See, I told you I would post baseball news not necessarily related to the Yankees. The Rangers signed second baseman Eric Young today. My first reaction was "ah, another barely average player to go along with the other barely average acquisitions. Here are the 2003 stats of the 4 players the Rangers signed this off-season (I don't have cumulative 3-year stats for them, but I will add them as soon as I can get my hands on them):
AVG OBP SLG OPS
Eric Young .251 .336 .392 .727
Brian Jordan .299 .372 .420 .791
David Dellucci .227 .313 .352 .665
Brad Fullmer .306 .387 .500 .887
A quick glance at them shows Dellucci was quite below average last year, but he was mostly a spot player and didn't get much playing time, so maybe he'll do better as more of a full-time player, right? Possibly, but from the Rangers' roster, it looks like Dellucci is going to have pretty much the same role next year as he did last year. And just for giggles, his 2002 numbers were .245/.326/.402/.727 in 400+ AB, so it's not like he was tearing it up when he did play more.
Eric Young is also looking pretty average, too, but at least he stole 28 bases (at a 70% success clip) for what it's worth.
Jordan's numbers looked average last year even though he had limited plate appearances due to injury. If you look at his 2002 numbers, they are roughly the same - it doesn't look like he's going to do much better than an OPS of the .780-.800 range, though away from Dodger Stadium his numbers were a more impressive .333/.424/.454/.878, so maybe the Rangers got a decent player. Of course, he still has to stay healthy.
Fullmer's numbers look pretty good, though only in limited plate appearances (206 AB). It doesn't look like he's ever going to recreate his 2000 season in Toronto.
Of course, all these numbers are moot when not comparing them to the players they are going to replace. Fullmer is going to replace Palmiero, who is on the slow downslide of his career. If Fullmer can stay healthy and get the ABs, I think that he'll be an adequate replacement for Palmiero, and at a much cheaper price. This signing looks like a plus.
Where is Eric Young going to play? He's gotta be a reserve, right? With an infield of Teixeira, Michael Young, ARod, and Blalock, where is he going to play? Of the two Youngs, the younger Young - Michael - HAS to get the starting job and as long as he's not going to go into a horrible tailspin, he should be the starter. Michael's LH/RH splits are about even, so there's no need for a platoon. Does anyone know where he's going to be playing?
Jordan is going to probably play RF, and with the Rangers trading Everett last year and losing JuanGone in the offseason, they were desperately in need of an outfielder. Is Jordan the answer? Well, if we look at Jordan as a replacement for the Spencers and Glanvilles and Sierras and Thames, then yes, this looks like a good move. It this acquisitions stunts the growth of the Nixes and other up-and-coming Rangers, then no, it's not a good move. But Jordan for one year doesn't look too bad as long as we always include the standard "if he's healthy" caveat.
And finally the Dellucci signing. This one really makes little sense to me. Can't they find someone out there in their minor leagues to do the things that they signed Dellucci for but much cheaper? The $750,000 doesn't seem like much, especially when compared to the chunk of change they are dropping on ARod and Park, but when you look at it as paying someone to take the place of a younger player that could possibly do better for cheaper, then it doesn't make much sense at all. Maybe if he was a spectacular fielder, he'd be worth signing, but as far as I could see, I don't see any proof of that. This signing looks like a dud - one of those "veteran presences" to help the less "experienced" players.
It looks like they had two decent signings and two not-so-good (i.e. bad) signings. At least that's what I'm seeing from where I'm sitting.
posted by shawn
: 1/05/2004 03:29:00 PM -