good jaw-dropping to see the Rockies exercise financial restraint after a series of failed big dollar contracts to players like Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle, and Todd Helton forget what they did during the winters of 2000 and 2001 by signing Troy Tulowitski to a $100 million extension 4 years before he hits free agency.
No two players are alike, so comparing Tulo to anybody else is like comparing apples to oranges. But has there ever been a team that has had less success with long term contracts than the Rockies? They paid Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle about $135,000,000 to combine for .1 WAR in Colorado uniforms (yes, you read that correctly, one tenth of a win above replacement). Todd Helton has earned nearly $50 million over the past three seasons and has been worth less than 1 WAR in two of them. Overall, between the trio they've spent $250 million for 31.8 WAR, plus whatever they can get out of Todd Helton for the $20 million they'll be paying him through 2013.
In the back of my mind, this makes me worry about the Yankees. No team can absorb a bad contract the way the Yankees can, but there has to be some threshold from which even they can't bounce back. They've already got $66.5 million committed for (gulp) the 2015 season to three players, and you can be certain that it will be more like $90 million to four if they sign Cliff Lee. Without either a $250+ million payroll or an Oakland A's c. 1999 type of farm system, the odds of remaining competitve with that type of roster inflexibility seem about as good as doubling down on a 12.