Kelly Shoppach Thread, post by Sam Killay:
Ortiz, if he stays healthy, hits 40 HR easy. That’s not a slouch.
On Tek, they’ll certainly wait until the season is out. In Trot’s case, they made an exception to their usual contract policy, but that’s because he was an exceptional free agent: money wasn’t the issue with him.
With everyone else, I expect it will be. Wait: correction. Not so much with Pedro. He’s already indicated a willingness to be flexible (perhaps, I daresay, lenient) with the Sox in the FA process, or at least to give Boston preference over any other teams that might be interested in his services.
But Nomar? Yeah, we know it. And Lowe? Yes. And Tek? Yes.
“But Tek’s not like that!” comes the cry of the distraught (and slightly sentimental) Sox fan.
Yeah? Who’s he got for an agent?
Scott Boras. You know the name: Boras. Uh huh, that Scott Boras, that’s right, the guy representing ARod.
Same for Lowe.
Boras isn’t going to let us cheap it with those two. He’s got a reputation to keep up, after all. Two rules: he doesn’t negotiate early, meaning that all of his clients will become FA–i.e., on the open market–thus allowing for competitors to drive up the bid; and he doesn’t allow hometown discounts.
You’re thinking in stereotypes. Tek is a great hitter at catcher – why isn’t he a great hitter elsewhere? A good hitter is a good hitter – period. (At least, I’ve always thought so.)
Not at all, IMHO. Or, part yes, part no. And, since ARod moved to 3b, we’ve got the best example in the world right here on our own Red Sox, our own dearly beloved Nitwit Grouchy-aparra.
Look at his numbers from the last couple of years. Not bad. If he has similar numbers this season, in his contract negotiations he’ll be able to say quite truthfully, “I’m the best SS on the planet, and I should be paid accordingly.”
But if you look at the numbers for themselves, they’re not that great. .300, 25+, 100+. Good yes. And that’s where you’re right, a good hitter is a good hitter. But not great. Hell, you could find any number of outfielders or 1st basemen with a similar line. Not hard to find at all. And for a lot less money, too.
But Nomar doesn’t play OF or 1B. That makes him more valuable. Why? Because once we have Nomar, we can go out a run o’ the mill 1st baseman (like Millar), too, and thus boost our overall power.
Same goes for 2b. Boone, Kent, and Soriano are invaluable because, just by virtue of their hitting and the position they play, they make the whole team better.
Or look at it this way. If we get rid of Gripey-aparra, we have to replace his bat in our lineup. Not just his BA, now. That’d be easy. But his SLG too. And there are only 2 other SS’s who could fill his shoes, power for power.
Try it out for yourself, though: apply it as a strategy in your next fantasy draft. Make a point of snatching a powerhitting SS or 2B early and then waiting till the middle rounds to draft your 1b, 3b, and OF slots. You won’t get the huge names, but there’ll be guys like Reggie Sanders or Kevin Millar around who’ll surprise you with the pop they bring. A couple of those guys and a powerhitting SS, and you’ve got yourself a “class 1 offensive juggernaut in a bottle. Just add water!”