Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but like a nuclear fallout the holiday shopping season has an effect long after the initial boom. At just about the same exact time, the baseball shopping season is set to ramp up. Everyone will be looking for that bargain or great deal, but not unlike that time when you were five and got a dictionary instead of that elephant you wanted not all will get the gift they most desired. There's not a team in baseball that wouldn't want Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, but some can't afford to put as much under the tree as others. Somebody gets a Roberto Hernandez. In the spirit of this, I compared some of the free agents of this year to their gift equivalents.
Max Scherzer - Lamborghini Aventador
Like those obnoxious luxury car commercials like to show us, some people do actually get brand new cars as gifts this time of year. But while those are lovely I'm sure, Scherzer is much more of a supercar. Newer, more dynamic and able to top 98 MPH with ease. Scherzer has the sort of stuff that would make fans thrilled to have him at the top of their rotation. And like the $400,000 Lamborghini, Scherzer is not coming cheap and you might be regretting that impulse buy a few years down the line.
David Robertson - Lego Star Wars Death Star Set
Ah, Legos. Familiar and reliable, the sort of gift that any kid can enjoy as long as they don't eat the pieces. Robertson has similarly been a source of steady enjoyment for Yankees fans, both as a setup man and closer. Problem with both is that they can get extremely pricey in their own right. That crazy set I linked above is 300 dollars! If Robertson gets to the dreaded five-year mark, "familiar and reliable" might not be enough for such a hefty price tag.
Brandon McCarthy - Slinky
McCarthy is fun and unpredictable. Just like Slinky! McCarthy has had injuries and inconsistency through parts his career, but when he's been right he can be very good. Not unlike a friend tangling poor Slinky by not using it properly, the Diamondbacks had McCarthy abandon his effective cutter and his performance suffered for it. There's a high ceiling with McCarthy, but there's still risk involved. Even if you did it just right Slinky would stop going down the stairs like it was supposed too. We'll see of McCarthy suffers a similar fate.
Nick Markakis - Rand McNally Globe
It's not exactly what you wanted, but a good globe is useful if not terribly exciting. Markakis isn't going to wow you with his production or flashy play, but he would be a solid pickup with a relatively low bust factor. You know what you're getting in a guy like Markakis. Similarly a globe isn't going to burst into flames or brick the first time you try it.
Stephen Drew - Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)
Grandma heard you like video games, so she got you this one. The one with the blue thing on the front. Like Drew, Sonic games were pretty good a while back. Whether it's desperation or financial restraints, you hope for a return to form against your better judgment. Basically this game is the equivalent of a - 2 fWAR season, so maybe Drew will bounce back better.
A.J. Pierzynski - Coal
You know what you did and this is your punishment.