12 November 2011

Free Agents - Shortstop

This is the fourth of a series of posts on free agents.

C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | DH | SP | RHRP | LHRP

Reyes is the jewel of the SS Market
For the sake of completeness, we will look at shortstop.

For the purpose of this post, we are using the following groupings:
Elite: Greater than 4.5 WAR / 600 PA
Good: 3.5 to 4.5 WAR / 600 PA
Above Average: 2.5 to 3.5 WAR / 600 PA
Average: 1.5 to 2.5 WAR / 600 PA
Poor Starter: 0.75 to 1.5 WAR / 600 PA
Backup: Below 0.75 WAR / 600 PA
No one below a projected 0.75 WAR should be offered anything more than a minor league contract with an invite to training camp.  The values were calculated by weighting performance of the past three seasons normalized each year to 600 PA.  This ranking does not consider injury status which will likely affect some players.

Elite (greater than 4.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Jose Reyes (4.7)
It looks as if the Mets will not be resigning Reyes.  Whoever signs him should have premium performance at short for several years.

Good (3.5 to 4.5 WAR / 600 PA)
J.J. Hardy (4.2)
If Hardy could actually get to the plate 600 times, he would projects as a 4.2 WAR player.  He could be the most valuable player on the team.

Above Average (2.5 to 3.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Jamey Carroll (3.2)
Carroll's ability to get on base along with his ability to play shortstop adequately makes him a potential option here.  However, tweeners like Carroll always teeter on being completely unable to competently play shortstop.
Nick Punto (3.1)
Punto's ability to rank high here is a primarily due to his offensive performance last year.  I doubt his ability to truly give above average performance at this position.
Jimmy Rollins (2.8)
Rollins' offensive has taken a hard turn downward, but he still plays a decent shortstop.  The low baseline for short keeps Rollins in the conversation as an above average shortstop.  His past performance though may encourage a team to pay him more than he is worth.
Clint Barmes (2.6)
Barmes can play SS solidly and show some power.  He could potentially be a decent starter.

Average (1.5 to 2.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Rafael Furcal (2.4)
This projection does not adequately account for his injury issues.  I would value him far less than this.
Ramon Santiago (2.2)
The Tigers do not see him as a starter, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  He could be a cheap and effective option for a team who needs to fill a hole at short.
Jerry Hairston Jr (2.0)
Hairston cannot defend the position well, but his bat carries him.
Edgar Renteria (1.8)
Renteria is on the downside of his career.  He will likely put up performance below this measure.

Poor Starter (0.75 to 1.5 WAR / 600 PA)
Alex Gonzalez (1.5)
Gonzalez has had one good season and two awful ones.  One is more probable than the other.
Robert Andino (1.2)
Andino does not field well enough or hit well enough.
Ronny Cedeno (1.0)
Cedeno is a utility infielder, no more.

The Rest (less than 0.75 WAR / 600 PA)
John MacDonald (0.7), Orlando Cabrera (0.7), Craig Counsell (0.4), Yuniesky Betancourt (0.2), Jack Wilson (0.0), and Cesar Izturis (-0.3).

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