Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hey, An Actual Shortstop

With the "Getting rid of Ramon so he won't be a problem once it's Matt Wieters' time to start" issue out of the way, the O's turned to their "Oh My God, Brandon Fahey is our starting shortstop" situation. Since Fahey is basically a replacement level player, pretty much anyone is an improvement.

That anyone turns out to be former Gold Glove winner Cesar Izturis, who was signed to a two-year, $6 M deal. Now Izturis isn't a Gold Glover anymore, but he is still an above average defender (call him +0.5 wins with the glove). That's what he was signed for, as he isn't going to provide much offense - I'd say a wOBA around .300 (.298 last year and the year before, with a .260/.299/.331 career line). A -2 win bat (full season) is pretty bad, but with the position adjustment (+0.75) that make Izturis a 1 WAR player (playing-time adjusted) which is worth about $4.9 M for one year or $7.5 M for two (with -0.5 wins for aging).

Izturis is a step up from last year's mess out there, and provides a decent stop-gap until a long-term replacement is found without precluding the team from getting that replacement (since it's not so hard to eat the $3 M for 2010, metaphorically speaking). Also, with Mora's poor defense at third, it'll be nice to have a plus defender on the left side of the infield. Personally, I would have preferred the team go with Adam Everett (as I did last year) who has a better glove and a worse bat. They're pretty much equally valuable players, but Everett signed for one year and $1 M (Tigers). At least the O's didn't try to outspend the Giants for Edgar Renteria.

No comments: