And one of those cards is Jacobs. My objection to his acquisition had nothing to do with Leo Nunez, he had a good year but always seemed easily replaceable. While he did put up an ERA+ of 120 and 143 in '07 & '08 he only pitched 92 innings in those two seasons, replaceable. No my objection was purely based on Jacobs Kingman-like .299 OBP last season. His OBP has gone down every season and his career mark of .318 is well below league average (.337) but that trend has to stop sometime and most likely will in 2009.
All of Jacobs value is in his power, he has to hit home runs to be productive. So how many does he have to hit to make this a favorable trade for KC? My original thinking was 30, anything less and he is weighing the offense down but I've changed that to the mid-20's with a stat line in the .260/.320/500 neighborhood. I think this possible and actually quite likely looking at his 2009 projections.
I think James projection is a little more in line with what Jacobs will actually do. Looking at a different player CHONE & Marcel have Alex Gordon basically repeating his 2008 season while James has him putting up career highs in everything, which I think he will. So if Jacobs does OPS .840 with 26 home runs well it would be hard for anyone to call that a disappointing season.
Right smack in the middle of this Bob Dutton piece my biggest fear for 2009 has been confirmed:
The Royals are counting on Horacio Ramirez to fill their need for a left-handed starter after shelling out $1.8 million to reacquire him in the free-agent market.
The deal includes up to $900,000 in performance bonuses, and in a winter market characterized by austerity, represents a sizable commitment — especially since Ramirez hasn’t been an effective starter since 2005.
Ramirez pitched solely in relief last year, compiling a 2.59 ERA in 15 outings for the Royals before an Aug. 9 trade sent him to the White Sox. Even so, club officials acknowledge only a dreadful spring will keep him from opening the season in the rotation.
Well a dreadful spring didn't keep Tomko out of the rotation last year even though he was outpitched by Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar so I doubt Ramirez is in any danger. I just don't understand it.
Last year I sponsored the baseball-reference page of Gil Meche and he responded with another good season so this year I'm passing on the Royally Speaking karma to Hochevar.