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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Karros Becomes a Cautionary Tale
2006-01-17 11:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In 2004, the Athletics signed veteran first baseman Eric Karros for the bargain sum of $550,000, virtual peanuts for a 36-year-old veteran with (at the time) 282 career home runs. Sure, his recent performance was less than impressive; over the previous four seasons, his OPS was worse than the league average, which meant his OPS was well below average for a first baseman.

Still, for $550,000, what's the worst that could happen? If Karros didn't work out, the A's could just release him, and nothing would be hurt (except maybe his feelings).

Except something else did get hurt. Karros was an utter disaster: In the 40 games he played before the A's released him, Karros batted .194 with two home runs. Of course, very few pennant races hinge upon such things … but this one did. The A's finished exactly one game behind the first-place Angels. If they'd had just a below-average hitter soaking up Karros' 111 plate appearances - rather than a way below-average hitter - the A's probably would have finished first instead of second.

- Rob Neyer, ESPN.com

Comments (83)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-17 11:22:25
1.   caseybarker
I read that one yesterday. Is this another example of the quicker than quick decline due to age? His back was getting worse and worse each year.

One of my favorites, though, and, now that I look back, I definitely underappreciated him. Isn't he calling games for the A's now?

2006-01-17 11:25:16
2.   Jon Weisman
He was a favorite and you underappreciated him?
2006-01-17 11:32:18
3.   Bob Timmermann
If Karros didn't work out, the A's could just release him, and nothing would be hurt (except maybe his feelings).

And Karros's feelings were really hurt. He seems to be one of those guys who is not happy that he didn't go out when he wanted to.

2006-01-17 11:35:42
4.   caseybarker
Yes, his star was outshined by Mondesi, Piazzi, etc..., but when they were gone, I realized how much Karros had meant through those years.
2006-01-17 11:48:21
5.   Vishal
yeah, he's really bitter. and from what i understand he hates the A's. and hee seop choi.
2006-01-17 11:49:07
6.   Vishal
(and needless to say, i have no use for a guy like that)
2006-01-17 11:54:55
7.   Bob Timmermann
But I hear Karros really like Danys Baez.

(scurries out of the room)

2006-01-17 11:56:29
8.   Curtis Lowe
5- I remember Karros bashing Choi I just don't remember what it was that he said would you care to enlighten me?

7- At least someone likes Baez.

2006-01-17 11:58:09
9.   Jon Weisman
I do remember at one point Karros saying something like Choi only played ahead of him at Chicago to keep Karros from triggering his incentive clauses.
2006-01-17 12:01:07
10.   molokai
From BP
"I can tell you Jim Colborn has had success in getting results out of pitchers with a lot less talent than Kip Wells. I have every reason to think that will happen here."
--new Pirates manager Jim Tracy, on pitching coach Jim Colborn (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Other then Giovanni I have no clue who he could be talking about.

2006-01-17 12:05:27
11.   Jeromy
9: wouldn't that mean that Karros had a problem with Cubs management or Dusty Baker vs. a problem with Choi?

I don't see how griping about playing time and contract incentives is bashing a teammate.

2006-01-17 12:05:58
12.   fawnkyj
-10
Ishii for the ocassional start?
2006-01-17 12:10:44
13.   Bob Timmermann
Has any teammate in MLB ever expressed a personal problem with Choi. He seems to be a pretty nice guy. I understand players having professional problems with him, as in, "Hey, he's taking my job" or Jeff Kent chewing him out on a bunt play, but Choi seems like a pretty easy-going guy.
2006-01-17 12:10:47
14.   caseybarker
Who does Karros work for? I know I've heard him call a game. He is about as good as David Justice at that.
2006-01-17 12:11:58
15.   Jeromy
I don't have ESPN insider. Is Neyer arguing not to sign the decline ballplayer (Piazza, Sosa, Lima come to mind this year) and choosing Karros as an example or is he simply blaming Karros for the A's losing the pennant?

I know he wrote an article that year on how he thought the signing was horrible because he didn't believe in the right-handed "lefty-masher". Sounds like this article might be a way for him to gloat.

2006-01-17 12:19:22
16.   Jon Weisman
11 - I think it's pretty disprespectful to say that a guy was playing ahead of you only for economic reasons and not for reasons of talent and production.

15 - No, the article was about the J.T. Snow signing - just because a player is cheap doesn't make him risk-free. Neyer wasn't saying "don't sign a good player who is on the decline phase." He was saying "be careful not to sign bad players."

In other words, there's a difference between declining and declined.

2006-01-17 12:22:30
17.   scareduck
10 - you could argue he meant Guillermo Mota, who had a 4.15 ERA his first year with the Dodgers, but a 1.97 ERA the second year. 2003 was a terriffic year for Dodger pitching.
2006-01-17 12:25:54
18.   Jon Weisman
10 - Of all the baloney that's been coming out of the Tracy/Pirates coverage in the past few days, basically portraying Tracy as a latter-day John Wooden and elevating Tracy above a level I would have been uncomfortable with even in the days I liked Tracy, the quote you cited is among the least noteworthy.
2006-01-17 12:26:52
19.   scareduck
16 - In which Rob Neyer states the obvious. "Don't sign bad players" will be right up there with "don't stick the fork into the electric socket" in terms of its utility as advice. Talent depends on availability. Guys like Snow are available for a reason. If you pay them relatively little and count on them very little, you stand a chance of it working out. If, on the other hand, you pay Eric Milton or Jarrod Washburn a lot and count on them a lot, you're likely to be disappointed.
2006-01-17 12:34:28
20.   scareduck
10 - at least in the first year he was with the Dodgers, he got to pencil in Gary Sheffield's name into the lineup, and at times he's had the dominating version of Kevin Brown, the single best season of relief in baseball history in Eric Gagné, and on and on. That is to say, Tracy had some actual talent to work with, unlike the mess in Pittsburgh. They do have a few good players (Oliver Perez when he's on his game, Jason Bay, Jack Wilson perhaps), but the surrounding cast is horrible. In other words, there's no excuse for Daryle Ward getting 453 at bats. Ever. Not when this team hasn't seen .500 in thirteen years.
2006-01-17 12:36:51
21.   Jeromy
After a little inspection, Karros's last appearance was on 7/21/04 vs. Mariners. He went 1 for 3, but Hatteberg PH for him in the 8th and hit a dramatic game-tying homerun. The A's still lost the game in extras, but after that game Oakland was 51-42. They finished 91-71. Essentially they played .500 ball after Karros was gone. Yes, he hit .194, performed poorly, and deserved to be cut, but any implication that he was "probably the reason" the A's lost the pennant is a reach. What about McMillon, Kielty, or Melhouse that year? What about Juan Cruz's 7.44 E.R.A.?

I may be a Karros apologist from time to time, but I completely agree Karros should have been cut from the A's. I just can't go so far as to say that one player with 103 ABs lost the pennant for the team.

2006-01-17 12:44:07
22.   Bob Timmermann
Of all the baloney that's been coming out of the Tracy/Pirates coverage in the past few days, basically portraying Tracy as a latter-day John Wooden

What is success? I suppose that you could say that succeeding is more of a mental thing. More like being put in a position to succeed. Do I hope my players succeed? Of course, I do, but I think that if they satisfy themselves with the knowledge that they, from a competition standpoint, did their best that they could, considering all the circumstances, then they did succeed. But I do want them to have peace of mind? Well, only if it puts them in a position to succeed.

2006-01-17 12:45:22
23.   GoBears
21. That kinda misses the point. Neyer isn't saying that only Karros underperformed. But his was a spot that would have been easy to upgrade (plenty of mediocre first basemen around) to get that marginal win or two. A win is a win - doesn't matter when it happens in the season.

And yes, 19, "don't sign really bad players" is obvious when stated that way. But I'd take the point of the article (the point of having written it) as twofold: (1) there's no such thing as a free signing -- bad players will cost you, even if you don't play them much, and (2) Jon's phrase that "there's a difference between declining and declined" and teams need to figure out a better way to know when someone is just plain done, and not "due for a bounce-back."

2006-01-17 12:50:57
24.   Disabled List
21 The A's went 40-29 post-Karros, which hardly translates to ".500 ball". In fact, that's a .580 clip, which is better than the .548 ball they were playing with Karros.

Although I agree with the basic gist of your post. Singling one player out for costing the A's a division title is pretty classless on Neyer's part. There were lots of other reasons the A's blew it in '04. Karros' suckitude was a contributing factor, sure, but not the exclusive cause.

2006-01-17 12:50:59
25.   GoBears
To continue the thought, and maybe grok Jon's purpose in posting Neyer's reminder, this could be a caution to the Dodgers. Colletti, like Sabean, seems to have a fetish for "proven veterans." And if they're declining, but still productive, that's fine for the short term. But might some of these guys (Sandy Alomar Jr. just be fully declined? Lofton had that "bounce back" last year, but I'm worried that he'll fall of the table this year. Nomar, prematurely aged due to injuries is a similar risk. And the David Wells rumors were downright scary.

Too many baseball fans and GMs are overly optimistic about has-beens (he can do it again! he knows how to win!) and overly pessimistic about prospects (he hasn't done anything yet!).

2006-01-17 12:57:22
26.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
8 I remember Karros bashing Choi I just don't remember what it was that he said...

I remember him doing a talk radio appearance last summer and saying anyone can see that Choi can't hit. That's a paraphrase, but it was something very blunt like that.

2006-01-17 13:01:19
27.   Curtis Lowe
26- Yeh, I think that might be it or it was something in the Times. What would be more of a risk a declining/declined veteran or an unachieving/over-accelerated rookie?
2006-01-17 13:01:50
28.   GoBears
Apropos of the discussion of declines, here's an item from the current Onion. The whole issue is about sports. Just one paragraph, hopefully not too long:

http://www.theonion.com/content/index

Mia Hamm Declines Third-Year Option On Nomar Garciaparra

November 17, 2005 | Onion Sports

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Just days before the two-year anniversary of their initial agreement of terms, women's soccer legend Mia Hamm opted not to pick up her owner option for a third year on former husband Nomar Garciaparra. "Although I made a commitment to Nomar, there is no doubt that his skills have diminished with age, and it has shown in his lackluster performance over the past two years," said Hamm, who added that although she will always appreciate Garciaparra's loyal service, she is taking herself in a different direction right now. "Nomar is a great person, but he is well beyond his prime, and I just don't see him as a fit in my future." Although Hamm would not release details, she has hinted that after the mandatory waiting period concludes, she will begin to pursue younger, more versatile free agents.

2006-01-17 13:02:15
29.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, Neyer wasn't pinning the entire season on Karros. He didn't single him out, didn't say it was the exclusive cause. He's saying Karros wasn't irrelevant. Basically, what 23 said.

25 - I didn't have that in mind when I posted, but I don't disagree with what you wrote there - although we should distinguish between the Mueller-type signings and the Erickson-type signings.

22 - LOL

2006-01-17 13:02:23
30.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
24 Why is it "classless" for Neyer to do his job? Critiquing the performance of players and teams is largely what Neyer is paid to do.
2006-01-17 13:02:47
31.   the count
24
I don't think Neyer is trying to single out Karros and understands that many things contribute to a team losing. Upgrades could have been made in several places.

A team is always greater than one player. However, there is a bone in GMs that makes them want to take a chance on guys like Eric Karros while others could play better but either have not performed as well in the past or are condemned with a AAAA label. Karros is a good example of that happening, and - whether they lost the division for it or not - it did cost them a number of very poor at bats when they could have found average at bats for the same amount of money or less.

There are a lot of veterans in the FA market right now: Thomas, Piazza, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc. Which are declining and which have already declined?

2006-01-17 13:08:14
32.   Jon Weisman
31 - Well, I would take Piazza over Sandy Alomar, Jr. in half a heartbeat. But Piazza wouldn't sign for $650,000. I have no idea what Piazza's going rate is now.
2006-01-17 13:11:24
33.   bhsportsguy
32 - Don't you think that the media (charitably referring to Plashke and the rest of the local yokels) would be pushing for Piazza to start and to have Navarro/Martin backup?
2006-01-17 13:12:19
34.   the count
32
I would take Piazza on a pure talent level as well, but I think the theme of the post still stands. Sometimes it is tough to know when to pull the plug on an aging veteran. Do be honest, I am somewhat shocked that all these guys are still available.

And I don't think we need to worry about Alomar Jr., he's declined. For that matter, so has Lance Carter.

2006-01-17 13:15:50
35.   scareduck
22 - and if you wanted to combine the Wooden metaphor with Tracy, you could end up with a Pyramid of Self-Questioning.
2006-01-17 13:17:24
36.   Jon Weisman
33 - Maybe. Maybe Piazza would deserve to. But he can't catch every day, anyway.
2006-01-17 13:19:02
37.   Bob Timmermann
35

Should my players be quick? Yes, but that's only if they don't hurry.

Will practicing more make perfect? In a sense, but I believe that if you practice as close to perfect as possible, you will be in a position to succeed.

2006-01-17 13:28:10
38.   Jon Weisman
35 - At John Wooden Basketball Camp, at age 8 and again at age 9, I won my team's "Pyramid of Success" award, otherwise known as the award for no-talent kids who try hard, which would translate in this era as the Scrappy Award.
2006-01-17 13:28:33
39.   Marty
Umm... for those of you interested in why Tracy is the greatest manager in the game:

http://post-gazette.com/pg/06016/638811.stm

This is the second article I've seen that mentioned that here in L.A. we called it "Tracy-ball".

2006-01-17 13:34:12
40.   Disabled List
30 It's classless because it's a cheap shot. I only read Jon's excerpt, but it sure sounds like Neyer drops Oakland's failure in 2004 squarely on Karros' shoulders. That's unfair. Karros only had 111 PA's that year. Would the A's have won the division with a "below-average" first baseman getting those PA's than a "way below-average" first baseman? No one knows. I do know that if the A's had done a lot of things differently in 2004 they might have won the division.

I seem to remember they coughed up a big lead in the standings late. The A's went 3-9 in the two weeks before they were caught and eliminated by the Angels that September. Eric Karros had nothing to do with that.

31 I'm all for cautionary tales about GMs who sign washed-up "proven veterans", but Neyer is mud-slinging to make his point here. His language should have been couched a little more carefully. (At least based on the bit of the article posted here; the rest of his piece might be a little more fair and even-handed.)

2006-01-17 13:41:31
41.   Jon Weisman
40 - "sure sounds like Neyer drops Oakland's failure in 2004 squarely on Karros' shoulders."

But, Neyer doesn't do that.

Look, it's pretty simple. An excerpt is an excerpt. I published the excerpt to launch a discussion on personnel moves. If you want to make a judgment on Neyer's article, you have to read his whole article. If you can't read the whole thing, then don't judge.

2006-01-17 13:42:40
42.   blue22
40 - Welcome to the site, Mr. Karros. Interesting screen name.
2006-01-17 13:47:03
43.   briano
32-This is my first time in. (Please humor me). I would sign Piazza in a heart beat for the sole reason that he IS a Dodger (always will be in my puny opinion)and to make sure that he goes in to the HOF as a Dodger. That means a great deal to me. Even if he doesn't finish his career with the Dodgers, I feel he's obligated to go into the Hall as a Dodger because they gave him his start and the organization taught him everything he knew. With that said, he can still hit and is worth whatever he will get, due to his sustained popularity at Dodger Stadium.
2006-01-17 13:55:54
44.   regfairfield
43 The problem is that Piazza should still have value. Teams like the Yankees and the As still need a DH, and Piazza can supply that. Last year, he hit 19 home runs in less than 400 at bats. Give him a full season of just hitting, Piazza could put up a .270/.340/.470 line with 25-30 home runs. He's a far cry from being the best player in baseball like he used to be, but those are still perfectly acceptable numbers for a DH.

Because of this, it was cost the Dodgers at least five million to sign Piazza. For what? A guy who will play 25% of the games. We already have three first baseman, we don't need another one.

2006-01-17 13:56:33
45.   Disabled List
Man, I can't believe I've been cast in the role of Karros-defender. Believe me, that would not have been possible a few years ago.

41 I don't subscribe to ESPN Insider, so I guess I won't be reading the whole article. If Neyer does not ascribe the A's 2004 on-field failure exclusively to Karros, then fine. That, however, is not at all apparent from the excerpt you posted, which is all I have to form my opinion on. I alluded to the possibility that I might be taking Neyer's comments out of context, and if I did, then I retract all.

2006-01-17 14:03:28
46.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
40 I don't have an ESPN login either, so I can't read the whole article. But the excerpt seems like Neyer is saying that this was an easy way for Oakland to make up the one-game difference that cost them a playoff appearance. Sure, there are lots of ways to improve by one game, but replacing one-sixth of a season of terrible offense at 1b would be near the top of any list.

Karros went into that season having hit .366/.441/.545 against lefties in '03. So you can make the case that he was worth the gamble to find a platoon partner for Hatteberg. It just didn't pan out, and it cost them.

2006-01-17 14:04:01
47.   OaklandAs
The Toronto papers keep suggesting that the Dodgers are one of the Blue Jays' competitors to sign Bengie Molina. Hopefully this is not true.

http://tinyurl.com/dasg8

2006-01-17 14:04:40
48.   Jon Weisman
45 - It's cool - I didn't mean to put you on the defensive.
2006-01-17 14:06:43
49.   blue22
45 - He also cites Brett Boone picking up at-bats for the Twins last year, though the Twins were nowhere near winning the division.

All in all, it is a very strange article, with a very easy-to-misinterpret point. Kind of reinforces the notion that hindsight is 20/20. Not to mention the awkwardness it may generate at the ESPN Christmas party next year when Karros and Neyer happen to be at the chocolate fondue fountain at the same time.

2006-01-17 14:12:28
50.   Curtis Lowe
47- Why would 1 yr of Molina be soo bad?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-17 14:18:32
51.   blue22
50 - Navarro or...gasp...Martin may become trade bait if Molina comes on.
2006-01-17 14:21:23
52.   OaklandAs
50 One year would not be soo bad, but I guess I would rather see the Dodgers give Navarro/Martin a shot. If Molina signs, he would probably get 120-130 starts, and Navarro would probably end up at AAA, with Alomar as the major league backup. Plus, I guess I'm still afraid that Molina could be signed to a multi-year deal, or that the Dodgers would feel pressure to re-sign him after a one year deal. I guess I would rather spend the $5M somewhere else.
2006-01-17 14:46:30
53.   Jeromy
41, 48: Jon, to be fair, you published Neyer's excerpt without commentary. This makes it unclear why you posted it and opens up all sorts of speculation. A quote is easily taken out of context when it stands alone. One could easily have thought, considering the lightning rod Karros is at DodgerThoughts, that you were opening up another debate on his legacy.

Sure it should seem fairly obvious the post was to spur discussion on personnel moves, but it wasn't.

2006-01-17 14:46:57
54.   GoBears
50 If that were to happen (signing Molina) it would be the surest evidence yet that Colletti uniformly prefers mediocre veterans to promising youngsters. Which was exactly the fear in these parts when his name was first mentioned. Let's hope he lets this particular ship pass in the night. He has passed on other such vessels (Pierre, Washburn, et al.).
2006-01-17 14:49:34
55.   Ken Arneson
40 Actually, you can make an argument to pin the 3-9 finish in 2004 on Karros. Part of the reason that the A's fell apart at the end was that Scott Hatteberg was completely out of gas, and the A's didn't have anybody they trusted to give him a day off. If Karros still had anything left in the tank, they could have given Hatteberg a few days off here and there, and he might have been able to finish strong.
2006-01-17 14:51:43
56.   Marty
No, no Molina's of any shape or form. We just got rid of a catcher with glacier speed. We don't need another.
2006-01-17 14:52:27
57.   Jeromy
55. Then why not pin it on the guy that replaced Karros on the roster. Should he (or someone else who could play 1B) have given Hatteberg a spell?
2006-01-17 14:54:25
58.   dzzrtRatt
I thought Ned liked players with some foot speed. I know Navarro's no Renaldo Nehemiah, but if Benjie Molina had been playing when Morganna the Kissing Bandit was active, they'd be married with three kids.

But I don't believe this is real. According to many out of town newspaper reports, Colletti's supposed to be doing a lot of things that he actually isn't. And then the Edwin/Tiffany-for-Baez deal comes along without any foreshadowing. If you want to get concerned about Colletti's moves in advance, you need to have more imagination.

2006-01-17 15:02:18
59.   Jon Weisman
53 - I don't see what the problem is. I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time. I'm just saying I don't think it's fair to judge an article on three excerpted paragraphs (any more than it would be to judge Karros' career on three excerpted months).

Once I realized that people, I believe, were misinterpreting Neyer's article, I stepped in. I'm sorry for the confusion - but again, I'm not trying to make people feel bad about it.

2006-01-17 15:07:47
60.   Steve
Dang it. It's hard to find pitchforks in Los Angeles.
2006-01-17 15:14:43
61.   GoBears
if Benjie Molina had been playing when Morganna the Kissing Bandit was active, they'd be married with three kids.

Good one. Although I don't remember too many ballplayers running away from Morganna, unpleasant as she might have been.

2006-01-17 15:18:35
62.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Molina's numbers for '05, compared to MLB average:
dingers: Molina 15, average 4
BA: .295 to .204
OBP: .336 to .258
SLG: .446 to .304

I too would love to see Martin get a shot, but is anyone on the team suggesting he might be ready? If so, I've missed that. If they think he's still a year away, then Molina could be a pretty nice stop-gap.

2006-01-17 15:22:32
63.   Marty
The Angels let Molina walk because they think he's on the decline and have a catcher or catchers in the pipeline that they think can step up (I think). We are in the same position with Navarro and Martin, and I don't see why anyone would be thinking we need to add to that position.
2006-01-17 15:23:53
64.   mob
yes what is this talk about Molina??? I like the guy, think he is a front line starter but considering the potential of Navarro & then Martin in the wings.....why pay for a guy who will surely want more than a oneyear deal. They got Alomar as insurance / mentor. Let it happen. Navarro should make big improvements this year, give him the job and if he fails by June look for someone in July (or try Martin).
2006-01-17 15:24:38
65.   GoBears
62. I'd rather see what Navarro can do, and spend any Molina money elsewhere. Seems to me the marginal value of those millions might be higher somewhere else. Not to mention the money spent on Alomar Jr., which would become a total loss.

The only way I'd prefer Molina to Navarro would be if I were convinced that Navarro's trade value is at a maximum right now, which would, in turn, require that I believe he performed over his head last year. Since he's young, that's unlikely.

2006-01-17 15:24:45
66.   Jon Weisman
62 - What the heck kind of crazy MLB average numbers are those? Those look like the Brent Mayne/Dave Ross platoon.
2006-01-17 15:26:46
67.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
63 But I think he was asking the Angels for a long-term deal, and I'm guessing he has since adjusted his expectations. I wouldn't want him long-term, but a one-year deal could work.
2006-01-17 15:30:10
68.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
66 I got them from the CBS Sportsline site. I didn't question them, since most catchers these days hit like they left the bat in the dugout.
2006-01-17 15:30:10
69.   mob
And what's the deal with Weaver???? This guy should be signed by now but for some reason he is still out there??? Why aren't a bunch of teams lined up for him???

I truly dislike Boras and perhaps he thinks Jeff is Cy Young or perhaps most teams are tiring of his hard ball negotiating skills. I almost hope Jeff is forced to take a bad one year deal at the last minute and then he & his brother fire that bloodsucking Boras!

2006-01-17 15:36:54
70.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
66 Hmm, MLB.com shows 20 catchers who hit double digit homers in 2005. So maybe those numbers reflect every player who lined up at catcher, not just the starters. Which would be worthless.

So disregard. Sorry for posting crap.

2006-01-17 15:39:39
71.   OaklandAs
68 In 2005, NL catchers had a .250 AVG/.313 OBP/.388 SLG line.
2006-01-17 15:41:07
72.   GoBears
69 I think you've got it half-right. Whatever Boras thinks, he's likely selling Weaver as if he were Cy Young. He'll come down and get a better-than-deserved deal for his client in time. After balking at his original (just guessing) $13M/yr asking price, teams will think they got a bargain at $10M/yr. They'll be wrong, but this way everyone is happy. Boras's clients often sign late because he starts the bidding high.
2006-01-17 15:41:54
73.   Jon Weisman
69 - I read your first paragraph in the voice of Jerry Seinfeld, and it's gold, mob, gold.

70 - No harm done.

2006-01-17 15:45:17
74.   Blu2
Piazza (and the Dodgers) blew it years ago when he refused to go to first base. His offense would have improved and he would have awesome stats now, and wouldn't have lost so much of his time to injuries. And he would still have several years to play. I think part of his refusal to switch positions was a misplaced loyalty to his friend Karros. He knew Karros would have then been traded and he didn't want that. They were close, even shared a house till one or the other of them got married.
2006-01-17 15:46:53
75.   mob
thank you glad you got it. but I do feel the question is valid, the guy is an arguable #3 starter, easily a #4 why is he still on the board?
2006-01-17 16:00:18
76.   mob
Navarro last year had 3 HRs in 50 games over a season that comes out to 10 but his avg .273 / .354 OBP / and .375 SLG put him over the average and for a kid just getting started, in a new environment and didin't he have a baby last year????? those should be good enuf to get him first crack at the starting job this year.
2006-01-17 16:53:38
77.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
76 My fear on Navarro is that he was playing over his head. His EqA of .265 surpasses his 90th percentile PECOTA projection for 2005. Maybe that's because he got unexpected playing time, but it seems to me the general rap on him was that he wasn't ready to hit at the major league level. Giving him 50 or so starts behind someone like Molina could be a good way to let him develop without sacrificing too much offense. Then Dio could take over in '07 with Martin backing him up.

Those saying the Molina money could be spent better elsewhere, I'm just afraid the FA pool is getting a little thin. And the marginal difference wouldn't be the difference between Molina and Navarro, which might be fairly minimal, but between Molina and Alomar, I figure, since Navarro will be here regardless.

Like the Karros poster above, I didn't expect to become a Molina apologist. But I can see the logic in signing him for a year.

2006-01-17 17:01:10
78.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Correction, Navarro surpassed his 75th percentile on PECOTA, but not his 90th (which was .279). You've still gotta wonder how he'll do once the pitchers figure him out.
2006-01-17 17:36:21
79.   molokai
HQ Projections
Name/HR/BA/OBP/Slug%S/Comments
Molina/14/283/321/422 90% contract rates and excellent line drive ability
Navarro/5/265/336/379 Excellent patience support BA

Bill James
Molina/13/274/315/405
Navarro/7/263/335/371

Hard to see how the increase in slug that Molina will give us is worth the 3-5 million it would take to sign him. At this point they are about the same value with Navarro giving up power but gaining in OBP and the fact he is not glacier slow. Unless Ned is planning on signing Molina for one year while Martin percolates and then trading Navarro in combination with someone else for a significant player I can't see signing on for the deal even though in the beginning I thought one year of Bengie would have some value.

2006-01-17 17:43:14
80.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
79 But would Molina be replacing Navarro? Seems to me he'd be replacing Alomar. Wouldn't a platoon of Molina and Navarro be quite a bit more productive than Navarro/Alomar? I think it could be $5 mil well spent, partly because I know I'm gonna cringe every time I see Alomar's name in the lineup.
2006-01-17 17:46:05
81.   molokai
80
No, I think Bengie will only sign with a team that will use him as the number one catcher. He needs to have another solid year to get his multiyear deal next year. He had the misfortune this year of coming out the same year as Ramon Hernandez and then the ignorance of over valuing himself and turning down the Met offer which he'll never see the likes of again. If Ned signs him it will only be as a number one catcher. JMO
2006-01-17 17:52:16
82.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
81 You may be right about that, but he usually comes in around 400 ABs. That gives Dioner another 250+, I'm guessing, as his platoon mate. And if Benjie is breaking down, as some suggested, that's just more beer for Dio.
2006-01-17 17:58:43
83.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Anyway, I realize I'm going on and on about something that's probably a longshot. So I'll go do something productive now. :)

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