We need to trade for a SS, IMO. I like Iglesias, but he's not ready to even put up a .280 OBP in the majors. He needs to start in AAA while get a veteran to play SS for this season. Let Iglesias try to win playing time by showing some offense. If we have too many shortstops all of a sudden, that is a great thing, not a problem. I just don't think you can hand him the job at this point.
Here are some SS who reportedly might be available in trades:
(I used Fielding Bible numbers for defense mostly because everyone can easily access UZR numbers, but FB numbers aren't so easy to find, and might offer some different info from the usual UZR take. I mostly used OBP for offense, because we are looking for a guy who can get on base decently, to not be an automatic out so that the lineup is deeper and turns around quickly. If we wanted a SLG-heavy SS, we just gave one away for a manager. OBP is what we should be looking at IMO.)
Tulowitzki: his contract basically runs forever: $10 million in 2013, followed by $16 million in 2014, then $20 million every year from 2015 through 2019, then $14 million in 2020. He's had injury problems too. Great player when healthy, but that contract, yeesh. Fielding Bible has him at +17, +8 and -8 runs over the past three seasons. Not a promising direction with that contract.
Hanley Ramirez: Gets $15.5 million in 2013, then $16 million in 2014. Is he available? The money doesn't seem to be a problem at all for the Dodgers. But they do have Dee Gordon coming back at SS and Luis Cruz who can play SS and 3B as well. (Cruz moved from SS to 3B with Hanley playing SS after the trade.) So they might be willing to move Hanley, but they don't need to dump salary, so they'd want something good in return. Fielding Bible has him at -21, -16 and -6 (500 innings) the past three seasons, so he's not good with the glove, but he's not so bad he can't play there either. The Dodgers acquired him and Randy Choate for young starter Nate Eovaldi
and minor league right-hander Scott McGough. So if they were to move him, they would presumably want a better package than they gave up. MAybe we give them back Webster and some more parts?
Maybe Gordon would be someone worth looking into-- he was terrible last year, but had a .324 OBP in 2011 and is still 24. He was their SS of the future a year ago. If the Dodgers are keeping Hanley, then either Gordon or Cruz might be available. Gordon was -2, -14 in Fielding Bible +/- the past two seasons but is supposed to have great range and defensive potential. Cruz is more of a utility IF, but was an even 0 in +/- last year in 205 innings at SS, and +11 at 3B in 427 innings. Cruz came out of nowhere this year to put up a 106 OPS+ in 296 PAs. He turns 29 before the season. I just found out a sickening fact: we traded this guy for Cesar Goddamn Crespo in 2002. He might be a total flash in the pan, but it sounds like he's going to be in the Dodgers plans now.
Might be worth finding out what the Dodgers plan to do and how much they might want for their prospective shortstops.
Jose Reyes: Another godawful contract: $10 million in 2013, $16 million in 2014, but then $22 million a year from 2015 through 2018. Fielding Bible has him at -5, -18 and -18 over the past three seasons, really not a good thing with that contract. Avoid. I wouldn't even trade Lackey for that contract. They'd have to give us Reyes and Josh Johnson or something to even consider taking on that Crawford-like albatross deal.
Andrus: Makes $4.8 million in 2013, then $6.5 million in 2014. FB +/- says -6, +7 and +12 the past three seasons. He's good and young but will cost a lot in a trade.
Yunel Escobar: The Jays want to dump him because of his moronic eye-black scandal. That was appallingly stupid on his part. So there would no doubt be a PR hit from acquiring him. But he was +10, +10 and +22 with the glove the past three years, will make $5 million in 2013, with club options for 2014 and 2015. He's got a career .353 OBP and turns 30 in November. According to Heyman's twittering
, they are looking to dump him, "but it won't be easy." Maybe one of the first things Cherington should talk to Farrell about is Escobar-- what the hell the real deal was with the eyeblack, how he would do in Boston, etc. If he gives the thumbs up on this guy, he could be a great pickup to buy low on.
Stephen Drew: He's got a club option for next year for $10 million, with a $1.35 million buyout. If Oakland doesn't want to pay him $10 million and we did, we could send them a nothing prospect for the contract, and save them the $1.35 million. But since Oakland just traded Pennington, maybe they are planning on keeping Drew. We could also wait on it and see if he hits the free agent market, but with shortstops scarce, he could land a two-year deal from someone. He's been -5, +1 and -8 at SS the past three years according to FB. Drew is a lefty batter who turns 30 in March. He's got a career .328 OBP. For his career, he has an OPS+ of 106 against RHP but 84 vs. lefties. So maybe he could split time for us at SS this year with Iglesias, or start the season at SS for us while Iglesias tries to show some offense in AAA. Probably not a great pickup at $10 million, but then again, if you don't have to commit to more than one year, it might be worth it. If Oakland wants him back, then he won't be available.
minor league contract/backup IF type of free agent:
Jason Bartlett: Bartlett went on the DL back in May I think, then got released by SD later in the year. He was awful at the plate this season. The past three seasons, he was +2, -11 and -3 in +/- (with the -3 this year in only 233 innings.) He'll turn 33 in a week. He could be washed up. But he wouldn't cost anything to bring in and see if he can still field the position. He's got a .336 career OBP, was at .324 in 2010 in the AL East, then .308 at Petco last year. Has zero power (though it seemed like every home run he ever hit was against the Red Sox.) Since he might be washed up, you don't give him any big guarantee, but maybe bring him in to spring training to show what he can do and to fight for PT and to offer insurance if Iglesias continues to hit worse than a pitcher.
Edited by The Gray Eagle, 22 October 2012 - 10:59 AM.