According to the Boston Globe, the Sox have had discussions with the Seattle Mariners concerning center fielder Jeremy Reed, in a deal that would send right-hander Matt Clement to the Mariners.
The more I consider it, the more I think that, even putting aside money somewhat, there are at least equal options out there to Damon. When money is thrown into the equation, it seems like Damon trails several candidates by quite a bit. Here’s a quick rundown of the guys I consider candidates to replace Johnny (ZIPS and Bill James Book OBP/SLG projection listed if available—all for 2005 home park):
First, Johnny Damon (.363/.437; .361/.425)
He’s 32 and his defense has been slipping in recent years to the point where he is probably only an average CF. At $10-$12 mil/year for 4 years, he will probably be slightly overpaid in 06 and hugely overpaid by 09.
Jeremy Reed (No ZIPS; .363/.412)
Going into last year, Reed had a rep as a good hitter, but borderline centerfielder on defense. It seems that has been reversed, as people seem to be pretty sold on him in CF. He would apparently cost us Clement, which is a considerable cost, but would also be dealing from strength. He’s got 2 more years before arb eligibilty and is only 25. I think he’s a good option and I suppose I would part with Clement if necessary.
Jason Michaels (.393/.418; .400/454) (in Philly)
Those numbers are slightly inflated by Michaels recent use as a platoonish player in CF. He is apparently a respectable CF and he’s just been made redundant by the acquisition of Rowand. He would also likely cost us a starting pitcher. Not sure if Arroyo would be enough, but I think Clement would be a little too much to give. Perhaps Philly would take Mota to bolster their bullpen. He’s arb eligible, so he’s not as cheap as these others, but still a ton less than Damon.
Coco (.353/.448; .348/.442)
A 26-year-old who’s defense was aparantly off the charts last year in LF, he would probably be average to above average in CF, IMHO. With Dubois knocking at the door, it could be argued that Cleveland would be willing to move Coco to fill another hole (3B? rotation?). Perhaps they’d ask for Youkilis, or maybe they’d only be interested in one of the young pitchers. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with any of those trades. I’d do it for Clement though.
And now the true stopgaps:
Kenny Lofton (.333/368; .356/.391)
Lofton is 39 and will probably take a 2-year deal on the cheap. You don’t have to trade anything to get him and he’s still reportedly a decent CF. Depending on which projection you believe, he might also make a fine leadoff hitter. (His numbers would take a hit leaving Philly, though)
Dave Roberts (No ZIPS; .339/.358)
One of the 25! Now 34, still a good outfielder, but looks like a pretty mediocre hitter. I wouldn’t want to give up much for him, but it doesn’t appear San Diego wants much.
There are others that might also be available (especiall from Oakland, where they now have 56 CF), but these are the names that I’ve heard. I think Michaels, Reed, and Coco are all superior options to Damon, even considering that they will cost something in a trade. I hope that the duo is currently working on getting one of these guys, regardless of how the Damon thing plays out. Who do you want to see in CF in 06?
Posted: December 14, 2005 at 01:27 AM | 96 comment(s)
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