Maddux a good choice for Padres?
By Jim Baker
Send an Email to Jim Baker Friday, November 7
Updated: November 7
12:27 PM ET
At the uniform debut fashion show at the famous Coronado Hotel yesterday, the hot topic was not accoutrement, but Greg Maddux. Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune asked all Padres personnel in attendance what they thought about signing the free agent Hall of Famer and they were unanimously behind the move. Phil Nevin, Trevor Hoffman and Mark Loretta -- all on hand to model the new togs -- thought Maddux would be a great acquisition for the team.
More importantly, general manager Kevin Towers seems sold on the idea. He is smitten with the notion of Maddux helping out the team's young starters. "What he's able to do with young pitchers -- it would be like having a pitching coach on the bench. He keeps a book on every hitter. To have that insight, that type of knowledge to pass on to a (Jake) Peavy, a (Brian) Lawrence or (Adam) Eaton, that's invaluable."
As Sullivan points out, though, any GM can praise any player any time. Throwing real money at him is a whole other story. As things stand, there is currently an incongruity between Maddux's self-perceived worth and his actual value. To be sure, this incongruity exists in most players, but Maddux's is especially pronounced at this point, unless he has come into this off-season with a more realistic view of his own self-worth.
Given baseball's more realistic view of compensation these days and given Maddux's very apparent slippage in 2003 (demonstrably his worst season since being a rookie), he is clearly no longer a $17 million entity. What, then, is he worth? At this point, he is probably a $5 million pitcher, if that. Throw on a couple of extra million because he's GREG MADDUX and I think you have a fairly realistic assessment of his worth.