after the season. Getting one of them to return could be essential because otherwise they are looking at only youngsters such as Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes as the only known commodities behind Chris Carpenter.
The last 8 seasons in a row, Suppan has been good for 30+ starts a year – and over 6 IP per start. He’s durable – and will only be 32-years old next season.
Suppan is not, and never will be, an ace. But, he’s actually a solid # 3 starter. If the Yankees can pick up a stud SP this winter, to go with Wang, I would not be upset if New York let Mussina and Wright go, and then signed Suppan (to be 3rd in the rotation) – with Johnson to be the 4th man in the rotation (and Jeff Karstens and/or Darrell Rasner in the 5th slot).
I know that the A.L. will be harder for Suppan than the N.L. – but, we know that Suppan will not melt in the post-season.
The key, actually, will be the price-tag. I’m O.K. with a three-year deal for $25 million (or so). But, anything higher than that figure probably warrants a pass.