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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Three Big Names to Consider
2003-12-08 03:51
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Nomar Garciaparra, Boston, SS
Age: 30
Bats: Right
Salary: Earns $11.5 million in 2004. Eligible for free agency thereafter.
Mainstream stats in 2003: .301 BA, 28 HR, 39 BB, 61 K
OPS in 2003: .870 in 156 games (.946 vs. LHP, .843 vs. RHP)
EQA in 2003 (park-adjusted): .296 (Not in American League top 20, but 4th among Major League shortstops)
Win Shares in 2003 (park-adjusted): 25 (12th in AL, 3rd among AL shortstops)
Trend: He hasn't been the same since 2001 injuries. EQAs of .312, .333, .339 from 1998-2000.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez or Guillermo Mota? Yes.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez and Guillermo Mota? Yes, but if you sign this next guy, you don't have to trade either of them ...

Miguel Tejada, Oakland (free agent), SS
Age: 28
Bats: Right
Salary: Free agent
Mainstream stats: .278 BA, 27 HR, 53 BB, 65 K
OPS in 2003: .808 in 162 games (.828 vs. LHP, .799 vs. RHP)
EQA in 2003 (park-adjusted): .280 (Not in American League top 20, but 6th among Major League shortstops)
Win Shares in 2003 (park-adjusted): 25 (10th in AL, 2nd among AL shortstops)
Trend: Fell off 2002 career highs in OPS and EQA. Has played 162 games three consecutive seasons.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez or Guillermo Mota? Not applicable.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez and Guillermo Mota? Not applicable. Which is the point. Signing Tejada allows you to keep those pitchers for next season's staff or as bargaining chips for an outfielder. All the commotion about Garciaparra's availability has caught people off guard, me included, with the result being that the smarter acquisition is being overlooked.

That's not to say that Tejada is the be-all and end-all - you still have to negotiate smart with him, and be prepared to walk away. However, no report indicates that Tejada is asking for an eight-figure annual salary. Unless the Dodgers can get Garciaparra to agree to a contract extension for less than his current salary, I don't see why they should pursue him - except as a bargaining tool with Tejada.

For the umpteenth time, however, I remind you that the Dodgers should not get a big-name shortstop if it prevents them from getting a great-hitting outfielder. Better to have Cesar Izturis at short than Chin-Feng Chen or Jolbert Cabrera in left.

Rafael Palmeiro, Texas (free agent), 1B
Age: 39
Bats: Left
Salary: Free agent
Mainstream stats: .260 BA, 38 HR, 84 BB, 77 K
OPS in 2003: .867 in 154 games (.962 vs. LHP, .826 vs. RHP)
EQA in 2003 (park-adjusted): .291 (5th among designated hitters)
Win Shares in 2003 (park-adjusted): 26 (34th in AL, 3rd among designated hitters)
Trend: EQA fell below .300 in 2003 for first time since 1997, second time since 1992. Played 55 games at first base in 2003.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez or Guillermo Mota? Not applicable.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez and Guillermo Mota? Not applicable.

I have no idea what salary Palmeiro will command. He would represent an improvement over Fred McGriff, offensively and defensively, so there is the potential for value, even if his acquisition would almost strike me as too reminiscent of McGriff. But with his reptuation, plus his Texas-inflated stats, the risk for overpayment is considerable.

Previous Capsules:
Magglio Ordonez
Jim Edmonds, Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko

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