Sunday, November 23, 2008

Omar: Say NO to Jason Varitek

I feel the need to shoot down one Mets offseason rumor. Jon Heyman wrote in his offseason blog:

"Should the Mets find a deal for their catchers, longtime Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, a free agent, could be a possibility for them. Mets GM Omar Minaya has always liked Ivan Rodriguez, but it isn't known whether they'd consider I-Rod, as well."

First off, how worthless is the sentence about Rodriguez? It adds nothing. He might as well write: "Omar Minaya has always liked sushi, but it isn't known if he'd consider it for dinner tonight." Second, if the Mets trade 32 year-old Brian Schneider or 32 year-old Ramon Castro and sign 36 year-old Jason Varitek, I might just give up. Here are some relevant stats:

There is no logical reason to do this. Schneider is set to make $5 million each of the next 2 seasons, and Castro costs $2.5 million next year. Varitek would likely cost more than that. Why trade a guy, only to replace him with a worse, more expensive player? Last time I checked, old catchers like Varitek don't often experience a career renaissance in their late 30's. The Mets got league average production from the catcher position this year. There are other areas to worry about.


Typical Baseball Analyst Guy (TBAG) said...

Tek is a gamer and a leader in the clubhouse. What Schneider/Castro give you in "production" is negligible to what Tek gives you in toughness, grit, and heart. The picture above is a rare instance where Tek's uniform is not dirty. I think this was his first game. Notice how he already has the Captain "C" on his chest. This would be the last time anyone saw that uni without it being covered in dirt, sweat, blood, tears, heart, and passion. Also he's white.

Mets Tailgate said...

For about 2.5 seconds I thought this was a legit comment, haha. Well done, I couldn't have written it better myself.

The only phrase in baseball that bothers me more than "batting average" or "win-loss record" is "gamer."

Also, for some reason posting about Varitek made me look up Jorge Posada's stats. I never realized how great (yes, great) he's been in his career. I don't know how good he'll be going forward with his injury issues, but wow he's put up some big numbers.

Andrewdejo said...

Posada is great. I feel that sometimes people like him and Jeter are wrongfully considered to be "overrated" to the point where they actually become underrated. I believe Posada's future Legacy is dependent upon whether or not he is accepting of a move to first base or DH. I think that Posada's absence from the lineup this past year ( along with many other factors) was a major reason for the yankees not making the playoffs.

Mets Tailgate said...

I'm with you 100%, except about Jeter. You know that I think Jeter is a first ballot HOF, plays a premium position, etc. However, there is just no way he's underrated. Maybe as a hitter I guess, but as an overall player - no way. He's awful in the field. He may actually be one of the worst SS's defensively in the history of baseball.

Plus that contract. It's tough to be anything but overrated when you make 20 million a year to go .310/.375/.450. Great post by Joe Posnanski from awhile back where he coined the phrase "to Jeterate" - meaning to praise someone for something of which he or she is entirely unworthy of praise.

Check it out:

Andrewdejo said...

I agree with everything you said about Jeter. My point is that attitude is so prevailing that people tend to shit all over him even though he might be one of the best offensive shortstops of all time. People hate Jeter and will look for any excuse to discredit him. Does it help that he sucks defensively? No, but you yourself even called him a first ballot hall of famer, so he must be doing something right.

Even given his horrendous defensive ability I can't think of a shortstop I'd rather have on my team....wait yes I can....Alex Rodriguez.

Mets Tailgate said...

I'm shooting fish in a barrel here, but I'd rather have Hanley Ramirez over any SS (or any player?) in baseball. Guy is just head and shoulders above every other SS, and his defense greatly improved in '08. Now there's a truly underrated player.

A-Rod should be playing SS for the Yankees. I think even the Yankees realize this, but they know the PR shitstorm it would cause if they put him there. Plus I'm not sure where you put Jeter if A-Rod goes to SS. Does he play 3rd, Cal Ripken style? 1B eventually? Corner OF spot?

Andrewdejo said...

Agreed. H-Ram is the preferred SS in baseball.

Maybe 2nd for Jeter? I don't know if he has the range for 3rd. None of these things will ever happen even if they should. Dude is good though, and is a few years away from 3,000 hits.

There's no doubt in my mind though that A-rod should be SS and if he was he would go down as the greatest player to ever play that position.