Branden Looper signed a three year deal with the Cards. It was well-reported that the Phillies were pursuing him strongly.
The deal is 3 year, $13.5M. The breakdown is $3.5 million in 2006, $4.5 million in 2007 and $5.5 million in 2008 with performance incentives. At that price, I don't think I'd have wanted the Phillies to sign him. It's pretty hefty for a reliever coming off a bad year and I don't like more than 2 years for any reliever.
Year after year, I'm shocked at how much money is spent at bullpen pitchers, whose performance is often wildly fluctuating. It's a poor allocation of resources and I hope Gillick continues to get cheap, decent upside guys like Santana and Booker.