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czalgosz
02-13-2002, 01:02 PM
On Baseball Prospectus - on the Sox' latest moves -

Signed C-R Mark Dalesandro, IF-R Justin Baughman and LHP Mike Porzio to minor-league contracts with spring-training NRIs. [1/22]

Acquired 2B/OF-L Willie Harris from the Orioles for CF-L Chris Singleton. [1/29]

Signed OF-L Kenny Lofton to a one-year contract, with an option for 2003. [2/1]

Switching Chris Singleton for Kenny Lofton on a one-year deal sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? After all, Joe Borchard still has some strike-zone management issues, so why not find a nice temporary solution who is also a nice temporary upgrade, right?

Unfortunately, everyone from Kenny Williams on down seems to believe that the White Sox are getting the old Kenny Lofton, that guy who used to post OBPs in the .380s. Lofton's awful .322 OBP in 2001 gets sniffed off as an anomaly, with plenty of bold talk about Lofton's improvement in the second half. That "improvement," however, was just up to a .340 OBP during the second half, or well below a good figure for a regular leadoff hitter. We're projecting Lofton to get his OBP into the .350s this year, which is in the useful/solid range, but still far from Lofton's performance in his heyday. The differences between Kenny Lofton and Chris Singleton offensively won't add up to a win.

There's also defense to consider, and Singleton is by far the better defender, almost enough to cancel out the slender offensive benefits. In part, that's because Lofton throws only a little better than Rudy Law these days, and in part it's because he isn't the tremendous flychaser he used to be when he had to cover all of the ground between wherever Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle were planted. Considering that neither Magglio Ordonez nor Carlos Lee are considered brilliant defensive outfielders, Sox pitchers might end up regretting not having Singleton behind them.

Even so, let's not chalk this up as another Kenny Williams geezer/millstone special. Lofton might be old and not what he used to be, but he's not as useless as Royce Clayton or, worse yet, Sandy Alomar. Lofton signed relatively cheaply, and it's a one-year deal. It's reasonable to expect that Borchard will be ready to play every day by 2003. As the Twins sat on their hands and the Indians dissolved into Jim Thome and some other guys, Williams hobbled the Sox's relatively clean shot at the AL Central title by getting Todd Ritchie. Replacing Singleton with Lofton isn't nearly the same sort of thing, because it didn't really cost the Sox anything.

If Kenny Williams really wants to improve the team's offense, the upgrade of Lofton over Singleton doesn't add nearly as much as a couple of other options open to a team with the guts to admit it screwed up would. I've been belaboring the obvious in this space for over a year now, so the options remain the same: eating Sandy Alomar's contract to make way for Mark Johnson, and sending Royce Clayton far, far away to give Joe Crede an overdue shot at third base and allow Jose Valentin to remain at shortstop.

The moderately happy aspect of all this is that the Sox got Willie Harris. As mentioned above in the Orioles comment, Harris is a problematic player because he could end up being either an outfielder or a second baseman. Offensively, as an outfielder, he makes a nice second baseman. Assuming he can stick at second, he'd still have to fight off Tim Hummel for the right to be the latest designated replacement for the Little Bull at the keystone. Like Liu Rodriguez, Harris stands a very good chance of being buried in Triple-A this year. However, Ray Durham is a free agent after the season, and that can lead to all sorts of mayhem next winter.

Pretty harsh, IMO. CLR would agree, I'm sure.

AsInWreck
02-13-2002, 01:17 PM
singleton replaced by lofton and harris for less money? And you;ve got rownad and borchard waiting in the wings?/can't see what's wrong w/ that

WinningUgly!
02-13-2002, 01:54 PM
Indians = Jim Thome and some other guys :D:

AsInWreck
02-13-2002, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
Indians = Jim Thome and some other guys :D:

Hey, the still got Omar, i'd take him any day-

czalgosz
02-13-2002, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by AsInWreck


Hey, the still got Omar, i'd take him any day-

Vizquel is overrated defensively, and he's not the hitter he used to be. His OPS last season - .657.

duke of dorwood
02-13-2002, 02:26 PM
Watch Visquel's average go down without the other guys there. And you can sure pitch around Thome now.

RichH55
02-17-2002, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
Watch Visquel's average go down without the other guys there. And you can sure pitch around Thome now.



What?!?! Pitch around Thome? With Brady Anderson in the lineup? You must be joking

OfficerKarkovice
02-17-2002, 02:35 PM
Take a look at this comparison between Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel (@ the very bottom of the page)...granted they are only numbers, but very interesting none the less:

http://espn.go.com/gammons/s/2002/0209/1326114.html

czalgosz
02-17-2002, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by OfficerKarkovice
Take a look at this comparison between Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel (@ the very bottom of the page)...granted they are only numbers, but very interesting none the less:

http://espn.go.com/gammons/s/2002/0209/1326114.html

This article neatly refutes the idea that Vizquel is as good as Smith was -

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020207brattain.html

RedPinStripes
02-17-2002, 02:43 PM
Chris Kahrl Needs a clue. Lofton can do something singleton can't. TAKE A WALK! Also, Singleton is not better then lofton defensivly or offensivly IMO.

RichH55
02-18-2002, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
Chris Kahrl Needs a clue. Lofton can do something singleton can't. TAKE A WALK! Also, Singleton is not better then lofton defensivly or offensivly IMO.



Singleton always seemed like a guy who had tools, but not necessarily baseball instincts....didnt take walks, didnt get great jumps in the OF(was a good fielder because of the tools, not knowing the game IMO), and his basestealing was awful for a guy with his speed...if Kenny gets into the .360+ range OBP wise we are getting a really nice upgrade in CF for a year til the LTP show

RedPinStripes
02-18-2002, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by RichH55




Singleton always seemed like a guy who had tools, but not necessarily baseball instincts....didnt take walks, didnt get great jumps in the OF(was a good fielder because of the tools, not knowing the game IMO), and his basestealing was awful for a guy with his speed...if Kenny gets into the .360+ range OBP wise we are getting a really nice upgrade in CF for a year til the LTP show

Exactly.

RichH55
02-18-2002, 11:51 AM
Basically I like reading the Chris Kahrl's and Rob Neyer's out there and I believe in alot of the same things they do, but that doesn't mean they are without their biases....Essentially I think they are like the auteurs of the old French Wave in terms of their criticisms(and they are looking for that job up too)...but they pick and choose who they like and who they don't like and alot of their rankings and evaluations are going to reflect that....Billy Beane is their guy so they are never going to be all that tough or him and will give him the benefit of the doubt(and maybe rightfully so).....KW is not one of their guys(and maybe rightfully so) so they are going to be harsh on many of his moves(kind of like this board(ie when people where complaining about the Herbert Perry trade).....Basically the trade is important, but so are the trading partners....its human nature c'est la vie