Posts Tagged ‘Mike Jacobs’

Mets Sign Mike Jacobs, Find Their First Baseman?

February 11, 2010

For those of you Lost fans like myself, do you ever just watch the show season and after season and ask yourself “How is this all going to come together?” I think if you religiously watch Lost, you probably ask yourself that question all the time.

I am starting to get the sense that New York Mets fans are starting to ask themselves that question in regards to the Mets’ offseason. How on Earth is this puzzle going to come together at the end?

Well, just when you think the Mets had all the pieces to their puzzle, they go ahead and add another piece to throw their fans off.

Jacobs is returning to the Mets

According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, via Twitter,  the Mets have signed first baseman Mike Jacobs to a minor league contract. The deal would pay Jacobs $900,000 if he makes the majors as well as an additional $1.15 million in incentives.

The Mets already have Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis on the roster, so my initial take on this signing is that the Mets are hoping that Jacobs can be a left-handed power hitter off the bench against right-handed pitching for them in 2010.

Other than that, I have no idea what he can do for the Mets because he doesn’t do anything else particularly well. He can’t run, he can’t hit for average, he can’t get on base, he can’t hit lefties, and he can’t field.

Jacobs hit a healthy .178 against left-handed pitching last year. .178!!! He is an automatic out against lefties, so he can’t be an everyday player in the major leagues. He did hit 18 of his 19 home runs and his OPS was 258 points higher against righties last year with the Kansas City Royals.

I will say this about the Mets’ first base situation–Murphy better have his act together in spring training. If Murphy doesn’t hit well during the spring and Jacobs does, it wouldn’t shock me to see Jacobs as the starting first baseman against righties in 2010. Tatis would presumably play against lefties.

This scenario would lead to two things.

First, if Murphy loses out to Jacobs, his career in New York is over. There is no way he could have a career in New York after that.

Last year the Mets front office hyped up Murphy as a future star. Now a year later he gets beaten out for a job by Mike Jacobs? He would get kicked out of New York like Gregg Jefferies was years ago.

Second, if Jacobs is the Mets starting first baseman headed into the 2010 season, then the Mets are admitting they have given up on their season before it even starts. I already think the Mets have given up on the 2010 season, but this would really put the final nail in the coffin.

Jacobs has played five years in the major leagues and has a career .254 average with 99 home runs, 114 doubles, and a .313 OBP with the Mets, Florida Marlins, and Royals.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

The Royals Get Worse, Sign Jason Kendall

December 12, 2009

Update: Kendall’s contract is officially for two-years and $6 million total. Kendall will get $2.5 million in 2010 and $3.5 million in 2011. Kendall can also make $250 thousand in incentives.

This deal is getting worse by the minute.

Original Post

Who knew that Brian Schneider was such a trend setter.

Thanks to him, mediocre catchers everywhere are getting two-year contracts. Latest example–Jason Kendall.

The Kansas City Royals late this afternoon signed Kendall to a two-year deal to be their starting catcher in 2010. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it is expected that Kendall signed a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million.

Kendall signed with the Royals

The Royals are one of those teams I have followed closely for about 20 years and moves like this drive me nuts. What is the point of signing Kendall?

Kendall has no value what so ever. He can’t help a team win and all the Royals continue to do is sign these below average players to contracts and keep spinning their wheels.

Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Willie Bloomquist, Yuniesky Betancourt (via trade) and now Kendall have all been brought in by GM Dayton Moore over the last couple of years. The reality is, they should have never been brought in at all.

The Royals need to get better by drafting better and scouting better. They are not going to get better by throwing money around to players who have no value.

Just because you spend money, it’s not going to get the fan base excited. Fans today–and especially Royal fans–are too smart for that. A fan base gets excited when you sign players who they believe can help their team win.

And here is the kicker with Kendall–he is not even better than what the Royals had last year. With this signing, the Royals have actually gotten worse.

I know Miguel Olivo doesn’t walk. Okay, I get that. But in 2009, Olivo had a .781 OPS, hit 23 home runs, threw out 28 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2.

Kendall on the other hand in 2009, had a .636 OPS, hit two home runs, threw out just 20 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR of 1.2.

And one last thing–Olivo is four-years younger than Kendall. If the Royals wanted a fringe catcher for 2010, why not just work on re-signing Olivo?

Oh wait, that would make too much sense.

For what it’s worth, Kendall will be entering his 15th season in the major leagues and has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Josh Willingham: What’s His Trade Market?

November 15, 2009

In Ken Rosenthals’ Latest Buzz From The MLB Offseason piece on FOXSports.com, he mentions that the Washington Nationals are receiving strong interest in OF Josh Willingham.

I have always liked Willingham and have believed he has been one of the more underrated players in the game for the last couple of years. I guess underrated comes with the territory when you play for the Florida Marlins and the Nationals.

Josh Willingham

Willingham could be trade bait this offseason

Now that Willingham’s name has emerged in trade rumors, let’s take a look at what GM’s are potentially getting. Here are the pros, the cons, and what teams would be interested in trading for the Nationals’ OF.

Pros

As I mentioned, Willingham has been vastly underrated over the last couple of years. Since 2006, Willingham has averaged 22 home runs with a .256 avg., a .362 OBP, and an .844 OPS.

Willingham’s .863 OPS in 2009 was 13th amongst all oufielders in baseball–ahead of Matt Kemp, Bobby Abreu, Carlos Lee, and Nick Markakis.

Willingham is also very consistent versus left-handed and right-handed pitching. He has a .264 avg. versus righties and a .265 avg. versus lefties. A team doesn’t have to worry about a platoon situation with Willingham.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Willingham is his age and his salary. Willingham is only 30-years-old and should be entering the prime of his career.

That coupled with which ever team would trade for Willingham would have him under team control until after the 2011 season at around $4.5-$5 million in salary, makes Willingham a very appealing option for teams.

Cons

While Willingham might be a consistent offensive player, his defense makes him a borderline DH. Willingham has always ranked towards the bottom in UZR for left fielders and he is no better in right field.

Besides defense, teams might be concerned with Willingham’s health. He has never played more than 144 games in a season and has battled back problems the last couple of years. One has to wonder if those back issues will get worse as Willingham gets older.

The last concern teams might have about Willingham is that he has never played in a big game in his life. It’s one thing to put up numbers when your team is 20 games out of first, but it’s another thing to put up numbers in a pennant race.

I am not saying Willingham wouldn’t thrive in a pennant race, but it is something for a GM to think about.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Willingham, let’s take a look at what teams might be interested in the former University of North Alabama star.

Atlanta Braves: Rosenthal mentioned the Braves as having interest in Willingham and it makes sense. The Braves need a right-handed bat and Willingham is a southern guy.

He was born in Florence, AL and as I mentioned above, went to the University of North Alabama.

San Francisco Giants: Randy Winn is a free agent and the Giants could use a left fielder. Perhaps if the Giants miss out on Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, they can go for a more cost-effective option in Willingham.

Oakland A’s: The A’s could really use an offensive boost. Willingham would be an upgrade over Jack Cust at DH or Scott Hairston in left field.

Kansas City Royals: Mike Jacobs figures to be a non-tender candidate, leaving an opening at the DH spot for the Royals. Willingham would be a huge upgrade over Jacobs.

Willingham could also be an internal option to fill the open spot in right field in 2011 once the Jose Guillen era thankfully comes to an end in Kansas City.

Seattle Mariners: Willingham really doesn’t fit GM Jack Zduriencik’s defense first philosophy, but the Mariners need a left-fielder and they need a DH.

Both needs make Willingham an appealing option for the M’s.

It will be interesting to see if the Nationals trade Willingham this offseason because they really don’t have to. I would say the Nationals would have to be really blown away to trade him.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Looking At Fantasy 1st Basemen In 2009…

March 27, 2009

It’s time to take a look at the big boys of baseball….the 1st basemen. There are some serious sluggers in this group of 1st basemen which include Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder. In honor of the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania (April 5th from Reliant Stadium), let’s see who the top fantasy 1st basemen are. 4 Horseman style!!!

Ric Flair Division

These are the world champions. The best of the best. Look for these guys early in your draft and let them drive your limousine. WOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ric Flair

Ric Flair

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals. With Arod shelved for 1 month, Pujols is clearly the best player in baseball headed into 2009. He should go either 1 or 2 in your draft. If he is still there after that, grab him!!

2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. If Pujols doesn’t go #1 it is because someone took Cabrera instead. Now that Cabrera has adjusted to the AL, he should be a force in 2009. If the Tigers can compete in the very average AL Central, Cabrera might be in line for the MVP.

3. Lance Berkman, Astros. One of the most consistent hitters in baseball. You know what you are going to get with Berkman. .300 avg, 25-35 hr’s, 100 rbi’s and an obp hovering around .400

4. Mark Teixeira, Yankees. As I wrote in my first ever post here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, “The Unexciting Teixeira,” I felt Teixeira was highly overrated. That thought hasn’t changed but he will put up .300/30/110 hitting in the Yankees lineup. With Arod out, it will be interesting to see how Teixeira reacts to being “the man” in New York.

5. Justin Morneau, Twins. Morneau has finished in the top 2 in MVP voted 2 out of the 3 years and there is no reason to think he won’t put up MVP numbers in 2009. His numbers might suffer if Mauer misses significant time, but not to the point where you would be turned off by him.

6. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox. Youkilis had a career year in 2008 putting up a .312/29/115/.390. I think Youkilis can repeat those numbers in 2009. Youkilis qualifies as a 3B and a 1B

Arn Anderson Division

Solid. Dependable. Never the star on the team but someone you knew always produced. Like Arn Anderson, these next 6 guys fit that description.

7. Ryan Howard, Phillies. Howard would be higher if A. he didn’t kill your team with K’s (199 the last 2 years) and B. he didn’t kill your team in batting avg. and obp. I am not trying to kill Howard, but know what you are getting into before drafting him. Great hr’s and rbi’s. Below average avg., obp and a massive amount of K’s.

8. Prince Fielder, Brewers. Seriously, go back to eating meat!!!

Mr. Dependable

Mr. Dependable

9. Derrek Lee, Cubs. OK Cubs fans, Derrek Lee is not going to return to his 2005 form when he hit .335/46/107 ever again. At this point in his career, Lee is a .300/20/90 hitter. Which is good but nowhere near his 2005 season.

10. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Gonzalez is quickly moving into the Paul Molitor category of “if he played in NY, he would be a superstar.” How good is Gonzalez? He drove in 119 runs on a team that only scored 637. That is incredible. Gonzalez is getting better with age and should have no problem putting up .281/33/110 in 2009.

11. Chris Davis, Rangers. Everyone’s mancrush headed into 2009. The term “sleeper” no longer applies to Davis because I think even my mother knows who he is. Davis will put up his numbers hitting the Rangers lineup but don’t jump the gun and draft him too early.

12. Joey Votto, Reds. Love this guy. The runner up in the ROY voting should improve on his .294/24/84 in 2009. The 25 year old, who hits like a seasoned 29 year old will be an All Star in 2009. You heard it here 1st.

Barry Windham Division

Windham was a great, great wrestler but is often overlooked when talking about the best wrestlers of all time. Mainly because he was overshadowed by Ric Flair and left the WWF right before it exploded in the late 80’s. Don’t overlook these next 6 guys as they can be solid contributors to your team.

13. Garrett Atkins, Rockies. Many people don’t realize that Atkins played 61 games at 1B last season so he qualifies at both 1B and 3B. Atkins’ hr’s, rbi, avg and obp have dipped each of the last 3 years so don’t go crazy over Atkins. Expect a .285/25/95 season from Atkins in 2009.

14. Carlos Pena, Rays. Interesting note…In the same amount of ab’s (490) in 2008, Pena had 15 less hr’s, 19 less rbi’s, and hit 35 points less than he did in 2007. So the question is can he hit like he did in 2007 in 2009? Ummm no. 2007 for Pena was one of those magical seasons that won’t be repeated. Expected something similar to his 2008 of .247/31/102 in 2009.

Huff is Windham

Huff is Windham

15. Aubrey Huff, Orioles. If anyone screams Barry Windham it’s Huff. Often overlooked but nobody realizes he just put up a .304/32/108 last season and qualifies at both 1B and 3B.

16. James Loney, Dodgers. Loney quietly drove in 90 runs last year with the Dodgers. Loney should benefit from having Manny Ramirez in the lineup for a full year. 100 rbi’s is a possibility in 2009.

17. Adam Dunn, Nationals. Dunn played in his postseason during the WBC. Now he will go play for the last place Nationals and hit .240/42/105/.380. Dunn also qualifies as an OF.

18. Hank Blalock, Rangers. I am higher on Blalock than most. I believe Blalock will have a year similar to is .276/32/110 of 2004 season. Blalock also qualifies as a 3B.

Steve McMichael Division

Now you are getting into some of the shakier 1B options out there. McMichael was a mediocre member of the 4 Horsemen and these next 6 guys would be mediocre members of your team.

The mediocre McMicheal

The mediocre McMicheal

19. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks. Doesn’t Conor Jackson look and sound like he should be better than he is? He looks like he should be a .290/25-30/90-100 type guy. But instead he is a .290/15/75 type guy.

20. Adam LaRoche, Pirates. One of the few draftable Pirates, LaRoche has hit more than 20 hr’s in each of his last 4 seasons and more than 85 in each of his last 3.

21. Carlos Delgado, Mets. Let’s get this out of the way right now, Carlos Delgado is not going to hit .271 with 38 hr’s and 115 rbi’s again. It is just not going to happen. .255/26/92 seems more like it.

22. Jorge Cantu, Marlins. After being useless in 2006 & 2007, Cantu surprised everyone with a 29 hr and 95 rbi season in 2008. Cantu will not sneak up on anyone again in 2009 and I expect a little drop in 2009.

23. Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Another “sleeper,” Sandoval qualifies at 1B, 3B and in some leagues may qualify as a C. Sandoval hit .345 in 145 ab’s last year and with a full season under his belt a .310/15/80 is not out of the question. Just don’t expect obp as Sandoval only walked 4 times in those 145 ab’s.

25. Billy Butler, Royals. I have Butler this high for 2 reasons. 1. His age, he is only 23 and 2. His potential. If you are in a keeper League and can afford to let Butler develop on your bench while occasionally giving him a spot start against left-handed pitching (.340 the last 2 seasons), then it might pay dividends in the future.

Paul Roma Division.

Roma was the worst member in 4 Horsemen history. These last guys are your worst options for fantasy 1st basemen

26. Paul Konerko, White Sox. Terrible year last year and he is not getting any younger

27. Jason Giambi, A’s. Giambi will give you hr’s and obp and that is about it.

The worst of the horsemen

The worst of the horsemen

28. Mike Jacobs, Royals. Start only against righties and don’t complain about your team’s obp (.299 for Jacobs last season) after you draft him.

29. Casey Kotchman, Braves. A younger version of Lyle Overbay

30. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays. Wasn’t he supposed to be a great hitter?

31.Todd Helton, Rockies. Smoking the ball this spring (.423/4/11 in just 26 ab’s) but can his back hold up?

32. Carlos Guillen, Tigers. Guillen will qualify at 3 positions this year (1B, 3B and OF) but has age caught up with this versatile player?

33. Gabby Sanchez, Marlins. Potential Rookie of the Year candidate

34. Kendry Morales, Angels. The has big holes to fill replacing Teixeira

35. Russell Branyan, Mariners. This years Carlos Pena?

36. Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks. In a battle for playing time in the desert but could still hit between 10-15 hr’s.

37. Nick Johnson, Nationals. Mr. Injury. At least you will get obp with him.

38. Ryan Garko, Indians. Will be really hard pressed for playing time.

39. Travis Ishikawa, Giants. Officially your worst choice as a fantasy 1B. If you draft him, just call it a day