Posts Tagged ‘Aubrey Huff’

Hot Stove Breakdown Part 2

November 29th, 2010 by Johnny G | 1 Comment | Filed in Baseball, General

After another week in the off-season hot stove, we have two more major deals to breakdown. Victor Martinez gets a five year deal worth approximately $50 million to leave Boston for Detroit and Aubrey Huff receives a 2 year deal with a vesting option for a third season at $22 million.

Victor Martinez is a fine offensive catcher that would be an extremely valuable piece to a team if he had the ability to play even league average defense behind the plate, unfortunately he can‘t. This deal has two ways it could go, and both have major issues to them. The Tigers could force Martinez behind the plate and deal with his defensive shortcomings, which would cause major issues regarding production or they could use him to catch a couple of times a week while making him their 1b/DH when he’s not catching. I probably don’t have to explain to you why option one is an issue, but option two would seem fairly reasonable to most fans. The problem with making Victor Martinez your full-time 1B/DH is that it saps the entire value out of him as a player. Martinez is a tremendous offensive catcher but when you put him over at First Base, he’s a pretty mediocre type run-producer. He blends in with the rest and is somewhere in the middle of the pack as far as production for a first basemen is concerned. To put it into perspective, Martinez’ OPS when compared to first basemen around the league would have ranked 18th, just ahead of Jack Cust, who by the way is a candidate to be non-tendered by the A’s.

This is the second questionable move by Dave Dombrowski this off-season, as he already committed 3 years and 15+ million to a middle-reliever in Joaquin Benoit. The odds on Victor Martinez providing enough production to call this contract reasonable are rather slim, and at the rate Dombrowski is giving away contracts to aging veterans, I have serious concerns for the long-term future of the Detroit Tigers.

Aubrey Huff is reaping the benefits of a commonly made mistake by many GM’s in recent memory, over-paying for a player who got hot for you en route to a World Championship. Don’t get me wrong though, this deal is not a franchise set-back or anything of that nature, I just wouldn’t have made the move. Huff is a defensive liability at whatever position he is going to play and he’s a prime candidate for a regression. The overall length of this deal isn’t all that long and the money being exchanged isn’t eye popping but the Giant’s best hitting prospect in the minors, Brandon Belt, is a First Basemen. It makes you wonder about the long-term plans for Belt and Huff. If the plan is for Huff to spend a significant portion of time in the outfield, this deal is worse than expected.

As I was taking a break from my all-nighter of Craps in Atlantic City, I was having breakfast with a friend and the topic of off-season moves came up. It finally hit me, the entire free-agency period is full of over-paying aging veterans. That’s just the nature of the business and why building through the draft and your farm system is so important. I’m going to try to look at these deals in the context of the team’s particular situation and not just in a vacuum but I have trouble getting away from the “value” each player represents. Basically what I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to be the top bidder on a particular free agent, you probably are going to over-pay. Unless you’re going to pick guys up off the scrap heap as the Giants did last year with Huff, the free agent market is not the best tool to use for filling out your roster.

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NLCS Preview – Phillies vs. Giants

October 13th, 2010 by Johnny G | 11 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Doctober Continues

This series certainly is not short on storylines. Pat Burrell returns back to Philadelphia once again to face his former teammates in the NLCS, Aaron Rowand also returns, albeit in a bench role with the Giants, to face his former team. Rowand was one of the more important players in changing the culture of the Phillies clubhouse during his tenure in Philadelphia. His amazing catch in centerfield where he shattered his face will be burned in the memory of Philadelphia fan’s forever. Burrell, on the other hand, went out on top with a World Championship. After being released by the Tampa Bay Rays, Burrell has been rejuvenated by signing with his home town team. It will be interesting to see how he is received now that this is a meaningful playoff game.

As excited as all the fans in the area are to see this series, I think it is safe to say the hitters are not all that giddy. The amount of quality arms that will be taking the hill in this series is unimaginable. Of course nothing is official yet, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, the rotation below will be what the two teams go to war with.

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Game one seems to be one of the better match-ups in recent memory as Roy Halladay will take on Tim Lincecum. In Halladay’s first start of the this years playoffs and the first of his career, all he did was throw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. Lincecum threw a complete game shutout while striking out 14. The Phillies do have a good history against Matt Cain, whether that continues or not, we will find out. Oswalt has been spectacular since coming over to the Phillies and appears to be rejuvenated by the Pennant Race. In game three, the Phillies will have their hands full with Jonathon Sanchez. Last time the Phillies faced Sanchez, he took a shutout into the 9th inning and was lifted after a 1 out single. Cole Hamels was roughed up in his last meeting with the Giants, allowing 5 runs. It has not been determined whether Joe Blanton or Madison Bumgarner will even pitch in this series but going off of recent history, I am assuming both Bochy and Manuel will opt to use 4 starters in this series. Bumgarner is almost a side armed lefty that could give the Phillies some issues, as they have a plethora of left-handed hitters. Blanton has post-season experience and he has been very solid down the stretch for the Phillies.

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