What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
It would be nice if Young could play 1st for 40% of the games with 10% at the other three infield positions, and maybe we could sign Thome to DH for the other half. Thome probably wouldn't be up for only 400 at bats, but maybe the Rangers could tack on another million to compensate him for that loss. To get Murphy in the lineup you just sit Borbon for at least a third of the games (250 at bats) with Hamilton in CF and you rest him at DH when Young plays the middle infield or the hot corner.
Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Thome, Cruz, Kinsler, Beltre, Torrealba, Borbon
Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Cruz, Kinsler, Beltre, Moreland, Torrealba, Borbon
Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Cruz, Kinsler, Beltre, Murphy, Torrealba, Moreland
Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Thome, Cruz, Kinsler, Beltre, Torrealba, Moreland (with Young or Moreland in left field)
We would still get the rest all around and Murphy's bat in the lineup if Wash was willing to put Hambone in CF instead of Borbon for one third of his games (and sit Borbon for that third). Also, we could get Thome in the lineup for half of the games with Young playing 1st maybe one third to 40% percent of the time with the other 10% of games in the middle infield and the hot corner (resting the 3 big Defensive guys). The good thing about this is that you get the benefits of Borbon in CF for two thirds of the games while getting Thome in the lineup at DH, and Murphy's bat for 250-300 at bats. In addition, the guys that have to pay are rookies, Moreland and Borbon who would play 50-65 percent of a 162 game schedule (not bad at all). And that would take the pressure off of them so that they could develop and perform at the plate. I REALLY think that Wash putting the pressure on Borbon last year to hold down CF and a full time job at the plate set him back. That could happen again and Borbon could become a Chris Davis type player, or a quadruple A player at the plate.
SO MANY OPTIONS OPTIONS OPTIONS with Michael Young taking one for the team
WHAT DO YOU THINK GUYS? DO WE GO AFTER THOME IN A SCENARIO LIKE THE ONE I'VE OUTLINED HERE?
I'm especially interested in what you think Joey. I am just trying to be realistic that Young is likely going to be in the lineup every game, regardless of whether that is the best thing on the field.
It seems like JD is set on getting a right handed hitting first baseman, but if Young could fill that role maybe it would be best to get the best hitter left on the market in Thome?
I wouldn't mind seeing Thome in our lineup, I just don't see it happening. I think with MY agreeing to move to DH/Utility the Rangers don't want to further diminish his role. If you sign Thome and promise him 300 ABs, a good amount of those will come from Mike. I think the Rangers will go in to the season with MY as the primary DH.
I suggested getting at bats for Thome not from Young but rather from Moreland (basically sit him 40% of games while Young plays 1st), and get Murphy's bat in the lineup while Thome DH's by taking at bats from Borbon with Hamilton in center 33% of games. What do you think about this scenario since you responded to a scenario I did not outline here? It seems realistic to me if Thome would agree to playing 80 to 90 games and potentially more in the event of injury or if Young proves himself as a viable backup option up the middle.
Young moving to DH is huge, but the thought that he plays ~15 games at every position seems high to me. I would love Thome's bat for 350-400 ABs at DH or off the bench, but he is going to ask for a good chunk of change and I'm not sure the Rangers lineup as is will have enough ABs to justify his asking price.
Would you rather have Thome with Moreland and Borbon giving up at bats and Young playing a lot of first, or a right handed bat that can also play the field at 1st I guess (Jermaine Dye?)? I think JD wants the right handed bat but Thome's numbers against righties are unbelievable.
Barring unforeseen shittiness on Young's transition to playing first I have no problem giving ABs to Thome otherwise designated for Mitch.
I would think that with Young's willingness to move he will play somewhere between 155-160 games in an injury free year. I would think that any games Beltre takes off at 3rd Young will play so lets say 6-7 of those games are at the hot corner. I would hope that Blanco would be Elvis' backup at SS, but I bet Mike plays 1-2 games at short this year. With the inevitable Kinsler injury always right around the corner MY could play about 15-20 games at second (hopefully this is high). This leaves 131 games to be split between 1B/DH. If it is a 50/50 split that leaves 60+ games for Mitch at DH.
If Thome were to be signed by the Rangers I think that almost all of those ABs would have to be taken from Mitch in order to justify Thome's signing. The MLB average for ABs/game is somewhere around 3.3 (I think) giving Thome 198 ABs + 25-30 pinch hit ABs leaves him well short of the 270 ABs that he had last year. The remedy to this would be to take games away from Mitch at first, but after taking away 15 games there it only leaves Mitch playing ~80 games (prior to logging any outfield time).
I'm not staunchly opposed to that, but I have a feeling that others would be. I'm not opposed signing Thome at all, but if, as I expect, Young plays 155-160 games Moreland's role will have to be greatly diminished.
Also my game distribution may suck feel free to punch me in the taint if I screwed up.
I am not sure that the Rangers would commit to taking that number of at bats away from their younger players before the season starts. IMO if this needs to be addressed it will be taken care of only if Moreland and Borbon get off to bad starts.
Basically we would need to get to at least 81 games to bring Thome in. If Michael Young plays first for 40% (65 G) of games and Mitch plays 1st for 60% (97 G) that leaves 16 games to make up for Thome. Those 16 could be easily made up at middle infield, and 3rd. You estimated about 25 games, and I would say in the absence of injury that it will likely not be more than 30 (and that is if Wash takes an aggressive approach toward resting the big three on Defense which I think he should). And even if Blanco backs up Elivis; 20-30 games at those three positions is still possible for Young. With that you are up to Young's 81 games playing defense. Moreland could possibly make up 10-15 starts in the outfield to minimize the loss of his bat assuming that it will be there like it was late last year.
The question is would Thome come to TX for 280- 320 at bats. Maybe not, but maybe he would be swayed by the fact we have a better chance at winning it all (I understand he doesn't have a ring), or maybe the Rangers would be willing to tack on a million or so for his loss of at bats.
The biggest problem with this is probably the fact that we don't know how bad Young will be at 1st, and committing to Thome is a risk because you are assuming that Young can play first. Also, it seems JD wants to bring in a right handed hitter that might play better against our southpaw loaded division as we have a lot of good left handed bats already. But it seems like Thome is a better bet for consistent production at least against righties than some of the other guys out there. I don't know who JD is thinking of, but considering Thome's numbers from last year he might be the better bet even though he can't play defense (is that right?) and is a left handed hitter. Its also possible that Thome is asking for 6-7 million and JD is trying to knock that down by talking a big game about bringing in a rightie who can play the field.
I also think its important to get Murphy's bat in the lineup, and maybe you could do this by sitting Borbon for 33% of games (55 G) while Hamilton plays CF.
The other thing you lose with this scenario is you can't rest Kinsler, Hamilton, and Cruz at DH with Thome and Young filling those spots. It seems this may be part of the reason why JD wants someone who can play the field, so he can add a bat who can be at 1st, DH, and play the outfield to rest injury prone guys at DH. Such a guy would give you even more versatility above what Young at DH/Infield Sub is already giving you. But the question is if you end up bringing in a less consistent bat than Thome's; is that offset by the fact that the other guy would be a rightie and able to play the field? Maybe JD is right and we need a rightie in the absence of a Young trade?
PS Of course all of this would be dependent on signing Beltre, a guy who is not yet locked up. Have you heard anything?
I think it makes all kinds of sense to take at bats away from Borbon and Moreland because it is often the pressure of holding down a full time spot at the plate that messes with a rookie's head and sets them back. This already happened with Borbon and could happen also with Moreland.
I agree it makes sense to have a backup plan on the team. I just don't think the Rangers will go that route. Also I don't think we can expect Thome to sign for less than 5-6 million. He hit 25 HR last year in under 400 AB and then he watched a guy like Berkman get a 1 yr 7 million deal. Expect Thome to demand a raise from last year.
For only a one year deal maybe we should give him his raise? Hell of a bat against righties.
Can Thome play 1st, that might help.?
Thome has a bad back and has played 4 games at first the last 4 years. That's not an option.
I'm starting to wonder whether this Beltre thing is really imminent. All day the word is close, close. close. Its obvoius Boras wants a 6th year and the Rangers won't go there. We really will see if Beltre's market has dried up or whether there could be mystery teams in on him.
If Thome's back is so bad he can't play 1st he shouldn't want more than 300 at bats anyways. He should come to TX if he has the chance simply to try get a ring and hit his 600th in a great place with a short porch. He shouldn't demand more than 4 million.
Maybe he shouldn't, but I have a feeling he will.
Well maybe the possibility of going to the World Series and the short porch could sway him. The right field in Minnesota is crazy far.
Why is there so much interest in bringing in Thome? For the left handed bat?
Because of his other-worldly numbers against right handed pitching last year, would just be another awesome bat and likely very consistent in that role as a DH compliment to Michael Young.
Joe,Much of your discussion here is based on MY playing some 1B. He can't play 3B, therefore he sure as hell can't play 1B where not only are there the same screaming line drives that he can't field now....but there are flips to the pitcher, a totally different double play, errant throws from infielders including high, short and wide, weird cut-off plays, pick-off plays and crazy foul territory catches that would be backward for a right handed fielder. A lifetime player WON'T learn that in a dozen weeks before the season starts and certainly CAN'T do it well enough to last.I do enjoy the forum efforts though...keep it up!
I'm glad you are so adamant about your opinion on the 1st base thing and MY. Is there ANY possibility that Mike Young could EVER learn 1st. I'm not saying he can, I'm just saying you seem a little extreme there.
I don't really understand your argument David, people get moved to first to prolong their careers all the time and can play the position just fine. I don't see MY winning any Gold Gloves at 1B, but I find it hard to imagine that he wouldn't at least be serviceable at the position to merit 60 games. Sure some people don't work out, a la the David Murphy experiment, but I don't foresee someone who has played the infield their entire career struggling with the move with ample time before the season starts.
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.