Fun poll fact: Here's our annual report on the players who got votes for both the best and worst signings of the winter. Ready? Here's that list of Jekylls and Hydes: Cano, Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann, Jhonny Peralta, Choo, Carlos Ruiz, Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Vargas. Long list!
1 Robinson Cano (10 years, $240 million): Now this is the proper description of the Cano deal. Too many years. Too many dollars. Too hard to believe that he and the residents of the great Northwest are really going to live happily ever after. "Ain't gonna happen," one AL exec said.
2 Masahiro Tanaka (seven years, $155 million, plus the $20 million posting fee): No quote emanating from Yankeeville in recent times has elicited more raised eyebrows than Brian Cashman trying his best to tone down expectations on Tanaka by labeling him a "No. 3 starter." Wow. "I know they're trying to downplay it," one exec said. "I get that part. The problem is, you can say you hope he's a No. 3 starter, but you're giving him No. 1 starter-in-the-sport money, so no matter how good he is or how young he is, you're definitely going to look up at some point and say, 'Oh my God. That's way too much money.'"
3 Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million): Nice player, that Jacoby Ellsbury, but $153 million for a guy who has played 140 games once in the past four seasons? Nice little payday if you can get it.
Fun poll fact: We should really have had two of these categories -- one for Yankees and ex-Yankees, and a second for everyone else. So you should know that Clayton Kershaw's seven-year, $210 million extension topped the Everyone Else voting, with his teammate, Brian Wilson, finishing second, courtesy of a two-year, $18.5 million deal that wound up as the highest per year of any reliever all winter. Meanwhile, one exec voted for Scott Kazmir (two years, $22 million) three times, but we still counted that only once.
1 The Nationals take the gold for springing what our voters clearly viewed as one of the all-time heists, getting underrated rotation force Doug Fister from Detroit for just a useful utility guy ( Steve Lombardozzi), an effective left-handed reliever ( Ian Krol) and a pitching prospect (Robbie Ray) whom the Tigers view as having bigger upside than virtually every other team we've asked about him. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is so good at his job, he always gets the benefit of the doubt. But one exec who admires Dombrowski still found himself calling this trade "an epic head-scratcher." It should tell you something that this deal got 14 votes in our poll, and no other trade got more than five.