Sunday, December 14, 2008

The third base solution

Third base. The Giants. Not exactly a match made in heaven these days. The so called plan is to give the job to Pablo Sandoval next year. Just like the plan was to give Shortstop to Emmanuel Burriss next year, only to change when Edgar Renteria was signed. So, is Pablo Sandoval the answer? I would like to dream yes, but I'm afraid it may only be a dream. Sandoval was a catcher until the end of last season, not that he can't make the move but that's a lot to plan on in only a few short months. I'm certain Brian Sabean has examined all options over the last few years and come up short. That was until yesterday, when the Astros cut ties with Ty Wiggington. So where are we and what are all our options?

-Ryan Zimmerman- #1 choice. Could be had for Matt Cain. Would be long term solution.I think worth the price. If Teixeria signs there, they need to clear cap space. Would Sabean do it?
-Adrian Beltre- 1 year left, would cost Sanchez+, possibly bring back 2 draft picks. Good offense and defense. Not long term solution. Doesn't fit the plan.
-Rich Aurilia-Adequate backup and platoon. Most likely to happen. Not much power anymore.
-Joe Crede-Ailing back still, probably a 1 year incentive laden deal. Not worth it. Not long term solution. Offense seems to have deteriorated
-Edwin Encarnacion- Nicknamed E5 for a reason.No defense.Not worth the price in trade even though some pop in bat. Will eventually be moved to outfield or 1B. Not long term solution.
-Hank Blaylock-No longer a adequate at 3B, needs immediate move to 1B. Not long term solution. Not worth any price in trade.
-Jorge Cantu-Decent pop but his career is very inconsistent. Will he regress. Steep price. Stay away unless the price drastically drops. Probably not a long term guy but could buy 2-3 years.
-Dallas McPherson- Could have had for money last season, probably going to cost a bit now in trade. Untested at MLB level still.
-Chris Davis-Good long term option. Would be worth a Sanchez + deal but not Cain. Question is, can he be had? Rangers undoubtedly aren't excited at giving him up so deal could be very costly
-Juan Uribe- Not really a third baseman, kinda reminds me of Castillo last year.
-Nomar Garciapara- No, sorry Nomar
-Garrett Atkins- His road splits are horrendous. Colorado is asking for a lot,especially intradivision.
-Mike Lowell- To much money and time on his deal to even consider, unless the Red Sox throw in a lot of cash AND take Dave Roberts off our hands. Not going to happen.

So where does this leave us?

Ty Wiggington- can probably be had on a 1-2 year deal for 6-8 million. Not bad. Decent but not great defense. OK, but can he hit? Lets compare his 2008 lines to those 3B above who are realistic options. We'll start with age, Games,2B, HR, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS+
Wiggington- 31/111/22/23/58/.285/.350/.526/128
Zimmerman- 24/106/24/14/51/.283/.333/.442/101
Beltre- 29/143/29/25/77/.266/.327/.457/109
Crede- 30/97/18/17/55/.248/.314/.460/98
Aurilia- 37/140/21/10/52/.283/.332/.413/93
Encarnacion- 25/146/29/26/68/.251/.340/.466/106
Blaylock- 28/65/19/12/38/.287/.338/.508/121
Cantu- 26/155/41/29/95/.277/.327/.481/110
Career-162 game average
Wiggington- 34/23/79/.270/.330/.460.105
Zimmerman- 45/21/94/.282/.341/.462/110
Beltre- 33/25/89/.271/.327/.459/107
Crede- 29/25/86/.257/.306/.447/93
Aurilia- 30/19/75/.277/.330/.437/100
Encarnacion- 35/23/85/.266/.346/.455/103
Blaylock- 36/26/97/.274/.337/.465/104
Cantu- 40/23/96/.275/.317/.460/102

In a game where statistics are everything, the ones above don't lie. Ty Wiggington had the best 2008, although it was close. Outside of trading for Ryan Zimmerman, who in my estimation is worth Matt Cain, Wiggington would be the best pickup we could make. It would only cost money, probably a short contract to help build his value back up, and we could keep all our trading chips for later on. Career wise, if you look closely, they are better than everyone currently on the Giants roster (Bengie Molina 2008-145/33/16/95/.292/.322/.445/98) The addition of Wiggington would allow the move of Sandoval to first base and drastically improve the offense.


Racer X said...

Hey bro', I got news for you: the San Francisco Giants haven't even won a series in your dad's lifetime. They've never won the series, period.

Jim Ellis said...

Good catch Racer X, a freudian slip I guess, but an error indeed. I'll make the change...

Anonymous said...

Wiggington had a strange year in 2008. He had 12 hrs and 26 rbi's in August. The rest of the year he had 11 hrs and 32 rbi's.

Over the past 5 years, his HR and RBI totals are:

2007: 22, 67
2006: 24, 79
2005: injured most of year
2004: 17, 66
2003: 11, 71

I seem to recall that Bill James found that a players best year occurs between the ages of 28-32, so Wiggington may continue his pattern of 20 hr and 70 rbis for 2009. (Isn't that Pedro Feliz did his last two years with the Giants.)