Friday, November 7, 2008

Free Agents: Shortstop

Alan Trammell Pictures, Images and Photos
Think Alan Trammell can still hit?

We need help. Edgar Renteria was not the answer at shortstop. DD and company are high on Cale Iorg, but he's two years away, at least...and that's if he's as good as they think he might be. So, who do we go after? Rafael Furcal, with his bad back and demand of a large contract, was the early talk. So, again, I turn to the free agent pool and my friend, VORP.

Hanley Ramirez had the top VORP of all shortstops last year at an amazing 80.7. That was second to only Albert Pujols' 96.8 VORP in all of baseball, no matter the postion. Jose Reyes was second among shortstops with a 62.9. Our guys had Renteria at 12.2, Ramon Santiago at 12.9(!), and Michael Hollimon at 1.7. I'm a big fan of Ramon and am willing to give him a chance, but who else is out there? Glad you asked...here's the top guys and their VORP from last year. Check out who's on top...you'll be surprised.

Jerry Hairston Jr: 27.0
Rafael Furcal: 24.5
Orlando Cabrera: 20.1
Nick Punto: 12.6
David Eckstein: 7.9
Nomar Garciaparra: 7.3
Alex Cora: 5.0
Craig Counsell: -1.2
Adam Everett: -3.7
Omar Vizquel: -12.4

Jerry Hairston? Are you serious? With Cincinnati, he hit .326 with 6 homers, 36 RBI's, and had 15 stolen bases in 80 games. The younger Hairston banged out 20 doubles and 2 triples. His OPS was .871 in 261 ABs. He's only 32 and could be the bridge we're looking for until Iorg's ready. He could also platoon with Santiago. On the other side of the coin, he could also be terrible, like he was in '07 and '06. But he's cheap and might be worth a look.

Furcal and Cabrera will be too expensive for us. Eckstein is the most overrated player in baseball. The rest are old and/or terrible. I say give Hairston a chance. If he's a bust, we've got Ramon and Hollimon to keep Brandon Inge company at the bottom of the lineup.

As for trades? Julio Lugo, Jack Wilson, and Khalil Greene's names have come up. Their VORPs were 6.9, 1.1, and -8.0. Greene's abortion of a season last year might bring him to us cheap. He has produced big numbers in the past. Was it steroids? Who knows? DD's a gambler, though. We'll see what happens.

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