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07-15-2007 04:16 AM #1
An argument to keep Patterson in 08
Although there is a lot of talk about the plethora of centerfielders available via free agency this coming offseason, it just occurred to me that keeping Corey Patterson may very well be our best option. I was teasing my girlfriend that she would have to find a new favorite player since Patterson would more than likely be gone after the season. When she asked why, I said it's because he can't hit. She then said "Well he can still field and run really well..." This got me thinking as to how valuable Patterson's defensive abilities actually are to this team. By referencing Baseball Think Factory, and a recent discussion on Runs Saved/150 games (essentially the defensive answer to Runs Created), Corey is not surprisingly, the best defensive centerfielder in the league today. What is surprising is how bad his replacement would actually be. If we examine what many consider three of the most eligible free agent centerfielders; Rowand, Hunter, and Jones, and take into account the size and length of their expected contracts, and compare them with Patterson, who, at the present time, has very little negotiating leverage with his dismal year at the plate, I have come to the conclusion that resigning Patterson to a two year contract would perhaps be the smartest thing we could do in the offseason.
Patterson, on average saves 14 runs per 150 games (rs/150) over a replacement level centerfielder. Compare this to Torii Hunter, who has 10 rs/150; Aaron Rowand who actually loses 5 runs (-5 rs/150) by just being in centerfield; and Andruw Jones, who, despite his reputation as a very good defensive outfielder, loses 8 runs (-8 rs/150). If you take the runs they save (or lose) into account along with the runs they create at the plate (RC), you could expect Andruw Jones to have an RC around 90-95, but also to lose 8 runs per year in the field, for an actually runs contributed to be around 85 (he's not getting any better defensively). Aaron Rowand can be expected to have an RC around 70, but lose about 5 runs in the field, contributing about 65 runs overall. If we had to sign a big name centerfielder, I would advocate for bringing in Torii Hunter who will have an RC around 80, but will also save 10 runs in the field, contributing around 90 runs per year.
The downfall to all of these players is the contracts they will likely command, and the age they will be when they expire. Rowand and Jones are both 30, and Hunter is 32. All will receive well over $10M per season, and more than likely sign deals that range between 4 and 6 years in length (unless Jones signs a one year deal to bolster his value after this season). Patterson, who is also only 28, can likely be had for a 2 year deal for about $3M per season, and can be expected to create about 60 runs per year at the plate, and save 14 per year in the field, contributing about 70-75 total runs.
So it looks like I'm going to kinda go against the grain on this one, and argue that Patterson is the most attractive option among free agent centerfielders, given what he can be expected to sign for. The money that we were supposed to throw at an overpriced centerfielder, should then be spent on Adam Dunn if he becomes a free agent after the season, or Carlos Zambrano, who would enable us to finally trade Penn/Olson/Cabrera, without worrying about whether or not they will develop into an elite pitcher for another organization.
For the sake of speculation, let's say Dunn remains a Red this season and is not able to become a free agent, and we outbid everyone for Zambrano. Let's also assume we are able to send a package including Dcab, Penn/Ray, and a Fiorentinoesque prospect to Cincy for Dunn (and an extension...), we would be left with a team resembling this:
Bench: House, Gibbons, Gomez, Payton/Huff
(insert 2 minor league/random middle relievers here)
On paper, this looks pretty good... a little thinking outside the box and being agressive with the two big moves, and I think this may be a contender...
07-15-2007 04:21 AM #2Plus Member since 2004 All-Star
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Besides i don't think Ramon will be here in a matter of weeks. I actually think that is a good thing. Everyone needs to remember the collapse of Javy. Catchers seem to go down hill that way. Sign Wieters and turn ramon into a couple good pieces.
07-15-2007 04:30 AM #3
I would argue, however, that due to our abundance of pitching, an injury to Zambrano, while definitely harmful, definitely would not cripple a rotation that deep.
07-15-2007 04:56 AM #4
Fully accepting what he brings to the OF, I think CPat is a viable contract for us to re-sign, no, to persue. Aggressively. He's on a down year hitting, but is working hard lately to amend that. And if he gets on base... he's... let's face it... one of THE biggest threats in baseball. Period.
His down hitting year just makes it easier for us. He has shown, here and in Chicago, that he can hit. If he hits, he will score. Period. He won't be near what Andruw or Ichiro (got) or Torii gets. Sign him!
07-15-2007 05:19 AM #5
07-15-2007 06:39 AM #6
WAG We could sign Corey for 3-15, 3-21 at most. Andruw would demand a LONG-term contract. 5-65? More?
07-15-2007 08:30 AM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
Again, as I said in a previous thread, with so much speculation about Ramon being shopped before the deadline, I wonder if this is what the FO told House to keep him?
Also, don't spend money on FA pitchers, pitchers are better to develop in the farm system, because they are not reliable. We should spend the money on some bats because it is easier to project their numbers and we need offense badly.
07-15-2007 08:33 AM #8
And for the record, I'd like to keep Patterson.
07-15-2007 08:54 AM #9
07-15-2007 09:08 AM #10
07-15-2007 09:20 AM #11All-Star
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
I agree with this. CPat is definitely worth keeping at the right price. Even if the money is equal though, would he turn down a lowball offer from us for a lowball offer from his hometown (I think) Braves?
He only has to hit .260 to be force (assuming that his HR stroke comes back).
07-15-2007 09:29 AM #12
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
07-15-2007 09:41 AM #13
07-15-2007 09:56 AM #14
07-15-2007 09:57 AM #15
Does anyone else here think that making the push for Zambrano would be the move to make this offseason?