Sunday, October 30, 2005

Mike Piazza Files for Free Agency

Now we need a catcher. Ramon Castro makes an excellent backup, but I don't know if I like the idea of him being the full time backstop. There's a quality free agent in Ramon Hernandez who will be available, and while he's coming off an injury filled 2005 season, he might be our best bet at replacing Piazza.

Piazza hasn't had a top notch season since 2002, and while he's still a better hitter then most catchers out there, his defense hasn't been great (I'm being nice, it's never been that great). It seems like every year, the rumor is to move him to first base, yet it never quite happens. Using Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Average, Piazza actually had one of his best fielding seasons in years with only -7 FRAA. But when you mix it up with his offense, his WARP has only been from 2.5 to 3.0 the last three years. Hernandez had a 3.6 this year in only 99 games, and has had seasons of 5.7 and 5.1 in 2003 and 2004. So we're talking about a two win upgrade here.
It also looks like Willie Randolph escaped the axe. Yeah, he's only had one year, but this was a talented team that you would expect more from. if he doesn't show results in 2006, I think it might be time to look elsewhere.


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