Why saving $3 million could be a big deal

So the Mets and closer Francisco Rodriguez have settled the grievance the team filed after Rodriguez's arrest.

The net result?

The Mets saved $3.1M by not paying him for the portion of the 2010 season he missed.

What can $3.1M buy you these days, you ask?

Well, based off the 2010 free agent class, there are bargains to be found, such as those from this season:

Rangers SP Colby Lewis

2010 salary: $1.75M

2010 Fangraphs WAR: 4.4

By comparison: Johan Santana 2010 WAR: 3.5

Diamondbacks 2B Kelly Johnson

2010 salary: $2.35M

2010 WAR: 6.0

By comparison: Luis Castillo WAR: 0.6

Giants 1B/OF Aubrey Huff

2010 salary: $3M

2010 WAR: 5.7

By comparison: Jason Bay/Jeff Francoeur WAR: 1.4/0.1

Rays RP Joaquin Benoit

2010 salary: $0.75M

2010 WAR: 1.6

By comparison: Francisco Rodriguez WAR: 1.4

Of course, to get bargains like that, you need a smart general manager who can find them. That process continues with Sandy Alderson's second interview today.