An account of baseball in general and the Los Angeles Dodgers in particular.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Additional Second Base Notes
If Tony Womack had converted balls hit in play into hits at the same right he had over his career in 2004 (at age 34), his line would have been .282/.317/.360. Womack has had exactly one season in his career where his Rate at second base was over 90 (where 90 means that over 100 games you cost your team 10 runs versus the average second baseman). He's never had a season at shortstop where he played more than 6 games with a Rate better than 97. My optimistic side says he's worth about 10 runs over replacement offensively and 8 defensively, or a total of 2.0 wins above replacement. My pessimistic side says 6 runs on offense and 6 on defense, or 1.4 wins above replacement. $2 million for that is pretty silly since those figures require that he play nearly every day, meaning that the opportunity cost of bringing a free agent like Polanco or Kent on board pretty much negates the value of this deal. Think of it this way: The Yankees are paying Womack $750K/yr more than the Dodgers are paying Ledee for about a half a win per season extra in more than three times the playing time.
The Astros declined to offer Jeff Kent arbitration and have said they'll talk to Craig Biggio concerning whether he wants to return to second base. When Biggio last played second base, his age was showing and he wasn't very good defensively. Based on Chris Burke's success in New Orleans, I don't really see the need to "ease him in" as the Astros have discussed. Realistically, if I were the Astros I'd be looking to sign Beltran quickly if possible but move on if he's unrealistic and allocate that money toward acquiring a shortstop and catcher with Biggio moving back to centerfield where he was actually about average defensively and Jason Lane assuming a starting role.