Friday, November 05, 2004

Set Him Free

Tony Batista filed for Free Agency yesterday.

Good Riddance.

Yes, he hit 32 HRs, but he still stinks. I could rant, but I've already done that.

Baseball Prospectus says he's an excellent fielder, which doesn't suprise me--he was an underrated SS a few years ago. But, I don't think that offsets the offensive shortcomings.

Obviously Adrian Beltre would be the ideal option. But, that's not gonna happen. We have to set our sights a little lower. Other options... Troy Glaus (Injury prone, bad defense), Joe Randa (Old, mediocre), Cory Koskie (great defense, past his peak), Vinny Castilla (old, bad, expensive), Jose Hernandez (Old, underrated bc of his Ks), and my darkhorse candidate, Placido Polanco.

Polanco is a Gold Glove callibre secondbaseman. But he's played almost as many games at third as at second. He's a very underrated offensive player who bats around .300 gets on base around .345 and hits 15 HRs and 30 doubles. He's not a superstar by any means, but he can match the overall offensive production of Batista without giving up any of the defense. He could slide in as leadoff--or towards the top of the order--allowing Wilkerson to slide down to his natural middle-of-the-order spot.

On the downside, he's 28--we've likely seen his maximum performance--and he's missed a bunch of games over the last two years. Perhaps the wear and tear of second base was too much? Either way, he shouldn't cost too much. No, he's not a perfect solution, but with the list of stiffs and castoffs in the market now, he'd be a good solution for the next 2-3 years.

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