Baseball Wiseguys

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

All the News That Fits

The Nationexpos 2005 infield is now set, after yesterday's signing of 3B Vinny Castilla and SS Cristian Guzman. Paired with Nick Johnson and Jose Vidro, the 'Spos will now turn their attention to getting an outfielder who can hit, and possibly some bullpen help. Castilla will be 37 next year and signed for two years, $6.2 million, while Guzman will be a full decade younger and is on board for four years, $16.8 million. Neither was probably going to be offered arbitration by their former clubs, so I believe the Expos will be giving up some draft picks...not the best thing to do with their farm system as barren as it is now. I'd have thought they'd try and draft and develop in an intelligent manner, so as to have some contributors arrive on the scene as the new park opens in a couple years.

Next year's PECOTA projections are not yet out, but I've done a (much) rougher approximation of it for these two players in this manner: average out the player's previous three years using a weighting of one part 2002, two parts 2003, and three parts 2004. For Castilla I only used his road stats and doubled them, to account for overinflated offensive stats coming from Coors Field.

Here we go...


AB H R HR RBI K BB OBP SLG OPS
Cas 02 574 138 58 14 72 74 28 .275 .352 .627
Cas 03 592 162 78 32 92 100 32 .312 .497 .809
Cas 04 568 124 76 42 102 120 42 .281 .493 .774
05 PROJ. 577 139 74 34 94 106 36 .290 .471 .761

Simply put, Castilla is an older, less defensively adept version of recently let go Tony Batista. He hits for power and drives in runs, but hardly ever walks. Not sure how thrilled I am about this one; the OBP and OPS numbers just don't seem acceptable for someone in a position that requires production, especially in the Expos lineup.


AB H R HR RBI K BB OBP SLG OPS
Guz 02 623 170 80 9 59 79 17 .292 .385 .677
Guz 03 534 143 78 3 53 79 30 .311 .365 .676
Guz 04 576 158 84 8 46 64 30 .309 .384 .693
05 PROJ. 570 155 81 7 51 72 28 .307 .378 .685

Guzman does not get on base often enough, doesn't steal once he's on base, and can't slug his way out of a paper bag. To be fair, he is a switch hitter, and posted the highest fielding percentage among AL shortstops this year. Ladies and gentlemen, the Senaxpos have just signed a perfect shortstop if they plan on playing in the 1970's. I don't understand this move- there are a ton of SS on the market this off-season, so why jump the gun and go grab this guy. Yes he's young and in his prime, but if his prime ain't gonna be that great, why not take a chance on a Nomar for a year, or make a real run at Renteria or Cabrera?

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