The Greatest Game

Thursday, December 30, 2004

New Middle Infielders for the Cards 

Well, it looks like it's done. The Cards are signing Roberto Alomar to play 2B to finish their "retooled" infield. Earlier, they signed David Eckstein to play SS after Edgar Renteria signed with the Red Sox for a LOT of money. Let's take a look at what these guys did for their respective teams last year.

Out with the old
Renteria: OPS .728 (3-year OPS ~.800)
Womack: OPS .735 (3-year OPS ~.700)

In with the new
Eckstein: OPS .671 (3-year OPS ~.690)
Alomar: OPS .855 (110 AB) (3-year OPS ~.700)

Those 3 year OPSs are very rough estimates, and, remember, Alomar had significantly fewer ABs than the other 3 guys. Let's take a slightly different look at these players:

Renteria: 4yr/$40M
Womack: 2yr/$4M

Eckstein: 3yr/$10.35M
Alomar: 1yr/$0.5M

That's a BIG difference. So, for a big savings in $$$, the Cards are sacrificing a bit on the offense. And, from word on the grapevine, Alomar's back has been giving him some trouble in the Winter League, but assuming he passes the physical, he still hasn't played a full season in several years. Assuming he does, he'll be a good bargain for $500,000. Of course that's what we said about the D'Backs signing him last year, and they only got 110 AB out of him.

Let's take a look at fielding. Now, fielding is a rough stat to try and compare, as we all know. There are so many ratings in so many different places, but let's take a look at Rate2. The first number is career, the second number is for 2004.

Renteria: 97/92
Womack: 95/89

Eckstein: 100/99
Alomar: 101/90*

The Renteria numbers surprised me a bit. I knew he was overrated, but 97/92 is pretty bad, though not as bad as Womack's numbers, which were totally expected. Alomar has an asterik because he split his time between two teams, so I just estimated what his Rate2 was from the two numbers. He has clearly fallen on hard times - he's had a Rate2 below 100 in the past 3 seasons. Before that, he had 7 out of 8 seasons above 100. Overall, it looks like (again, assuming Alomar is healthy) the Cardinals picked up a little defense up the middle.

Include in all this, the pickup of Muldar from the A's, and the Cards have had a nice little offseason. The starting pitching isn't solid all the way to the #5, but I have confidence that they'll get it all ironed out by the start of the season. With their core of superstars, they filled in some of the other spots with cheap and/or decent players. Alomar may be a big bargain if he's healthy (big if), and Eckstein is one of those "spunky," "hard-working," "dirty-uniform" players that "everyone loves to have around." If Alomar gets injured, they can just stick Bo Hart or Hector Luna in and probably get decent enough production out of them.
# posted by shawn : 12/30/2004 07:33:00 PM -
hi shawn!!!

alomar was healthy with mets and white sox and sucked with both bat and glove the minute he left cleveland. i never read anything anywhere about him injured and i don't know why he lost it so suddenly. but whatever, he's been below league average since he left cleveland. i'm not gonna bet even 5 cents that he's anything like the old sure fire gonna be HOF guy he usta be...

lisa gray
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