December 08, 2003

"I tried my best to remain a Marlin by not requesting a salary increase. To my knowledge, I'm the only major leaguer in recent times who won the World Series and received a postseason MVP award, and yet his club did not offer a higher salary."

posted by justgary to baseball at 12:40 AM - 15 comments

Hmm. On the one hand, the man does have a lifetime .304 average and has always been held in highest regard for his position. On the other hand, given the difficulty of playing said position -- undoubtedly the hardest on a person's body -- at 32 and with his best years seemingly behind him, maybe $7 mil over 4 years is, in a certain sense, a pay raise. Someone will come through with a higher dollar shorter deal but no one is going to come through with a longer deal with the same total. Really. How hard did he really try? I mean, come on, how much... /hook

posted by Dick Paris at 07:07 AM on December 08, 2003

Teams disregard all-star catchers at their peril.

posted by vito90 at 07:41 AM on December 08, 2003

OK, that's it, the Marlins are allowed to be hated. Screw Loria.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:07 AM on December 08, 2003

Teams disregard injury history, age and positional atrophy at their peril. And a bigger note than the Rodriguez talks is that the Expos have NOT tendered arbitration to Vlad, meaning that they cannot sign him (until June) and cannot get ANY draft picks if someone does sign him. I thought the whole reason for trading Vasquez was so they could afford to sign Vlad to a long term deal. This stinks to high heaven.

posted by grum@work at 08:14 AM on December 08, 2003

Teams disregard all-star catchers nicknamed Pudge at their peril.

posted by staggernation at 08:59 AM on December 08, 2003

With all due respect to Pudge, is he worth more to the Marlins than Mike Lowell? Look at the comparative numbers, he'd be making $2M more per year than Lowell would. Lowell hit 32 home runs, drove in 105 RBI while missing 32 games. Rodriguez hit 16 home runs, drove in 85 RBI and had a really great post-season, his first one. Personally, I find it very difficult to blame the Marlins on this one. We find ways to criticize the Yankees, Red Sox, etc, for being too spend-crazy, yet we're also criticizing the teams that try to be somewhat fiscally responsible? The Marlins had a huge list of potential free-agents this year and, unlike George, don't have an endless supply of money with which to bring everyone back. If they offer Rodriguez what he wants, maybe they couldn't have signed Lowell, or couldn't sign Encarnacion and Looper. General managers with budgets have to make some tough decisions sometimes. Javy Lopez is available as well, methinks that he's going to go for less than $10M per season. Perhaps he might be a viable option for The Marlins.

posted by oem at 09:21 AM on December 08, 2003

Teams disregard all-star catchers at their peril. Why?

posted by yerfatma at 10:43 AM on December 08, 2003

Unless Pudge learns to play killer first base, paying him that much for 4 years is just plain crazy. He's been injury prone over the last couple of years. Show me one example of a catcher in his early 30s who has gotten less likely to be injured year after year. All this goes for Javy Lopez as well, but he'll probably come cheaper than Pudge.

posted by trox at 01:29 PM on December 08, 2003

I saw an article which said that Lopez would get at least $10M in arbitration, which is why the Braves didn't offer it to him, and he's several years younger and has more power than Pudge. For the right (Mets?) team, I don't think $10M is out of the question for Javy.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:32 PM on December 08, 2003

Unless Pudge learns to play killer first base I've always thought Pudge should look into playing 3rd base, he has a killer arm and it would be wasted at first base.

posted by jbou at 02:26 PM on December 08, 2003

Does he have the extra mobility required at third? Sure, 3B isn't SS, but you do need to get around a little better than you do at 1B.

posted by trox at 02:49 PM on December 08, 2003

Please see the column for my thoughts. :)

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:50 PM on December 08, 2003

jbou, that's an interesting point, and I'm surprised it's never been done. Catchers are moved to first in the twilight of their years because their mobility is usually deficient. Understandable after squatting for so long. But catchers, positionally, need to have good, accurate throwing arms, which should be considered in the field. Third base, on a team with a wide-ranging shortstop, could work. But no MLB manager would be ballsy enough to try it. Managers are more risk-averse than casino pit-bosses.

posted by msacheson at 02:51 PM on December 08, 2003

in my experience the throw from home to second is different than third the first. (and my experience is only in softball, so i can only assume that the difference would be bigger in the majors) pretty much every throw to second is the same motion. aside from the pitches in the dirt, you're always throwing from basically the same position straight on to second from a catch that many times is already close to shoulder height. and as best as i can describe it, it's a pivot-snap kind of throw. throwing from third, many times you're throwing on the move, sometimes even having to sidearm the throw. it's a more fluid motion from glove to throw. sure, strong arms are important but so is accuracy. and if you can't situate yourself to make an accurate throw after fielding a ball, a strong arm ain't gonna do shit. i'm not saying that the transition from catcher to third in the majors is impossible, but i don't think it's as smooth as you may expect.

posted by goddam at 03:40 PM on December 08, 2003

A catcher certainly has the arm to play third, but alas probably not the mobility. Another advantage for a catcher moving to first, is that catchers are taught to evaluate every possible situation before every pitch. A catcher has to know all eight positions as well as his own, to direct cutoffs, tell charging infielders what base to throw to, tell pitchers what base to back up, etc. (As well as calling the game). A first baseman has to know almost as much, especially with regards to cutting off throws from the outfield. Mentally, a catcher is better suited to first rather than third.

posted by vito90 at 04:27 PM on December 08, 2003

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