Purgatory Online

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Looks like Santa left a turd in the Angels' stocking: Brad Fullmer was released last Friday. Perhaps more troubling, Stoneman is quoted as saying a couple of fairly stupid things, such as indicating that Fullmer is one of a half-dozen interchangeable guys available on the free agent market, and that he wasn't part of the "core" of the team. Now, keep in mind that the Angels might actually still sign Fullmer as a free agent, and released him primarily so that they wouldn't have to go to arbitration and risk having to pay him $5 million next year. So suppose they do managed to sign him as a free agent - makes for a nice, chummy clubhouse, huh? And who, exactly, is in this magical "core?" Do they have their own special lockers?

Anyway, apart from Fullmer, the guys mentioned in the article as possible left-handed DH for the Angels include Robert Fick, David Ortiz, Reggie Sanders, Frank Catalanotto, and Jose Cruz Jr. Let's look at what they've done against right-handers in the past three years, starting with our baseline, Fullmer:


(sorry about the crappy table formatting)

Now, everybody else on the list is also either 27 or 28, with one exception, so let's get him out of the way first:


Sanders would obviously be a substantial step down in every category except price, and his higher age indicates an increased propensity for further statistical decline and/or injury. He's also got a reputation as being death in the clubhouse. In other words, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO...

Cruz Jr.-----------28------1204-----.248-----.322-------.489----297--133----67-----3.7M

Looking at the numbers, it becomes clear that Fullmer costs more than the rest of these guys because he's flat-out played better. And, while just about everyone in the AL has a decent DH already, we now have to hope that the Angels don't have to get into a bidding war to re-acquire him, and that he can ignore Stoneman's boneheaded remarks if they do get him back.

Among the other candidates, it's hard to see the Angels shelling out for Cruz when they could get Fullmer, so he's probably out. Fick is slightly worse and slightly more expensive than Ortiz, so unless Ortiz is snapped up somewhere else, Fick's out of the running. Catalanotto hits better for average than does Ortiz, but Ortiz has a decided advantage in home runs and is substantially cheaper. So I'd guess that if Fullmer doesn't come back, Ortiz would be the next-best thing.