Putting down Omar Minaya no matter what he does is fashionable these days, and I can't say I haven't taken part. "The Contest" between Omar and inept Royals GM Dayton Moore was proposed by Fangraphs writer Matt Klaassen (AKA devil_fingers) and has achieved some notoriety in the largely irrelevant yet entertaining Internet sabermetric circle-jerk. Every move either GM makes is met with snark and, in some cases, at least a passing mention of "The Contest". That doesn't mean smart transactions shouldn't be met with praise. Omar's signing of Fernando Tatis for something less than the $1.7 million he earned last season is a smart move. Fernando has been a 1.5-2 win player each of the last two seasons and a positive addition to the clubhouse. But that doesn't stop Dave Cameron of Fangraphs from calling "all aboard!" to the Contest Train:
The Mets re-signed Fernando Tatis, and are apparently going to go into 2010 with a first base platoon of Tatis and Daniel Murphy. I don’t even know what to say. Really, Omar? This is your plan? You couldn’t have used that million dollars you gave Gary Matthews Jr, combined it with the Tatis money, and gotten a younger, better first baseman instead (someone named Garko, perhaps)? You spent approximately 40 bazillion dollars on the core of your roster, and then seem intent on surrounding them with guys who just don’t deserve jobs. I’d say I don’t get it, but maybe The Contest just has a better grand prize than a World Series trophy.
Calling Tatis one of those "guys who just don't deserve jobs" is laughable. If Tatis doesn't deserve a job, then where does that leave Ryan Langerhans and Casey Kotchman? It's fun to light up cigars and pour brandy to toast "The Contest" in all its grandeur. However, signing a utility player who can play multiple positions and be a league average hitter for less than Alex Cora's salary is a wise move. And no amount of snark generated by an Internet meme can change that.