Hot Stove 2010: Options to fill LF
December 2, 2009 2 Comments
The offseason is all about choices, especially for a big market team like the Red Sox. What choices give you the best chance of winning, while preserving value and organizational depth? Filling a hole by getting the best available player now may not be the best move, because it could leave you hamstrung somewhere else. As a team with a number of needs this offseason, let’s take a look at some of the options to fill left-field and compare them.
With Jason Bay a free agent, the Sox have a gaping hole in left and in their lineup. The biggest names out there are Bay and Matt Holliday, but there are a number of corner OF types who are available on the free agent market or via trade. Between Holliday and Bay, the former seems like the clear choice, as he plays better defense and the Sox stand to gain a sandwich pick by signing him over Bay. But the Yankees could also be in the mix, and dealing with Scott Boras is never easy, as we learned from Teixeira-gate last year.
Matt Holliday (.303/.387/.505, .398 wOBA, +38.5 wRAA), average to plus defense, 6/100M + 1st round pick
Jason Bay (.263/.366/.490, .383 wOBA, +29.0 wRAA), poor defense, 5/75M
Johnny Damon (.280/.359/.456, .369 wOBA, +20.5 wRAA), weak defense, 2/20M?
Xavier Nady (.290/.350/.482, .369 wOBA, +18.4 wRAA), average defense, 2/18M?
Jermaine Dye (.265/.341/.475, .360 wOBA, +15.1 wRAA), poor defense, 1/5M
Marlon Byrd (.282/.344/.458., .356 wOBA, +11.9 wRAA), plus defense, 1/6M?
Adam Dunn (.258/.390/.507, .398 wOBA, +38.4 wRAA), terrible defense, 1/12M
Magglio Ordonez (.306/.374/.456, .370 wOBA, +19.3 wRAA), poor defense, 1/18M w/ vesting option
Josh Willingham (.260/.365/.474, .374 wOBA, +18.3 wRAA), weak defense, $5-6M arb3
Milton Bradley (.275/.389/.449, .377 wOBA, +18.1 wRAA), average defense, 2/21M
David DeJesus (.281/.352/.427, .346 wOBA, +8.0 wRAA), excellent defense, 1/4.7M w/ option
I’m not particularly a fan of this idea because it would stunt his development, but you could also sign a CF and move Jacoby Ellsbury to left field:
Mike Cameron (.246/.336/.443, .350 wOBA, +9.6 wRAA), excellent defense, 1/8M?
Coco Crisp (.253/.331/.385, .330 wOBA, -0.4 wRAA), excellent defense, 1/5M?
Curtis Granderson (.264/.340/.467, .361 wOBA, +17.6 wRAA), average defense, 3/24M w/ option
Juan Pierre (.296/.348/.376, .334 wOBA, +1.1 wRAA), average defense, 2/19M
Vernon Wells (.266/.320/.421, .333 wOBA, +0.9 wRAA), weak defense, 5/99M
[All numbers are my personal projections.]
Given the options, I like Holliday as Plan A, but failing that, I’d advocate trading for Willingham or Bradley as lower-cost ways of plugging the hole well until next year. Damon or Nady could make for a good third option, though Damon’s left-handed. Anything else means too much of a dropoff offensively or putting a REAL butcher in left field. Reuniting Willingham with Jeremy Hermida might be interesting; they were teammates with the Marlins a couple of years ago and could platoon.
As for the centerfield option, Cameron looks like the only possibility there and would make a good plan C. It’s been pointed out that Granderson is really a platoon guy, as he’s TERRIBLE against lefties. There’s always a chance that Wells gets it back together, but I don’t take that chance if I value my job as a GM.