Sox Sign Petagine

Courtesy of Sons of Sam Horn, I bring you all the information you ever wanted to know about the signing of Roberto Petagine (one year, non-guaranteed, $750,000 I have heard, and brought in to compete for a bench job):

Here is a breif run through of Petagine in 3 year chunks (all numbers are park and league translated)….
Year——–Level———Age——AVG—OBP—SLG
96-98—mostly-AAA—-25-27—-280—384—507
99-01——Japan——–28-30—-288—385—484
02-04——Japan——–31-33—-284—374—480
In his prime he was wasting away in triple A, just KILLING people, you have to ask ‘why the hell isn’t he playing?’ Then he moved to Japan and did exactly what you would expect, dominate. He’ll be 34 in 2005 but and he has missed some time each of the last 2 sesaons. However, we should expect an 850 OPS if he plays. If he is brought in he will be considered compition for Millars starting job, not compition with Youk for back up.
He would be a REALLY nice signing, giving us the freedom to send Millar to the O’s if we wanted, and at worst an excellent back up. That said, He is one of the best players in Japan. Is he a FA? Did he decide to take less money to win a WS?
Another interesting fact is that he is a lefty. He could end up in platoon with Millar or Youk if Millar is traded. If possible my ideal senario would by to Sign Pentagine for 2 years 2 million per (or something like that) than trade Miller for some B/B- prospect and go with a Pent/Youk platoon. Youk playing against lefties and when guys like Wells because of the increased need for D. Essentially it would being the same thing you would have done if you kept both Minky and Millar, except you would have 2 extra prospects 4 million extra dollars, and better overall players. Of course thats all a pipe dream at this point, as I am fairly suspicious of the sox ability to sign Pentagine.

It’s not a guaranteed deal, but the 33-year-old Petagine should serve as a backup first baseman, designated hitter and left fielder for Boston. Expect a .270-.280 average with good power. He should be one of the game’s best reserves. (Rotoworld)

Looks like Petagine won the 2001 Central League MVP award. Matsui won the 2000 Central League MVP award, and didn’t come to the US until 2003.
So is it true that our backup first baseman, who we are paying less than a million for no matter how good he might be, beat out the famed, highly paid Matsui for the MVP award head-to-head in their league 4 years ago?
That’s pretty sweet.

I feel compelled to add here that Petagine’s 28-year old season in Japan was better than Matsui’s 28-year old season in Japan. Just to let you know.

“I can hit the ball out, but I’m never going to hit 50 home runs,” said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Petagine, who lifts weights after every home game at Harbor Park. “A good season for me is 20 to 25 home runs. But hitting home runs is not the only part of the game.
“I’ve talked to a lot of hitting instructors and they all say the same thing: It’s not in the muscle mass, it’s in the quickness of the bat. I just lift weights so I don’t lose weight. It’s a long season and weight can fall off you quickly if you’re not careful.”
“He’s more of a Mark Grace-type of first baseman,” Mets general manager Joe McIlvaine said. “He has to hit .300 and be a flawless type of fielder. He obviously put a little too much pressure on himself (while with New York last month).
“He’s a good hitter. We know he’s a good hitter. We’d tried to trade for him before we got him this time. But he was swinging from his heels (while with the Mets). Roberto has to use all of the field to be successful. He wasn’t doing that in New York.”
Tides manager Bobby Valentine said the momentary swing flaw wasn’t all that conspired against Petagine, who hit .148 during his brief stay with the Mets. Scheduling didn’t help, either.
“He faced the Dodgers and the Braves staffs back-to-back,” Valentine said. “He hit as well as anybody on that team did for that week.” (Virginian Pilot, when Petagine was in the minors)

In Japan, he hit .317 with 223 homers and 594 RBI in 756 games.
Petagine, 33, is a left-handed hitter and an excellent defensive first baseman who will try to take the place of Doug Mientkiewicz, recently traded to the Mets. (ESPN)

It looks like Petagine is a solid defender with good power, comes cheap, and he can also play left-field (albeit not so very well). The only drawback I have heard is that his legs are pretty much gone, so you could compare him to 2004 Ellis Burks. Also, his wife complained in Japan when Petagine sat for a couple of weeks. I’m sure that won’t be a problem here because he is aware he won’t start. Like another high-risk, high-reward signing for Theo.
On Friday, the Jon Papelbon interview runs. See you then!