With a little time between classes this morning, I checked out some of the recent rumors at MLBTR.com. They’ve posted a list of current free agents and guesses at where they might wind up. Adam LaRoche is being projected to wind up here, while Russell Branyan is being seen as a fit for the Oakland A’s.
Free time being what it is in school, and my curiosity being what it is in the offseason, I decided to compare and contrast on FanGraphs. Taking the stats I am immediately familiar with (AB, H, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB, IBB, AVG, SLG, OPS, BABIP AND K%), I have decided that Adam LaRoche would be a slight upgrade. I am either preaching to the choir, or I am completely wrong (let’s hear it for absolutes!). LaRoche’s WAR is lower by a few fractions of a point, but in everything else, comparatively, he seems like a bit of an improvement. He’s also younger than Branyan by 4 years, almost exactly. The only concern (for me, at least, now having seen it in action) would be his hitting against AL pitching. This seemed to be a problem with and for Jack Wilson, much the same way that Ian Snell’s pitching against AL batters seemed to be an issue initially (and I say “initially” because it appeared that he did make progress during the last few games of the season with the whole foot placement thing).
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, other than to say that if Adam LaRoche found his way onto the Mariners roster, I don’t know that I’d complain too terribly much.
Also just posted was the possibility that Adrian Beltre is close to choosing his team. I know it’s just a rumor, but is it wrong of me to hope he winds up in Oakland, like they say?
EDIT: yes, I forgot about the whole money thing with LaRoche; forgive me, I woke up at 5 this morning to be at school. He is expensive currently, but the longer he holds out, the lower the market will be, and that may play in our favor. Plus, Jack Zduriencik ain’t no fool. A lot of people want to get down about the whole Brandon League thing, but I’m not scared. Even the smartest and most professional people make the occasional blunder – the thing that separates them from everyone else is the ability to adapt and learn from those mistakes. I have faith that if Zduriencik wants him, he’ll get him for a decent price that won’t make everyone pull their hair out.