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(Note: this contest is over, and the winner is being determined now.
We’ll print the best of what we got early next week.)

The Hot Stove League is now open for business. It’s a time for would-be
contenders to improve themselves, for GMs to make moves and for
sports-radio callers to second-guess them. It’s a time for free agents to
get their big paydays. And it’s a time for one or two players–and their
agents–to make complete fools of themselves.

Of course, we refer to the Jody Reed Syndrome, that mental
affliction that leads a player or an agent to turn down a very generous
financial offer from one team in the mistaken belief that better offers
await in the market. Mr. Reed and his agent turned down a three-year offer
from his then-employers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, after the 1993 season,
deciding to test the market. He received just a minor-league contract offer
from Milwaukee and bounced to San Diego and Detroit before his career ended
during the 1997 season.

Reed’s case is the most famous, but it’s hardly the only one. Charlie
Hayes
turned Colorado down and instead went back to Philadelphia, where
his meager offensive contributions weren’t disguised by the thin Colorado
air that causes visiting sportswriters to think that Neifi Perez is
a young hitter on the rise. Hideo Nomo and Steve Trachsel
have made similar boners in recent years.

In January of 2001, the Baseball Prospectus team will announce the
winner of the 2000 Jody Reed Award by selecting the player who most screwed
himself by failing to accept a generous offer he received (considering all
contracts offered since April 1, 2000). Since we never lack for excuses to
run a contest, we’re opening it up to the readers.
Tell us which player you
think is the most likely candidate to win the 2000 JRA and why. We’ll
select one winner from ballots naming the correct player, with a copy of
Baseball Prospectus 2001 as the prize.