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Thread: Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

  1. #1
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    Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

    Assuming that he is healthy, figure Gonzalez to be the everyday shortstop just because there aren't any good ones available.

    Tom Verducci > INSIDE BASEBALL


    Shortage of star shortstops a sign of revolution that wasn't Story Highlights
    Lots of teams need shortstops, and plenty are available but none are very good
    Orlando Cabrera, David Eckstein and Omar Vizquel are among the so-so options
    Once a member of baseball's new breed of slugging shortstops, Edgar Renteria is now an unspectacular free agent.

    The big-hitting, big-bodied shortstop "revolution" that Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Edgar Renteria and Miguel Tejada were said to launch in the late '90s and early '00s never amounted to much, the same way the 6-foot-9 point guard "revolution" sprung by Magic Johnson didn't amount to much. Look around baseball right now. It's hard to remember a time when more teams needed a shortstop and more are available, though almost none of them are very good.

    The used-shortstop lot includes free agents Orlando Cabrera, David Eckstein, Adam Everett, Rafael Furcal, Cesar Izturis, Edgar Renteria and Omar Vizquel and trade options Khalil Greene, Jack Wilson, Bobby Crosby and Julio Lugo. Outside of Furcal, it's buyer beware. The Orioles, Tigers, Cardinals, Dodgers and Blue Jays need somebody to play the position and six other teams already have made changes.

    What happened to baseball's glamour position? Outside of the NL East, where Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins work, the position has declined in star power as A-Rod moved to third, Garciaparra broke down and Jeter, Renteria and Tejada aged. Major league shortstops hit 321 home runs last year, the fewest since baseball expanded to 30 teams in 1998, and 102 fewer from the glory days of 2002. Their OPS was .718, matching the lowest such number since 1998. (Insert your one-size-fits-all steroid testing disclaimer here.) Say what you will about Jeter, but he still posted the second-highest OPS+ among AL shortstops last year (105), behind only Jhonny Peralta of Cleveland (108).

    The shortage at shortstop, however, may not be as dire as it seems. The surge of A-Rod and company was the anomaly, and that's why today's shortstop market may seem so lacking. Shortstop typically rates with catcher as the two worst hitting spots in the lineup, primarily because there is such a premium on defense at the position. It's an easy spot, for instance, to break in a young player because the manager can say, "Whatever he gives us with the bat is a bonus." That is particularly true again as run prevention has gained importance while run production has declined.

    And yes, despite the hype associated with the position, you can win without a star at shortstop. It's nothing like quarterback in the NFL. Check out this list of starting shortstops on the past eight world championship teams:

    OPS+ of World Series-champion SS
    Team Shortstop OPS+

    2008 Phillies Jimmy Rollins 103

    2007 Red Sox Julio Lugo 65

    2006 Cardinals David Eckstein 81

    2005 White Sox Jose Uribe 85

    2004 Red Sox Orlando Cabrera 97

    2003 Marlins Alex Gonzalez 96

    2002 Angels David Eckstein 101

    2001 Diamondbacks Tony Womack 64


    That's not a very impressive list. What you don't see on that list are older shortstops. None of the past 56 playoff teams and only two of the 112 playoff teams in the wild card era used someone 34 or older as their regular shortstop (Omar Vizquel of the 2001 Indians and Cal Ripken Jr. of the 1996 Orioles). Only one team since 1956 has won a pennant with a 34-or-older shortstop (the 1980 Phillies, with Larry Bowa). Keep that in mind if your team employs Tejada or Jeter, both of whom turn 35 next season, or is interested in Cabrera, 34, Eckstein, who turns 34 in January, Renteria, who turns 34 in August or Vizquel, who turns 42 in April.
    If you think small, you'll go nowhere in life.

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    Member schroomytunes's Avatar
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    Re: Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

    I agree there isn't much out there as far as SS go, and we are on the hook for @ 5 million with Gonzo, so I think if he's healthy he's our man. As far as a backup guy the only name that intrigues me is Izturis on the FA market, but is he really any better than Janish? Guys I like that are cheap and could be had through trades are:

    1)Clint Barmes(COL) he's arbitration eligible, the Rock's need pitching so there is a possibility that he could be available.

    2)Omar Quintanilla(COL) he's strictly a backup, but is relatively young(27) again maybe can be had for a pitching prospect.

    3)Elvis Andrus(TEX)-very young once a top Braves prospect, could be SS of the future and is blocked by Michael Young, texas needs pitching so maybe we can acquire a package of Max Ramirez and Elvis Andrus for Homer Bailey and Daryll Thompson??? thoughts

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    Re: Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

    Quote Originally Posted by schroomytunes View Post
    I agree there isn't much out there as far as SS go, and we are on the hook for @ 5 million with Gonzo, so I think if he's healthy he's our man. As far as a backup guy the only name that intrigues me is Izturis on the FA market, but is he really any better than Janish? Guys I like that are cheap and could be had through trades are:

    1)Clint Barmes(COL) he's arbitration eligible, the Rock's need pitching so there is a possibility that he could be available.

    2)Omar Quintanilla(COL) he's strictly a backup, but is relatively young(27) again maybe can be had for a pitching prospect.

    3)Elvis Andrus(TEX)-very young once a top Braves prospect, could be SS of the future and is blocked by Michael Young, texas needs pitching so maybe we can acquire a package of Max Ramirez and Elvis Andrus for Homer Bailey and Daryll Thompson??? thoughts
    I'd also add M. Izturis and now Jason Bartlett if he is truly on the block to Barmes. Andrus us gonna be really tough to get and Quintanilla doesn't really do it for me, he doesn't do anything real well offensively.

    Andrus is probably gonna take something very serious. He's actually only blocked currently by Young as I read somewhere that when he is ready they are thinking about moving Kinsler to 3rd and Young to 2B to make room for him at SS. It seems like a logical plan somewhat when you take into consideration that Young wants to stay in the MI and Kinsler is a butcher at 2B.

    I'd offer for Bailey, Stubbs and Francisco for him and the catcher of their choice (which from what I hear would be Ramirez). Heck I'd even toss in another player to get it done if they balk at that, none any better than what I have listed though. My guess is though that they would ultimately say no.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

    The bigger question is do the Reds have enough tradeable commodities to satisfy their desire for a righthanded hitter for the middle of the order, leadoff hitter, lefty for the pen, catching help and a young shortstop to groom in a year or two?
    If you think small, you'll go nowhere in life.

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    Re: Another Reason Why Gonzalez Will Be The SS in 2009.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
    The bigger question is do the Reds have enough tradeable commodities to satisfy their desire for a righthanded hitter for the middle of the order, leadoff hitter, lefty for the pen, catching help and a young shortstop to groom in a year or two?
    ...and then some.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton


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