Hot Stove Notes: Anderson Would Be Terrible Fit For Dodgers
There was a bit of action in the baseball world today. Here is my quick take on some of the latest Hot Stove tidbits.
Dodgers crazy if interested in Anderson: The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a rather quiet offseason. Outside of locking up a few of their core arbitration-eligible players and adding utility infielder Jamey Carroll and Vicente Padilla via free agency, Ned Colletti has not been too busy. Many suspect that the ongoing McCourt divorce has limited their ability to spend, going back to their ridiculous decision to not offer Randy Wolf arbitration. Well, apparently the team is not done yet, after all. According to a tweet from Yahoo’s Tim Brown, Los Angeles has expressed interest in free agent veteran Garrett Anderson as a fourth outfielder.
That is, to put it nicely, nuts. Anderson has generally been overrated throughout his career due to his ability to post a near .300 average while racking up impressive hits totals. His inability to get on base via the walk (4.7 career BB%), however, has limited his offensive value, especially given his declining power. Now 38, he is two year’s removed from his last productive season and has posted a sub-average OPS+ in four of the past six seasons. As the primary left fielder for the Atlanta Braves in 2009, he “hit” .268/.303/.401, racking up a putrid 86 OPS+. His days of being a productive offensive player, it seems, have passed.
More concerning, though, a good fourth outfielder can play all three spots effectively in a pinch; or at the least, both corners. Indeed, defense should be a major consideration when pursuing a primary extra outfielder. Anderson, however, cannot play the field anymore, either. In ’09, he cost the Braves 11.9 runs below an average fielder with his shoddy defense. And, while he was productive in the outfield during his final season with the Los Angeles Angels (10.0 UZR), this is where you trust your scouts. Most scouts felt that he lost a step by watching him, and even with a slight improvement, his glove will never again be an asset.
Anderson was truly a nightmare during his one year with Atlanta, posting –1.0 Wins Above Replacement. So, I would strongly advise the Dodgers to stay away and go after a fourth outfielder who can do things like, say, getting on base and fielding well.
Brewers add Edmonds: Well, the Jim Edmonds comeback tour officially has a start date. Edmonds, who announced his willingness to play for the league minimum at St. Louis Cardinals fan fest a few weeks back, signed with the Milwaukee Brewers today, according to Ken Rosenthal. As Dave Cameron discussed this morning, targeting old, over-the-hill players might be the newest market inefficiency. I am not sure bringing Edmonds back is exploiting anything, but it was an interesting move, nonetheless. He was quite productive with the Chicago Cubs in ’08, batting .256/.369/.568 with 19 homers and a 134 OPS+ in 298 plate appearances following a dismal start with the San Diego Padres. After that finish, it seemed likely that he would find another gig but he generated a mild response. Thus, Edmonds is a total Wild Card. He should still be able to hit righties well, but his defense was awful back two years ago, and counting on him to replicate his hitting with the Cubs is a trap. He is a 0.5-win player, at best, but in the right role could help Milwaukee a bit. With limited risk, the question is this: why not? At this rate, he appears to be just going down the line of NL Central teams, doesn’t it? Get ready, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Rays sign former number one pick Bush: I have to say. There is always a place for talent. Matt Bush was a terrible overdraft for the Padres in 2004 (how you feeling not selecting Stephen Drew?), and arguably a bigger number one overall pick bust than Greg Oden/Sam Bowie. He toiled around in the minors as a shortstop with poor plate discipline, making the headlines more for his off-field behavior than on-field performance. Converted to a pitcher, the results have still yet to come. He still has a live arm, though, from his days as a two-way star in high school.
The Tampa Bay Rays, then, were right to take a shot in signing him today. There is limited downside, really. If Bush struggles or gets in trouble with the law again, the Rays can simply release him. Talent never goes out of style, so perhaps the kid can finally make it work, though it admittedly remains a long shot.
Royals express interest in Bedard: Dayton Moore has continued to amaze with his awful decision-making. That Jason Kendall contract was beyond defensible, and, while the Rick Ankiel move was okay, Moore has continued to prove that the fans should not “trust the process.” Making a run at Erik Bedard, though, could be worthwhile for the club, and, according to Sam Mellinger, is a real possibility. Bedard is injury prone, of course, but he was quite effective for the Mariners when healthy. Bedard registered a 154 ERA+ and struck out 90 in 83.0 innings pitched in ’09. While he has been limited to just 30 starts the past two seasons, he could be a great pickup for a team looking to take a chance. He will be motivated, too, since he can reenter the market next winter if he puts up a productive campaign.
I was not crazy about the Ben Sheets signing for Oakland. Sheets was worth the risk for a win-now team, which the A’s are not. Even if the team hopes to trade him for prospects, that is no sure thing since pitchers on the DL generally do not fetch much in prospects these days. So, in order to make sense for Kansas City, Bedard will have to come at a considerably lower price than that. I think he probably will. The other team most often linked to Bedard is his former employer, the Baltimore Orioles. Imagine if he ends back with the Orioles, which would make that ridiculous trade with the Mariners even more comical. The club would get to keep its incredible return—and their third baseman of the future, Josh Bell, who was acquired when the front office flipped George Sherrill—and get back the guy they sent to the Mariners in the first place.
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