Miguel Cabrera is a great hitter, one of the best in the game. But what is he worth? I would not part with Hughes or Joba. Sorry. No way. It could be because I personally value an ace, even a potential ace more so than a great position player. Especially since that position player will command a ridiculous, and high-risk contract once he hits the market, unless of course one can be reached beforehand. I would however part with Ian Kennedy to acquire him. Kennedy may be good, but a team must give up something to get a player like Cabrera. And it is pretty clear that the Marlins want in return, a center fielder, and a cheap pitcher(s) with an optimistic future. And 55 pounds of weight gain can be viewed as too much partying, but during this period of time can cause for suspicion also (just a theory, not actually accusing anyone). I wouldn’t count anything out if I were a GM after all that has gone on behind the scenes.
The Gold Gloves were announced yesterday, the best time of the year! Not quite, but I do take interest in them. Maybe I am speaking from the heart here, maybe not, but Coco Crisp was a great defensive CF this season. And while maybe a few others could have taken home the award, and did, Coco probably should have won over Grady Sizemore. Coco’s "Zone Rating" was significantly better than Grady’s and many of the experts agree as well. I know that the experts simply produce opinions, but some of the ones that I listen to at least put a lot of time into analyzing defensive value/production. For example, Rob Neyer, who I may disagree with sometimes, but who seems to represent many knowledgeable "experts" in his writing, explained in his blog. "That it isn’t about how a player finishes necessarily, it is also how they start their route." And I have thought about this before and totally agree with this. A player such as Sizemore may finish the play with a leaping grab, but that leaping grab may come as a result of him initially taking a poor route to the ball. And from the research that some of these experts have done, I think it is safe to say that Coco takes better paths to most putouts than that of Sizemore.
I wonder if GM’s are going to value Andruw Jones’ Gold Glove victory more so than his miserable offensive season. This is the fact, Jones can still play the position and should bring a better bat than he had last season. But he isn’t worth a giant $18 million a year contract. Maybe if I were the Angels and I had an opening, because taking a chance on a player such as Jones may put them over the top. And they need a bat, that is obvious. But I would be very hesitant to overpay Jones, or Hunter, or whatever other free agent is on this year’s extravagant market.
Which is why I very much like the position the Red Sox are in. It is actually a little too comforting. I keep thinking to myself that it is too be good to be true and that something is going to go wrong. They are truly flexing their financial muscles in every way imaginable: Six capable starters + Julian Tavarez as insurance, all starting positions filled with legit players (assuming Lowell will re-sign), a good bullpen with farm help on the way. An upgrade at backup catcher would be the biggest concern, to me, if Lowell is in fact retained, which looks to be occuring. The bench may need a few pieces, but I am almost overly confident going into the season, and I don’t know if I like every aspect of that. It is just easier in this game with a large payroll.