Five years ago today the Blue Jays signed B.J. Ryan to a 5 year, $47 million contract. For the $47 million we got one very good season (2005: 38 saves, 1.37 ERA), one good season (2008: 32 saves, 2.95), one season cut short by injury (2007), one awful season (2009: 2 saves, 6.53) and one season sitting at home (2010).
I'd love to link to the Bluebird Banter story from the day of the trade but BBB didn't wouldn't open up shop for another week or so. But when it did, Richard Wade wrote:
Turning to Ryan's deal, I have a hard time getting past the decision to give a five year deal to a reliever. To avoid getting overly negative, we'll focus purely on what Ryan provides on the field rather than what he costs off of it.
So you could stay he wasn't thrilled.
At Batter's Box 'Pistol' wrote:
Given that Ryan has no real injury history and has had a relatively light workload over his career (381 innings) I don't think the risk involved with a 5 year contract is as worrisome as it might appear at first.
As it turned out, it was way too much money for a relief pitcher. JP really should have know better. It is easy to say with
hide-sight hindsight, but long term contracts for relievers rarely work out.