Best Position Players, Money Money MoneyAugust 31st, 2011 by terrybenish
Same format, name, OPS, Salary
1. Curtis Granderson .963, $8,250,000
2. Jacoby Ellsbury .890, $2,400,000
3. Mike Trout .829, $414,000
4. Melky Cabrera .808, $1,250,000
5. Adam Jones .805, $3,250,000
6. Peter Bourjos .776, $414,000
7. Endy Chavez .774, $2,000,000
8. Grady Sizemore .769, $7,666,667
9. Trayvon Robinson .754, $414,000
10. Mitch Maier .750, $459,000
11. Coco Crisp .712, $5,750,000
12. B.J. Upton .701, $4,825,000
13. Denard Span .673, $1,000,000
14. Austin Jackson .666, $440,000
15. Ezequiel Carrera .661, $414,00
16. Julio Borborn .654, $490,000
17. Colby Rasmus .637, $443,000
18. Craig Gentry .624, $414,000
19. Rajai Davis .623, $2,500,000
20. Ben Revere .590, $414,000
21. Alex Rios .572, $12,500,000
22. Franklin Gutierrez .544, $4,312,500
There are some interesting developments, observable and intuitive both. The highest salary in this group at $12,500,000 is far lower than the right fielders by some fifty percent and that contract, owned by Alex Rios, is 50% higher than the next highest contract at $8,250,000 of Curtis Granderson. Granderson is the best performing centerfielder, while Alex Rios is the second worst centerfielder, ahead only of our own Franklin Gutierrez. Some call-ups are included in this list, because that’s baseball. Some are auditioning and others are right in the thick of things in pennant races.
The other thing worth noting is that center fielders are the moral equivalent of NFL running backs. That is don’t bank on getting a lot of contracts, unless you can really drive the ball. If you can do that, then when you slow down, they’ll slide you over to right field or left field. BUT, if you can’t you’re not going to make the huge dollars on your legs.
In yesterday’s stirring description of the Mariner’s plight of having the worst hitting right fielder in the league, there was reaction from some folks that cover the team. One commenter took me to task for not recognizing the sanctity in baseball for streaks, e.g. Ichiro’s 200 hits per year streak. I responded and gently suggested that in no other franchise would such a streak be prized and in no other franchise would such a contract be awarded. I suggested that they look up Jayson Stark’s piece on Ichiro’s singular achievement as a singles hitter.
Perhaps in a bit prescience it was suggested that the Mariners had to determine if Gutierrez could recapture his hitting and power, which was more important than giving at bats to some of the rookies. Frankling Gutierrez has 53 home runs in 2,400 plate appearances, roughly one every 46 appearance. Again one every fifteen games or so, depending where he’s in the lineup. His monthly splits going back to June of last year are not good. I had been under the impression he became sick in August or September of 2010.
Call me cynical, but maybe just maybe we’re trying to set up a trade or two this winter or even in the event of an emergency during September…Which is ok conceptually, but let me bring up some names, Milton Bradley, Jack Wilson, Jack Cust and Eric Bedard. What name does not belong there? Bedard, obviously, the only person with any talent and not a quitter or whack job, with apologies to Jack Cust.
You can’t compete with two starting outfielders who hit like this. One argument I heard from several of the folks is that the Mariners will accept lower power production in return for great defense. To which I quickly responded, Ichiro doesn’t provide either and you can’t win with 513 runs scored, no matter how good your pitching and defense might be. Won’t happen.
Center fielder in the Safeco must be good, have a good arm and provide some production. There are some candidates on this team.