Thursday, December 9, 2010

The most pointless signing of the Moore era

I'm not sure who held this distinction 24 hours ago (HoRam? Ponson? Spork?) but I definitely do now. Melky Cabrera's addition to an already full outfield doesn't seem to make any sense. Right now he may be the sixth best outfielder on the team, depending entirely upon how you view Jarrod Dyson. Here is how I rank them with their career OPS+ in parenthesis:
1. Gordon (95)
2. Blanco (85)
3. Maier (84)
4. Francoeur (91)
5. Dyson (87)
6. Cabrera (85)

“That’s how you convince these bounce-back guys to sign,” one club official said. “They have other offers. So you give them a chance to play regularly. Now, what they do with it is up to them.”

I'm not sure whose stats this club official was looking at but it sure wasn't Cabrera's. The guy had a career 86 OPS+ before joining the Braves. His best season was his rookie year back in 2006 (.280/.360/.391/95 OPS+), which was also the last time he had an on-base percentage above league average. His career .328 OBP trails his two competitors for the centerfield job, Blanco (.358) and Maier (.330).

If Gordon doesn't get traded Maier seems the most likely to be on his way out. Moore displayed his lack of faith in Maier last winter when he brought in Podsednik and Ankiel so I can't really see how Maier remains on the team especially now that there are three ex-Braves in the outfield. And even if he does I doubt he sees all that much playing time.

Of more concern to me than that is this could be a prelude to a Gordon trade. Readers of this blog know very well I'm still a believer in Gordon, I think it would be a mistake to trade him. True he hasn't been all that productive since his mini-breakout season in 2008 (109 OPS+, 3.1 WAR) but I think a lot of that can be attributed to injuries and the team basically not knowing what to do with him. Despite his disappointing 2010 season there are two reasons I remain optimistic about his future, his 12.1 BB% and his .254 babip. If his babip approaches his career mark of .294 and his walk rate remains the same he could be in for a fine season. It'd be a shame if that happened for another team.

6 comments:

  1. You give frenchy too much credit and Dyson sucks. I rank them
    Gordon
    Maier
    Blanco
    Melky
    Frenchy
    Dyson

    So of course the starting outfield next year will be Melky/Blanco/Frenchy. Team name will also be changed to Kansas City Braves or taking a cue from the soccer team Braves KC.

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  2. Im like you and am meh on Francouer and confused by the Melky deal. Damn exBraves. I'll predict now that Zack ends up in Atlanta and KC don't get shit in return.

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  3. The starting outfield will consist of Gordon in left, Melky in CF, and Francouer in RF. In my opinion that's not a major concern of mine. I look at the ages of those three and ALL of them are reaching their primes.

    How could you be upset about that? There is no money tied in, and they are only one year players. Maier has had multiple chances, and if you watch enough of Royals baseball you would see that Maier seems lost in the OF unless he plays RF. He has ZERO power potential and Dyson just is a 4th OF at best.

    The Royals have more pressing issues on this team then OF. We are not going to compete this season and other than Gordon none of those names mean anything beyond this season. Hence why Wil Myers will be moved to the OF. Robinson is one year away as well. We need to start thinking 2nd base options, and stockpiling catchers.

    I like the Gordon, Melky, Francouer OF. It makes sense in youth and a low risk option. Face it.. We have no power in our lineup and Frenchy and Melky at least makes our OF less laughable. Imagine Blanco, Dyson and Maier.. Maybe 5 HR... Just saying!

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  4. DM doesn't seem to understand that signings like these, although low-risk, make it hard for fans to take this team seriously in 2011. Why not go with the young guys, who admittedly won't do better, but will appear to be part of the gameplan for the future. The only way Melky/Frenchy signings work is if we flip them for prospects at the deadline.

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  5. Nathan - I never suggested an outfield of Blanco/Dyson/Maier. That would be an offensive abomination. Gordon will be fine in left and Francoeur will be Francoeur - he'll walk very little, strike out a lot, but hopefully hit some home runs in the process. The difference between him and Cabrera is there aren't any better options to play right field.

    Center field options include two guys with better career career on-base percentages, that of course is the single most important offensive statistic. Melky's .317 OBP last season was 43 points worse than Blanco's and 16 points worse than Maier's. And that's my whole point, there are two cheaper players better offensively and better defensively.

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  6. Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

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