Monday, March 5, 2007

Tough Questions

Ok, let's be honest here for a moment. Take salary/budget out of the picture. Forget about fantasy baseball. If you were starting a team and could have any third baseman you wanted (maybe it's for an Olympics/World Baseball Classic type of event), which player would you pick. Say you're looking to have this guy for this year and for the next five years.

The candidates, at least in my mind, probably are: Eric Chavez, Scott Rolen, Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Crede, and Brandon Inge. There are definitely some other prospects and major leaguers out there to consider. But I think that's the A-list.

So who do you pick?

Chavez and Rolen have had off years and/or injuries. They've both probably peaked and their better days are behind them.

Crede and Inge are fun to watch, but don't have the upside of others on this list. They're definitely not the types you would build around.

Cabrera, Wright, Gordon, and Zimmerman are all either stars or will be stars very shortly. I think they each have holes in their game though. They're all pretty small and are really defense and/or speed. You can work around all of those things when you get the bats you get with these guys.

But I think the guy I would have to take -- and it really pains me to say this -- is ARod. He had a down year last year with 30+ homers and well over 100 RBI. Everyone talks about what a great year Jeter had (and don't get me started there), but ARod, in a "down" year scored about as many runs as Jeter and drove in more. Bad Arod is better than good/great just about anyone else.

The knock on ARod is what he does in the "clutch" and what he's done in the post-season. I think ARod is close to "getting" it though. Barry Bonds used to struggle in the playoffs. But he owned the 2002 post-season (I think the homer he hit off Percival is still in orbit). ARod seems like the type who will come around later in his career.

Maybe I'm just going soft on ARod. The talk of him being traded to the White Sox (or just about anywhere else in the league) doesn't seem to go away. Maybe I'm just preparing myself for the inevitable.

Regardless, I hope Wiggins ends up with ARod on his fantasy team.


wiggins said...

Can't fault the logic, too much - except for two things.

Arod is probably also on the downside of his career. Not that he will slide dramatically - but five years from now - who knows?

Also - if you trade for him (or start a team with him)... wouldn't you rather have him at short?

Mike said...

Yeah, you're right. I would rather have him at SS. And he's definitely on the downside too.

Who would you take ahead of him at SS at this point? No one is jumping to mind for me.

I don't love the guy, but he gets a lot of bad publicity that's probably unfair.

wiggins said...

Yeah. I hear ya. It depends on how long ahead you're talking - but I may take Hanley or Reyes over him, if you're talking ten years or some such. Five, I'd probably go Arod over anyone at short. You can't argue with his track record.