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Orange County Register: Pujols starting to feel like his old self for Angels


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Considering we still owe #5 $210 million I just don't see how Cron is a fit for this club. He is best served as a trade chip to help land a pitcher for the stretch run near the deadline if we are in the hunt.

Solid DHs are inexpensive in free agency.

True, but we don't know Cron's true ceiling yet.  His raw power and ability to make contact are an intriguing combo.  Sure his lack of walks is a major concern, but watching him take at bats this spring, it's clear he knows what he's doing at the plate.  It's almost like his eye/hand coordination is too good.  I'd say keep him just because now I'm ultra curious to see what he becomes. 

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Considering we still owe #5 $210 million I just don't see how Cron is a fit for this club. He is best served as a trade chip to help land a pitcher for the stretch run near the deadline if we are in the hunt.

Solid DHs are inexpensive in free agency.

 

Like who?

 

While it's become popular to argue that the DH spot can be filled cheaply via free agency, the reality is only Oakland has really done it and only in 2012 did they see even league average performance out of their DH spot.  Most teams either end up having to platoon multiple guys some of who they may have signed on the cheap (inflating costs), or use the position to rotate their regulars or fill the spot with an injured player.

 

There were only 4 teams with anything remotely close to a regular DH last year (300 or more at bats), and 5 the year before that.  The 4 teams that did have a "regular" DH also saw them produce better than league average offense last year.  Seattle, Boston, Detroit, and KC, paid 40 mil for their guys and that number was only held down by the fact that Morales missed two years with his broken leg.  There are teams like the Blue Jays that employ a DH tandem but, Adam Lind (7Mil), and Edwin Encarnacion (9Mil), combine to average 8 mil per.  The Yankees were hoping for a Travis Hafner rebirth for 10 mil less than Cleveland had been paying him to DH but he tanked and posted a sub .700 OPS.  Lance Berkman was supposed to be that guy at 10 mil per and he too tanked giving the Rangers less than 250 at bats last year.  The Rays thought Luke Scott would be that guy two years ago when they signed him for 5 mil only to have him end up in a platoon, and if the plan was always to have him share the position, then they ended up paying almost 8 mil for the two guys that shared it.  The White Sox are paying pretty large money to Adam Dunn.  I guess you can argue that Jason Giambi is cheap at 750K but he's anything but a solid option posting a ,622 OPS at an all bat spot.

 

These are the projected DHs and their 2014 money

 

NYY - Soriano -- 18 Mil

Bos - Ortiz - 15 Mil 

Bal - Reimold - 1 Mil, .588 OPS.  Showalter rotates regulars through the DH.

TB - Joyce - 3.75 Mil club controlled.  Luke Scott and the cheap options combined for a .680 OPS at DH last year.

Tor- Lind - 7 Mil.   The Toronto situation is interesting because Lind and Encarnacion flip flop between 1B and DH..  Encarnacion will make 9 Mil.  So basically they are spending 8 Mil per for their DH

 

Det - Martinez - 13 Mil

KC - Butler - 12.5 Mil

Cle - Santana 3.5 Mil.  Santana is trying to be their DH, so it may end up being a cheap guy like Chisenhall from in house.  Giambi .622 OPS.

Min - Kubel - 2 Mil if he makes the team.  Incentives -- a reclamation project after a .610 OPS season.

Chi - Dunn - 15 Mil

 

Oak - Jaso - 2.3 Mil club controlled.

Tex - Moreland - 2.65 Mil club controlled

LAA - Ibanez - 2.75 Mil pls incentives

Sea - Hart -  6 mil plus pls incentives

Hou - Carter - 500K club controlled.

 

There are just aren't many examples of solid  DHs obtained via FA on the cheap and any solid platoon type bat will end up costing the team 2-3 mil a la Ryan Doumit a couple years ago with Minnesota. . Otherwise the only cheaply available guys who might end up being solid bats are either reclamation projects of guys coming back from injury.  If it's a question of value then it comes down to whether or not Cron can become a league average hitter during his club controlled years.  If he does, then he's their best bet at finding value.  At most he would cost the team between 4- 4.5 mil over the first three years which compared to the "cheap options" would be a steal.  Particularly for a team looking for payroll flexibility.

 

The post PED era has his the DH position the hardest IMO.  It used to be guys could extend their careers as a DH through chemical enhancements, there was also no shortage of quality bats in AAA during the 90s and early part of the last decade -- but those days seem to be over.

Edited by Inside Pitch
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- Asked if he was back to his old self running, Pujols said: "Not really. Not completely. I think in the next couple of weeks here, running the bases, strengthening my legs more and more, I think it's going to get better. I feel good. But obviously the more I get on base, the better it's going to be for me. And obviously that's been the case the last four games."

 

I've said it before, all you have to do is watch him run on his heals & tip-toe into a base to see how old he is. 

 

I predict nothing above .260/.330/.450 this year. 

Edited by laagamer
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I remember last season when he announced that he felt like the "Pujols of old" and then proceeded to hit just over .100 with 0 HRs the next 10 games. This means absolutely nothing. Hopefully he proves it on the field this time.

Exactly. I am in the show me camp.

 

Would really like to see him get off to a hot start. But I have to hold my expectations until I see something.

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I've said it before, all you have to do is watch him run on his heals & tip-toe into a base to see how old he is. 

 

 

Have you never seen Pujols play prior to coming here?  His heel-toe running form is so bad a guy made a video about it.  

 

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