I'm sure more than a few tears were shed at The K, and at the Kansas City Star, when Getz was non-tendered but it was the right decision, even if it came a year too late. He was always a topic of lively debate on message boards and twitter. His skillset especially appealed to fans of a certain sensibility. I'm of course referring to those who grow infatuated with a mediocre player and build him up to be something he's not. I think it's called the Ross Gload Effect (if it's not, it should be). Getz's biggest weakness was his inability to play multiple positions. It would have been easier to forgive his offensive ineptitude if he was a utility infielder. As a starting second baseman, however, his weaknesses shown through. He had zero power and got on base as often as Jeff Francoeur. He was also more than a bit overrated defensively. It didn't help that his defenders always seemed to pull out the "he's better than Gio" card. I'm no expert but that might be the very definition of damning with faint praise.
As far as his legacy goes, well, here you go:
In acquiring Aoki, Dayton Moore did what good general managers do, he filled a hole by trading from a position of strength. More specifically, he traded a relief pitcher for a starting right fielder. What was shocking was that he traded for a player who can get on base. Aoki posted on-base percentages of .355 and .356 in his two seasons for Milwaukee. Those aren't as impressive as his .402 OBP in Japan but anything over .350 will fit nicely at the top of the order. Will Smith was fantastic in his 33.1 innings last year, and should do well in the National League, but middle relievers are replaceable.
I'd like the Vargas signing more if it was just for one or two years. But a four year deal for a 31 year old pitcher with a career 91 ERA+? Meh. Four years is long time for a player in his 30's. Throw in the fact said player is below average at his position and legitimate concerns start popping up. Moore is hoping that Vargas can be a league average innings eater, which is fine, there's value in that, but I think you have to want more from your #2 starter.
Remember what I just said about four year deals for players in their 30's? That. It's a long time. Infante has hit .296/.331/.412 the last five seasons so he's not a total getz at the plate. He'll bring stability to a position that's been a cause of turmoil the last few years. This could potentially be a five year deal but I refuse to believe the next GM will pay a 36 year Infante ten million dollars in 2018. Like the Vargas signing, I'd like this better if it was for two years but that wouldn't have got the deal done. If Infante ages like Mark Grudzielanek then this could end up being one of Moore's better moves.
Repeat after me: Valencia is not Moose insurance. Except he totally is. Valencia has crushed left-handed pitching (.329/.367/.513) and he's only played third base in his major league career. If he's really not a potential platoon partner for Mike Moustakas then I doubt we'll see him on the opening day roster. This wasn't a throwaway for a throwaway deal though because the Royals gave up a useful player, David Lough, for Valencia. The numbers suggest they aren't going to carry Valencia and Justin Maxwell, two players with essentially the same skillset (right-handed, crushes lefties, play one position), so if Valencia ends up being the odd man out then I really don't understand the point of this trade.
Chen is back and appears to have already locked up a spot in the rotation. I really don't know why either. Last year we heard over and over about how Chen started the season in the bullpen so he'd be fresh during the second half. It was a great story and apparently completely untrue. I mean, if it Yost's gambit worked so well why wouldn't he try it again? Chen had a 0.93 ERA in his first six starts but a 5.73 over his last nine, so the whole keeping him fresh line was just that, a line.
- Norichika Aoki, RF
- Omar Infante, 2B
- Eric Hosmer, 1B
- Billy Butler, DH
- Alex Gordon, LF
- Salvador Perez, C
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
- Lorenzo Cain, CF
- Alcides Escobar, SS