OK, lotta topics in my email this week. Definitely no shortage of things to talk about in next week’s mailbag. But one that keeps coming up, that perplexes me, is the apparent desire of a lot of Cardinals fans for the team to sign one of the available FA center fielders — Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter come up the most, but I’ve also heard Mike Cameron and occasionally Aaron Rowand.
I don’t see it.
The thing is, you’re not going to get any of those guys, except MAYBE Cameron, for only a year. And come 2009, center field should belong to Colby Rasmus, who will be very good and very cheap. Ankiel could be a fine choice in center for the coming years, too, and that’s all assuming that Edmonds gets moved to right or left this spring — which is not yet a certainty.
To get Jones or Hunter, you’re going to be committing multiple years and a lot of dollars. And in both cases, a great deal of the player’s value is locked up in his playing center field. Neither Jones nor Hunter, nor Cameron for that matter, has nearly as much value at a corner spot. So you’re committing resources to solve a problem that doesn’t really need to be solved. The problem that does need to be solved, aside from pitching, is bolstering the offense wherever possible.
Rowand is a little bit of a different case, but only if you believe his 2004 and 2007 offensive numbers are his real level. If the real Rowand is the guy from 2005 and 2006, then he’s another guy whose value comes primarily from being a decent hitter who plays good defense at a premium position.
I could see bringing in an impact guy at a corner spot. One guy who comes to mind is Bobby Abreu, who would be a fantastic No. 2 hitter. That’s especially true if they have to deal an outfielder for starting pitching. Adam Dunn would look really good in this lineup too, as a guy who gets on base and hits the ball out of the park. Another solution would be to look at the oft-rumored trade for Edgar Renteria, who would provide a significant bump in offense at the shortstop position.
But paying big dollars and especially multiple years for a CF, when you’ve got at least two CF options in-house, just doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s not the money — it’s the years.
-M, listening to the new Radiohead (I paid 5 GBP — anybody else get it today? What’d you decide to pay?)