In scanning the transactions log (yep, I do that), here are some moves I didn’t see featured elsewhere. And, yes, I tend to focus on the negative, the irrational. Bruce Chen, Pedro Feliz and Bobby Crosby – all snatched up by poorly performing teams. Coincidence?
12/11/09 – Royals sign free agent RP Bruce Chen
1-6 record last year, with a 5.78 ERA and 1.588 WHIP. 36 wins and 10 teams over 11 years. Perhaps the Royals know something that his team last year didn’t. Maybe at age 33 he’s about to bloom. Wait, he was on the Royals last year. At least Zach Greinke knows that he has Joakim Soria for the ninth and that he doesn’t have to pitch all nine innings each game for a win.
12/10/09 – Astros sign 3B Pedro Feliz
I love the headline ESPN gave this news item: “Feliz expected to start for Astros.” Well, I would hope so, after the Houston gave him $4.5M for one year. The problem with this signing isn’t so much the money (they could have done far worse) – it’s that Feliz just doesn’t offer that much value. He can field, but he sure can’t hit. Feliz has a career OPS+ of 83, and after posting 79, 80, 81 and 81 the last four years, he’s not going to get any better. And he hit worse on the road than in Philly last year (.258/.302/.356 versus .273/.315/.418). Ivan Rodriguez, Kazuo Matsui, Miguel Tejada, Jason Michaels, Darin Erstad… the player acquisition wins keep on coming for Houston.
12/10/09 – Red Sox acquire SP Boof Bonser from the Twins for future considerations
I always pay a little extra attention when a big-market team buys a small market team’s trash. Do they know something? Maybe we’ll see Bonser as a situational reliever next year. In 871 plate appearances against right-handed hitters, Bonser has allowed a line of .247/.296/.404, compared to .316/.375/.516 against lefties. He also had a 9.3 K/9 ratio in 886.2 minor league innings.
12/10/09 – Pirates sign free agent 1B Bobby Crosby
First baseman Bobby Crosby? Pittsburgh? Maybe voters should have paid more attention to that .239 batting average when they voted him American League rookie of the year in 2004. (As a testament to how little that award can mean to a player’s long-term value, look at who finished 2-10: Shingo Takatsu, Daniel Cabrera, Zach Greinke, Alexis Rios, David DeJesus, Ross Gload, John Buck, David Bush and Nate Robertson.) Crosby now has 2,657 Major League plate appearances over seven seasons and has posted an OPS+ of 81. Sorry, Pittsburgh, there is no data to support a conclusion that Crosby will in any way help you.