As I was sitting in bed yesterday, I had was mulling around something someone asked me about the other day. I thought I would share it with you. What are your thoughts on bringing in Coco Crisp via trade from the Red Sox to play centerfield? There is no doubting that Crisp can go out and get the ball in center. He came in ranked third in the Plus/Minus Leaders in CF courtesy of the 2008 Bill James Handbook, first in David Pinto’s Probabilistic Model of Range for centerfielders, first in Range Factor, and third in Zone Rating. He can also steal bases, averaging 25 over the past six seasons, which would add the speed that Lou Piniella is craving this offseason. At the same time, would Crisp really provide more in center with the bat than either Felix Pie or Sam Fuld can bring? Looking at the numbers, Crisp has a career batting average of .280, which is so so, and a career high OBP of just .345. That’s less than impressive, especially considering that was two years ago. Pie has struggled in the majors in his short career, but seems to have a higher ceiling than Crisp. Fuld, who came into the season last year a lot less talked about than either Pie or Crisp, has increased his stock dramatically with his performances last year and this offseason in the AFL. After winning the batting title in the fall league, I put him slightly ahead of Pie on the depth chart. That being said, would you rather see the Cubs make a run at a guy like Coco Crisp, or go into the year with Pie or Fuld in center full-time? If you know anything about me by now, you know where I stand. Let the kids from the system come through the system and play.
Word came in yesterday that Francisco Cordero, the second best bullpen arm on the open market this year is switching teams within the NL Central. Cordero, who spent last year with the Brewers has decided that the Reds are his best place of residence. It always amuses me when players go from a really good team, with a great amount of promise, to a team whose future isn’t quite as bright. The Brewers, in my mind, are the favorites coming into this season in the division. For Cordero, signing elsewhere tells me that winning isn’t as important to him as the money is. I’m all about making money and taking advantages of the opportunities that come your way, but it’s also quite fun to win, and even have a chance to make it to the World Series. For Cordero, that won’t be happening now any time soon.
I forgot to mention this one the other day, but the White Sox signed Scott Linebrink for four years and $19 million on Friday. For the White Sox, you had to figure on a move to improve the bullpen. They thought they did enough to address it last year with the additions of Andy Sisco and David Aardsma. While they both threw extremely hard, they had a tendency to close their eyes when they threw the ball and as a result, come nowhere near the plate. I kid, but both of these guys were terrible in their control last year and in blew up in Kenny Williams face all year. The Sox had the 28th ranked bullpen ERA in all of baseball last year at 5.47. It’s an area that they will probably continue to try to address, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a run at a guy like Octavio Dotel
This comes from Baseball America, which is one of my favorite sites. I only wish I could afford the subsription to go with it. It lists the updated draft order now that a few players have been signed via free agency.
1. Devil Rays
8. White Sox
17. Blue Jays
18. Mets (Tom Glavine, A, to Atl)
27. Twins (Torii Hunter, A, to LAA)
30. Red Sox
Supplemental First-Round Picks
31. Twins (Hunter)
32. Brewers (Franciso Cordero, A, to Cin)
33. Mets (Glavine)
34. Brewers (Scott Linebrink, A, to CWS)
35. Cubs (Jason Kendall, B, to Mil)
42. Brewers (Cordero to CIN)
43. Brewers (Linebrink to CWS)
69a. Braves (for failure to sign 2007 second-rounder Joshua Fields)
84a. Red Sox (for failure to sign 2007 second-rounder Hunter Morris)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
98. Phillies (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Brandon Workman)
99. Astros (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Derek Dietrich)
100. Padres (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Tommy Toledo)
101. Angels (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Matt Harvey)
Remaining Possible Compensation Free Agents (must be offered arbitration)
Atl: OF Andruw Jones (B), LHP Ron Mahay (B).
Bos: RHP Eric Gagne (B), RHP Mike Timlin (B).
Cle: OF Kenny Lofton (B).
Col: RHP Jorge Julio (B), C Yorvit Torrealba (B).
Det: LHP Kenny Rogers (B).
Hou: INF Mark Loretta (B), RHP Trever Miller (B).
KC: RHP David Riske (B).
LAD: OF Luis Gonzalez (B).
Mil: RHP Francisco Cordero (A), 2B/3B Tony Graffanino (B).
NYM: OF Shawn Green (B), C Paul LoDuca (B).
NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (A), 3B Alex Rodriguez (A), RHP Luis Vizcaino (B).
Oak: C Mike Piazza (B), OF Shannon Stewart (B).
Phi: RHP Freddy Garcia (B), 2B Tadahito Iguchi (A), OF Aaron Rowand (A).
StL: SS David Eckstein (B), RHP Troy Percival (B).
SD: C Michael Barrett (A), OF Milton Bradley (A), RHP Doug Brocail (B), OF Mike Cameron (B).
SF: OF Barry Bonds (A), 3B Pedro Feliz (B).
Sea: OF Jose Guillen (B).