FanPost

Guys we should be talking to instead of Podsednik



It looks like there are a bunch of major league average OF guys available right now that could be signed for almost nothing. Any of them would be an upgrade over Guillen in right and an upgrade over whoever is going to be our 4th outfielder. They would also have the distinct advantage of not being Scott Podsednik, a guy who has put up a negative WAR three of the last four seasons and would command a much higher salary due to his veteran status. Let's take a look at some of the cheap talent we will probably pass on to vastly overpay Pods and his gritty leadership, thus declaring our OF complete.

1. Gabe Gross

I know he couldn't hit last year, but everyone is entitled to have a bad season every once in a while. Historically he has hit better and is almost always average-to-above-average at getting on base. He seems to be BABIP cursed, putting up .259, .276, and .294 the last three seasons. If that upward trend continues, he's due for a little regression to the mean breakout year this year. Combine that with his nice fielding in RF (check out d_f's article about Gross over at fangraphs, he's better at explaining it than me) and we have a cheap 4 WAR upgrade over Jose "I Suck" Guillen.

 

2. Ryan Church

Another guy who is cheaper, younger, and better than Guillen, though that's not hard to do. He usually hits in the area of .270/.350/.460, though last year he had an uncharacteristic drop in SLG to .384. If he put up his usual line for the Royals last year, he would have been near the top of the team leaderboards in each of the Three Slash categories. His glove is also above average and plays best in RF. Check out Tango's Defensive Scouting Report on him. I had to use the 2008 one since the 2009 one isn't out yet. He's good across the board, and his career UZR/150 of 5.7 in the OF with a 14.2 in RF agrees.

 

3. Eric Hinske

I don't like him as much as the last two guys, but I still think he's worth a look. Though he doesn't hit for much average, his OBP is usually good. His glove is also decent at either corner OF spot, and he could even fill in at 1st or 3rd in a pinch. Hillman would probably use him as a defensive replacement after pinch running for Billy Butler in every game. He also just won a World Series with the Yankees, so he could TEACH US HOW TO WIN with his INTANGIBLES.

 

Some other guys I wouldn't mind us talking to

Wily Mo Pena - He's never put it together, but he has absurd power. Every once in a while he unleashes a towering blast into the parking lot, but the rest of the time he goes back to being Bruce Banner. Glove is iffy as well. I have just never been able to forget the guy after I saw him hit three home runs and a double in one game when he was with the AAA Louisville Bats. Then I went to the Louisville Slugger factory and I saw his name on one of the bats. His signature was scrawled on there like a five-year-old's.

Chad Tracy - He's had a couple of down years as a 1B/3B for Arizona, but he has done reasonably well in the OF in his career, even starting several games there, mostly in RF. Part of his downturn last year was almost hilariously bad BABIP luck, posting a .251. Definitely a longshot and probably too expensive, but what the hell?

Reed Johnson - A pretty good hitter but his glove plays best in LF, where we already have a defensive all-star. Also likely to be pricier than some others on the list.

 

I also noticed the name Josh Whitesell on the MLBTR list of free agent 1Bs. He's 28 and has barely gotten a shot in the majors, but his OBP has been off the charts throughout his entire minor league career. His fielding is not great, but it would be a big improvement on Butler's. Bill James projects him as a .267/.364/.438 hitter next year. He can play 1B and we can make Baconator the full time DH. And I bet he'd be very cheap, too! I look at him as a way for Dayton to put a Kila clone on the team without having to actually put Kila on the team, because he hates Kila for some reason. I'm also aware that Dayton will never make this move or any of the others I suggested because he also irrationally hates Royals fans.

 

In conclusion, my OF in 2010: DDJ in LF, Maier in CF, and Gross/Church in RF, with Whitesell at 1B and Butler DH

Dayton's probable OF in 2010: DDJ in LF, Podsednik in CF, Guillen in RF, with a Butler/Frank Thomas/Jason Giambi platoon at 1B/DH.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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