What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Beltre provides benefits to the Rangers that he would not provide to other teams because of circumstances. These circumstances have to do with the possibility of moving Michael Young to DH/Super Spot Starter and are listed below. In my opinion the benefits of signing Beltre lie not mainly in his ability with the glove or the bat (though those benefits are substantial), but rather with a complex of factors involving Michael Young's ability to play multiple positions, the Rangers offensive outfield depth, the Rangers greater need to rest injury prone producers such as Cruz and Hamilton, the Rangers lack of proven depth at 1st base, the Rangers desire to stop the Angels from getting Beltre, the Rangers need to eventually move Michael Young from 3B because of questions about his range on the hot corner, the Rangers need to do something productive with Young (minimizing the negatives associated with paying him 16 million for the next three years), and the Rangers need to keep Young's leadership while pleasing fans who are rightly committed to him as more than simply an on the field glove or bat. Also, it is in Michael Young's personal interest in the long run to learn 1st or left field as his next contract (with Texas or not) will be hindered by his lack of dominant defensive ability at any position, and his lack of power to hold down a traditional DH role.
1. Moving Michael Young to DH/Infield Sub would give the Rangers astounding flexibility with their lineup. Young could play 1st for 30 games or more depending on Moreland's performance, the middle infield for 20-25 games, and the hot corner for 10 games. Young's history as a team leader who moved to the areas of greatest need would culminate in his ability to benefit the team in this way.
2. The infield would be well rested without losing a continuity of excellent defense at third, short, and second. Think about Kinsler's injury last year and how even Elvis was tired after we clinched in 2010.
3. Keeping guys rested will stave off injuries not only in the infield. When Young plays in the field Murphy, Cruz, and Hamilton can alternate through at DH. This gives injury prone guys Cruz and Hamilton rest in addition to getting rest for the infield.
4. Think about Hamilton's knee last year as well as Cruz's hamstrings. Similar problems could easily arise. Think about Kinsler's ankle and other nagging injury issues. Having Young playing the field would keep these guys fresh and give them flexibility in the event of injury.
5. Not only does this scenario improve rest but it also improves defense because it enables Wash to put Borbon in CF and the 9 hole without losing Murphy's bat. Murphy could DH sometimes and play the field sometimes when Cruz and Hamilton DH for rest. If Young plays 65 or more games in the infield you are looking at getting Murphy 300 at bats, which is more than the max 150 that he would get with a traditional DH setup (assuming Borbon is able to hit). This bolsters offense, gives us more depth at the plate, and keeps everyone engaged.
6. You could go with one less infield utility with Young in the super sub role opening up roster room for a Thome type bat off the bench or an 8th arm in the bullpen. Or you could even mix it up while going with an 8th arm at times while favoring an extra bat at other times depending on circumstances.
7. You take pressure off Mitch Moreland while optimizing his offensive abilities giving him more time to develop both at the plate and on defense.
8. You get an awesome trio of defense at the most important infield positions. Can you imagine Beltre roaming around like a monster at 3rd, Elvis running like a gazelle, and Kinsler turning double plays. Oh my gosh, it would be a thing of beauty.
9. You get Beltre's bat in the lineup adding to your power core of Young, Hamilton, Cruz, Kinsler, Murphy (and even Moreland? he hit 9 homers in that short time), and perhaps Thome or similar for pinch hitting, DH'ing against tough lefties, or coming off the bench in the event of injury.
10. However, it is not only Beltre's bat that would improve offense because we all know that he will likely regress. We would get more production from Murphy, more production from Moreland if he doesn't feel the full weight of holding down 1st base, potentially more production arising from the rest that the whole team would get, and potentially greater production due to the possibility of staving off injuries to special hitters like Cruz, Hamilton, and Kinsler. Also, expect better numbers from guys like Young who would be getting more rest. I really think his grueling schedule last year effected his production.
11. You are engaging the entire roster. They would all be playing all the time except for maybe your one middle utility. I think it is hard for ignorant fans to understand how much of a difference this can make especially on long road trips. Guys who are playing and contributing are guys who are happy, and this in turn is going to lift the spirits of the entire clubhouse. Also, this fits with Wash philosophy about keeping guys engaged.
12. The defensive and offensive talent on the team would be optimized to the maximum while everyone is also resting. Further, guys like Murphy and Moreland could produce optimally while not being relied upon to carry the burden of a full time bat. Especially for Moreland I think this will help.
13. You solve the problem of having to eventually move Young from the hot corner in such a way that doesn't allow the problem to be ignored, but rather dealt with swiftly and decisively.
14. You assemble a team with so much offensive parity and depth that it would not be overly dependent on any one bat (save of course Hamilton's).
15. The flexibility and movement will keep guys fresh, sharp, engaged, and focused without sacrificing too much defensive continuity with your big three infielders. Baseball is not about who has the best team, its about who plays the best.
16. Having Young in such a versatile role would be like having all of the benefits of national league ball without any of the downsides in offensive production.
17. When the playoffs role around the Rangers will be well rested while other teams could be beat up with some of their best players down for the count.
18. The Angels, our main competitors, don't get Beltre and feel thwarted and demoralized by our new ownership situation that is willing to do what it takes to win.
19. There was a lot of talk about depth last year but mainly due to, for example, Murphy and Blanco stepping up when there were injuries. In this scenario we are talking about using our depth day in and day out, and not just when it is necessary due to injury. This is really maximizing defensive and offensive talent while keeping guys hungry and satisfied with what the contributions they are making.
20. If this happens perhaps one of the nicest benefits for BBTIA readers will be that I won't be able to belabor these points anymore. But really, I just don't see any other scenario that gives the Rangers more flexibility, diversity, and maximization of benefits. I know there are other benefits that I haven't thought with this scenario. When life gives you a difficult situation sometimes its good to make so freaking badass lemonade. Go Rangers!
Let me know what you think guys.
Uhhh - Joe, Have you thought about this, at all?
This is Scobby's response to this same long post in the other thread, see my response below.
The degree to which you have thought this out is really impressive. I would ask you a few questions, though.
1) If you brought in Thome, looking at 2010 #s, would he be a much better choice to DH 100 or more games against RHP than Young? Wouldn't that reduce Young to a $14m bit player? Wouldn't it be better to subsidize $3-4m and save $10m by trading him for a bag of balls and a pitching machine? Wouldn't it be better for Young to go to the NL and play every day than be a bench piece here?
2) Did Andres Blanco not show you enough last season to make you think that his combination of bat and glove would make him a better fill-in at 2B, 3B, and (I think clearly) SS than Young, who would be a defensive liability at those spots?
3) Can you really justify paying that much money to a bench player?
4) Do you really think Thome would sign to do little more than pinch hit, given a 1.000 plus OPS in 2010?
5) What would it do to team chemistry if Young ended up being out-hit by Moreland/Murphy and getting very little playing time?
1) Thome doesn't have the same flexibility that Young provides and thus brings less benefits in the scenario I've outlined. He's also an old man with a bad back. I do love that swing though, and the impressive numbers from last year. Do you think that the presence of Thome's bat would outweigh the benefits of moving Young to DH/Super Sub? I assume the answer is yes, and I disagree. Thus we are advancing two different scenarios. In your scenario you would sign Beltre and Thome for at least 3 or 4 hundred at bats, and trade Young. Others have talked about the problem with trading Young because no one will eat his salary. On top of all of the benefits my scenario provides it also gets substantial value for the 48 million we have to pay Young over the next three years. The very most we would be able to unload would be half of that (and that is unlikely). So we are going to sign Thome, Beltre, pay Young 8 million? Doesn't sound realistic. I think my scenario provides the best value and keeps you from having to pay Young, AND Beltre, AND Guerrero or Thome, AND you might have to pay an additional right handed bat. Who DH's from the right side? Maybe Cruz would be your best bet, but Murph and Hambone give you a lefty bat at DH against lefties (and if you move Hambone to right so Cruz can DH lefty Murph plays left). This doesn't solve the problem with having a lefty heavy lineup against a division chalk full of southpaws (some of whom pitch perfect games from time to time). And if we don't sign Thome I assume we sign Guerrero who would be even more expensive, and that would be on top of Beltre's and Young's 100 or 75 million over the next three years. In addition, not trading Young will let you avoid the clubhouse and PR hits you would inevitably take. I'm not sure you are taking full account of the effect of that stuff on the team. I just don't think trading Young is the best option when we have a way to arrange things to get substantial value from him on the field, in the clubhouse, and on the PR front. My emotional attachment to Young aside (I freely admit to this bias of mine), I think that an objective account makes a Young trade both unlikely and ill advised.
2) I think Blanco had flashes at the plate, but I don't think he could produce like Young can in the long run. As far as the glove goes it would only be as a sub so the impact would be lessened.
3) I'm not paying that much money to a bench player, and nor do I desire to.
4) You are right about this. He should probably get a lot of at bats, at least 400. In a different scenario you could make a great case for Thome. I'm not trying to pretend there aren't other scenarios that are very attractive, I'm just making the case for Michael Young as a DH/Super Sub. You could probably get a decent bat off the bench though (I didn't have my mind set on Thome). It seems maybe you and Joey want him for a DH against righties. I think the benefits of having Young at DH/Super Sub outweigh the presence of Thome's bat if not least because he's old and injury prone (at least that is what I understand).
5) This is a leading question. In my scenario Young would play at least 140 games.
Really enjoying the back and forth.
First, let me say that I'm not arguing against signing Beltre. I'm arguing FOR signing Beltre, and then moving Michael Young on to greener pastures.
So, here it is.
1) You seemed to be suggesting that Young would be the starting DH with Thome on the bench. All I'm saying here is that if you brought in Beltre to play 3B and Thome, then Thome would be the primary DH. If Young failed to beat out Moreland at 1B, then he's a bench player.
2) I think the primary problem with your scenario is the idea that Young would start 60 games across 2B, 3B, and SS. You like to point out that the defensive problems would be mitigated because it would be in a substitute's role, but for even 1 game, there is no way I would play Young at SS when I had Blanco around. I don't think the organizaton wound consider it, either. And, for me, the same would likely be true of 2B. I would want to see Young work out there in Spring Training, though.
Now, could Young be happy with 100 starts, 60 at DH vs LHP when Thome sits, and 20 each subbing for Beltre and Moreland? Maybe. If Young was strong defensively at 1B, maybe you could use Moreland some in RF as well to rest Cruz/Hammy.
However, I think you are wrong about what Young is worth in a trade. I think if you asked for nothing in return, you could possibly get someone to take on Young at the price of $10 mil/yr with the Rangers picking up the rest. And I think if you were only asking the other team to pick up $7-8mil, you could get a C+ prospect back in the deal.
Now, if you were bringing in Beltre and Thome, wouldn't it be a better use of the Rangers' money to save $7-10 mil/yr and give it to a Pavano (3/$30) or a Soriano (4/$32)?
I think if you doubt Young's ability at 2B and SS, it's hard to generate enough ABs in a Beltre/Thome environment to justify not trading him.
As for Thome, I admit to being in love with the idea of bringing him in. He would probably cost no more than $3-4 mil/ 1 year. And he stil destroys RHP, which is almost 3/4 of the ABs the team will face in a season. I think he would offer so much more than Vlad did last season, even as a 100-game a year guy. The effect he would have, hitting in the 5 hole, on the quality of pitch Nellie Cruz sees (I'm assuming he hits 4th next year) would be enormous.
RHP would see a Rangers lineup (in my scenario) that looks like this:
Andrus (R)Moreland (L) (I think he's an ideal #2 hitter)Hamilton (L)Cruz (R)Thome (L)Kinsler (R)Beltre (R)Torrealba (R)Borbon (L)
That's a deadly lineup- the kind that wins 100 games if it gets pitching. And 4 lefties is rough on RHP.
IBonus: watching Thome chase his 600th career HR would be a fun sidebar for the season. He's currently sitting on 589, I think. Watching it during a winning season would be 10 times as much fun as watching Sammy Sosa's chase during a meaningless season.
I never said that you didn't want to sign Beltre. I don't know where you got this idea. I know you wanted to sign him, and trade Young. Are you making shit up man? I've seen others complain that you said they said something that they didn't say. Its very very annoying. Maybe you are doing it on purpose or maybe you have a concentration problem. I don't mean any disrespect, but I do wish that you would be more accurate in your rendering of what others say. I did also enjoy our exchange today.
Also, I NEVER SAID THAT YOUNG SHOULD PLAY 60 GAMES AT SS, 2B, & 3B. I said he could play 30 at 1B, 20-25 at SS and 2B, and 10 on the hot corner.
As far as the rest of your comments go they seem to be repeats of our previous exchange so I will sit on my previous response.
1. outfield....cruz, hamilton, murphy2. infield......young first base, kinsler, andrus, beltre
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