Sunday, April 03, 2005

Some interesting players have been released in the last few days:

C Bobby Estalella
RP Gabe White
P/OF Brooks Kieschnick

No, you didn't misread that last position - Kieschnik is both an outfielder and LH hitter (.248 / .315 / .444 in 306 career AB's) and a RH pitcher (96.0 IP, 110 H, 11 HR, 26 BB, 67 K, 4.59 ERA career) For his career, that's a 93 OPS+ (100 is league average) and 93 ERA+ (100 is league average, again). How cool is that? So a 33 year old who's a slightly below average hitter and a slightly below average pitcher? Why the heck would you want someone like that?
VARIETY. Why carry both a 5th OF and a 6th or 7th reliever when you could just carry Kieschnick? Put another way, we could sign Kiescnick, release John Franco and Jose Vizcaino, and bring up Brooks Conrad, or Ezequiel Astacio and be a MUCH better team for it. Kieschnick's decency at both hitting and pitching allow you to carry one extra hitter or pitcher, essentially. I think he'd be an intersting pickup, and he's a local guy (went to the University of Texas). What's to lose?

Estalella is 30 and has bounced around for a few years now, mostly because of his career .216 BA. But his career line is .216 / .315 / .440, good for a 755 OPS. The last time Brad Ausmus put up a 755 OPS was 1999, and his highest SLG% for any year is .415. Again, what do you have to lose? Sign him to a minor league deal, and let him compete with Quintero next year.

Gabe White was awful last year (6.94 combined ERA with NY and CIN) but he had put up a 2.98 ERA and a 4.05 ERA the 2 previous years, is 'only' 32 (Franco is 44), throws strikes (30 BB in his last 160.2 IP), and has put up a 3 year line of .248 / .277 / .419 against lefties (696 OPS). John Franco, by comparison, has a 3 year OPS of 637 allowed against lefties. Ok, Franco's better, but he's a lot older and probably more expensive and White can occasionaly get a righty out, so it might be worth looking into.

Also, the White Sox are already looking to trade A.J. Pierzynski. Man, that guy must be a total asshole. Nevertheless, he'd be a solid upgrade over Brad Ausmus at C, or heck, he'd make a decent backup catcher over slower-than-molasses Raul Chavez. He'd probably piss the entire clubhouse off, which would be fun to watch. Remember Mitch Meluskey? Well, imagine the fireworks with this guy.

Ok, that's all. None of these moves are likely, but they'd all be cheap, and if just one of them worked out, it would probably be worth it. I like the Kieschnick move the best - you can't underestimate versatility, particularly in the National League.

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