After watching free agent closer Billy Wagner sign with some other team I can't seem to recall, the Phillies dipped their toes into the closer pool and, realizing it was filled with pee-water, withdrew their toes and threw a pile of money at Tom Gordon. Gordon turned 38 in November and just signed -- are you sitting down? -- a three year deal worth $18 million dollars.
Gordon's career K:BB ratio, a barometer for power and control, is 1.95 (one walk per 1.95 strikeouts). Billy Wagner's is 3.87 (one walk per 3.87 strikeouts), or twice Gordon's. If a four year deal to the 34-year-old Wagner is risky what is a three year deal to a 38-year-old? $6 million per is Kyle Farnsworth money, and Farnsy would appear to be a much better risk, especially considering his age (29). Further, Farnsworth, who has always struggled with controlling his 100 MPH fastball, has a career K:BB of 2.21!
If anyone knows what the Phillies are thinking please fill me in. This move looks to be reactionary and shortsighted on the part of Pat Gillick, a surprising act from a typically-savvy baseball man.