Without one major story to cover, I'm going to present a Sunday Links article today. I'd also like to say I haven't been around much the past week thanks to my semester at school coming to a close (read: finals, finals, finals) and then working about 30 hours after that...15 of those hours coming yesterday alone. Before I go back to work today, I figured I'd update.
Nomar Garciaparra has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The article says they are becoming the "West Coast Red Sox", thanks to the hiring and signing of new manager Grady Little, Bill Mueller, Derek Lowe last offseason, and now former Sox shortstop Garciaparra. Excepting Bill Mueller, let me say as a Red Sox fan that they can have them. I would have enjoyed seeing Nomar in a utility role in Boston in 2006, but I think that ship sailed long before he signed with the Dodgers this weekend. I think he would have worked out best in Toronto to be honest, where he could have joined the team of rotating corner outfielders, and played a better DH than Hillenbrand or Hinske. Nomar's Established Performance Level is slightly skewed thanks to his injuries the past few seasons, especially last year's groin injury that severely cut into his movement at third base and shortstop. Let's take a look at his bat though:
Nomar was league average offensively last year according to mOPS+, but that figure is slightly lower than it should be thanks to his early season troubles. He only had 51 at-bats in April, but they were terrible, and he finished with 230 for the season, so they did play a larger role than most players' one month slides.
It is only a 3-month sample size, so don't take anything too seriously here. I think August looks like his ceiling in his early 30's, while September may be the norm, with a higher OBP. You can certainly see how low April put him statistically though. My favorite reaction to the signing comes via Rob McMillan of the excellent 6-4-2 blog:
Should've signed with Toronto to be sure.
Onto the U.S.S. Mariner and Lookout Landing, where Jarrod Washburn has become the subject of much debate. Washburn was someone I cited as valuable if he could be had for a bargain when I was busy criticizing teams for trying to sign A.J. Burnett to a $10-12 million a year deal. Washburn is a guy who had a statistical glitch work in his favor in 2005, worked that into a long term guaranteed contract with a team who shouldn't be spending on guys like Washburn, and will spend the next four years wearing one of those "man, what happened, he was such a gamer" tags from ESPN's announcing crews. Anyone who listens to me bitch and moan about ESPN knows I'm talking about the announcing crew in the American League Division Series falling all over themselves trying to defend Edgar Renteria, who out-veteraned Juan Uribe with a groundball at one point in order to reach first base. Don't even ask what the hell I mean by that, because you have to have heard it happen to understand what was going on in their minds at that moment. But trust me when I say "out-veteraned" is probably the best description I can give of what they might have been trying to say. That is how I picture the next four years with Seattle: "what happened?"
Dan Scotto's version of xERA shows that Washburn's peripherals put him at a 4.02 ERA in 2005...too many homeruns allowed, too few strikeouts, too many walks in comparison to said strikeouts, and really, his innings pitched totals are not impressive either. ESPN.com tells us that Washburn is set to make between $35 to $40 million over four years...I understand the market is inflated, but refusing to overpay for pitching might help correct that. Of course, I'm not an economist, so I'm going to shut my yap.
The Mariners supposedly have interest in either Bronson Arroyo or Matt Clement in exchange for centerfielder Jeremy Reed. Reed had some injury issues in 2005, and should be a much better player than he has shown, although I am not entirely convinced there is any power there. If I were the Red Sox I'd take a chance on him over Coco Crisp to be completely honest. Crisp is better suited to the corners defensively, although he may flourish offensively in Fenway, where he could hit doubles til he tired of it. Reed's combination of patience and defensive ability, as well as his ability to take over in the #2 hole if healthy, makes him my pick. With the Red Sox starters coming up through the system, and the possibility of Roger Clemens spending a year in Fenway, I'd certainly deal Clement or Arroyo to take a chance on the 24 year old Jeremy Reed in centerfield. The biggest plus? No more Johnny Damon stories in Boston.
I wanted to write about a few more things, but I have work at 1 eastern time, and it is currently 12:08...which means I need to get moving. Have a good Sunday everyone.