Friday, October 31, 2008

Free Agent Hitters, part 3

There's one infielder out there who might make sense, and that is Joe Crede. I haven't been enthusiastic in the past about Crede trade rumors, but his glove is legit and I've come around on him, in case the Angels trade Chone Figgins or move him to left field.

Joe is a -3 hitter, a guy with some power but a poor OBP. His fielding projection is +10, and that may be conservative. Over the last 3 years his +/- (John Dewan's numbers found on BillJamesonline) are +13, +10, and +30. That glove makes Joe a 15 million player if he were able to play 150 games, similar to Adrian Beltre. But he's got a bad back, and is a serious injury risk, cutting his value to about 10 million.

On second thought, Crede would not make sense since we have Brandon Wood to provide similar high power, low OBP, and good glove at 3B. Crede's overall projection vs replacement level is +30, Wood is +18 (-6 bat, +1 glove). Wood is younger, has room to improve, healthier, and cheaper. We've also got tremendous minor league depth at the position if Wood fails, in Sean Rodriguez, Matt Brown, and Freddy Sandoval, who all hit well at AAA last season.

Yeah, last thing we need is another 3rd baseman, but Crede's a good player and it won't be a step backwards if we sign him.

Finally, there are 2 more LF/DH types to mention.

Our franchise leader in most categories, Garret Anderson, did not have his option picked up but could be resigned for less money. Anderson projects to hit 272/319/425, about what he did last year. That is 5 runs below average, and he's 3 more below average in left. That production is barely above replacement level, worth about 2.5 million. I hate to say it, but Gary Matthews Jr. would be a better option in left (257/337/406 for -2 hitting, +4 defense). Matthews is a sunk cost anyway. We have to pay him, so we might as well play him if the alternative is signing an inferior player. But it would be nice to sign a better player (like Bradley).

Then there's Ken Griffey Jr. He doesn't have much left, +2 hitting (242/345/416) and -15 fielding (better off as DH). He's worth no more than 3 million, but the Angels have better options already on the team.


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