Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back in business

The problems with the site seem to be fixed, though my latest help email has not been returned. I'll take that trade. Back to baseball...

Jason Giambi to the A's. It's hard to pass up a bat like this for only 4.5 million. His projection as a poor fielder is worth almost twice that. He's not going to improve the A's all that much though, as one way or another a young player with league average offense but good defense will be forced to the bench or minors. I'm not sure if the odd man out is Travis Buck or Daric Barton, but you can't DH both Giambi and Cust. Once a few more of the major free agents sign, I'll update team defenses and rerun the pitcher projections. The A's pitchers will take an ERA hit - this team looks more like the 97-99 team than the recent pitching & defense A's.

The Red Sox get John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli. Smoltz is 42, not likely to pitch before June, and coming off shoulder surgery so there is a bit of RISK here. Baldelli is a wild card. He's a damn good all around player when he can play. But how much can he play? If he was able to play everyday I think he'd want to go to a team that had room for him to do so.

Tampa Bay was a good situation for him because they let him play when he was able, and had depth to cover when he was not. If his health is shaky, he's not a good caddy for JD Drew. If Drew went down for a month or two, Baldelli is not the guy who can step in and play every day. Could Baldelli play twice a week against lefties? Maybe, but remember Tampa played to Rocco's schedule, he wasn't necessarily available when they needed him. That he didn't start game one of the WS against Cole Hamels makes me wonder if a straight platoon might be a problem - other teams are not going to have their lefthander skip a start until Rocco is ready to play.

And the all-time saves leader signs with the Brewers. The projection thinks he's a bit overpaid at 6 million, but my personal take is the Brewers will be happy with the signing. He's not elite anymore but I think Hoffman can get through another year of reliably pitching the 9th inning. And the Brewer fan expectations have to be set pretty low after the last couple of closers they had.