Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Astros signed The Ageless John Franco to a 1 year, 700K deal today. I don't like it at all. Chris Hammond just signed with the Padres for 750K, and here are their combined numbers from the last 3 years:

Hammond, '02 - '04: 192.2 IP, 2.06 ERA

Franco, '02-'04: 80.1 IP, 4.15 ERA

And here are their numbers against lefties:

Hammond, '02-'04: 252 AB, 626 OPS allowed

Franco, '02-'04: 120 AB, 637 OPS allowed.

Ok, so they are pretty similar against lefties, but Hammond is younger (he's 39, so there aren't too many pitchers he's younger than), healthier, and WAAAAY better against righties.

There's no silver lining here: we blew this one. We could have a much better pitcher for an extra 50K, and instead we waited too long, and now we're going to have to settle for either John Franco or Mike Gallo as our lefty reliever. And if we go with both, make that two mediocrities in our bullpen, and some potentially useful reliever (Qualls, Wheeler, Harville, Carlos Hernandez?) gets the shaft. Thumbs down, Astros management. Thumbs down.

But we're stuck with him now. My bullpen?

Closer - Brad Lidge. Duh.
Set-up guy - Chad Qualls, unless someone else steps up.
Middle Relief: Chad Harville
Dan Wheeler
Mike Burns
Lefty: John Franco (better against lefties than Gallo, at least)
Spot Starter: Dave Burba vs. Pete Munro

This is assuming Carlos Hernandez is the 5th starter and Tim Redding gets traded in a package for a center fielder.

If we had been a little more active on the free agent market, we could have easily had

Lidge
Antonio Osuna
Chris Hammond
Chad Qualls
Dan Wheeler
Chad Harville
Mike Burns

which is so much better than what we have it hurts me. I'm betting Osuna and Hammond combine for 100 innings of sub-3.00 ERA, and we could have had them for under 2 million combined. Damn damn damn.

1 comment:

Awrr said...

one of purpura's biggest mistakes (they are many) this offseason was certainly not jumping in on the buyer friendly relief market. that being a given at this point in the game, franco is a fine signing (though slightly overpaid). if you can't tell the difference between gallo and franco, especially in a LOOGY role, then i hope you take a closer look. 40 IP of franco is a hell of a lot better than any at all from gallo. i also think burba can also be more effective than you think outside the spot starter role and am not expecting burns to contribute immediately out of spring (i am hopeful for a midseason call).

i expect lidge/qualls/wheeler/harville/burba/munro/franco with a possible mecir signing bumping harville or burba to round rock. i am high on qualls, but handing him the 8th inning is a risky pick. if he steps up, we can be atop the middle of the pack in NL bullpens. overall, i like this bullpen better than last year's, but it still sucks compared to what could have been. damn you purpura...