Sunday, January 23, 2005

I'm picking the Falcons over the Eagles (Philly's NFC Championship Game tradition continues) and the Steelers over the Patriots (more of a wish pick, really; I'm sick of the Pats and the Tom Brady lovefest).

There is a rumor going around that the Astros and the Twins might be close to a trade of Redding, Ensberg, and Jason Hirsh (pitcher, 1st round pick last year) for Torii Hunter. I'm not sure how I feel about this trade; Hunter is overrated offensively: he's put up a .310 and a .330 OBP the last two years after his career year of '02. He hits for a little power and has some speed, but his true value comes defensively, where you've all seen him crashing into walls or robbing Barry Bonds in the All Star Game a few years back. However, based on baseball-reference.com's stats, he's lost a step, as his former lofty Range Factor stats have slipped to just slightly above average.

Redding probably needs to be traded, and although I'm still high on Ensberg (I think he was more hurt than he let on last year, and he'll bounce back to somewhere in between '03 and '04), we've got Lamb and there are also rumors we might be looking to acquire Placido Polanco, who is one of the most underrated players in baseball. Polanco is excellent at any IF position defensively and has put up OPS+ of 112 and 101 the last two years. I guess he and Lamb would platoon at 3B, though he's a great insurance policy if anyone in the IF gets hurt or Burke struggles, etc.

If these moves are done in combination, they might work out all right, as an up-the-middle defense of Ausmus, Everett, Burke, and Hunter would probably be the best in baseball. However, I wouldn't do the Hunter trade by itself, as Lamb is pretty bad defensively.

No matter what happens with CF, I'd love to trade for Polanco. The guy is awesome. We don't have that much room at the moment, with Ensberg, Lamb, Everett, Burke, Biggio, and Vizcaino all as possible 3B / SS / 2B candidates, but there is always room for a guy like Polanco. And the Phillies have a full infield, so he might come cheap.

1 comment:

Awrr said...

i'm just curious... i think the hunter rumor is interesting, but is it anything other than fans murmuring? where'd you hear it? in their quest to shed payroll, i'd think MIN would be much happier to deal jones.