Eckstein to the Padres

For 850k, it’s hard to argue with. David Eckstein figures to be the full-time second baseman, a position he showed more promise at than shortstop last year with the Diamondbacks. The Padres have to figure this signing will work out better than the Tadahito Iguchi signing last off-season.

2008 was hardly a banner year for Eckstein, but it wasn’t all based on skill decline. Eckstein’s BABIP was a bit lower than you’d expect for him or for a player with his line drive rate. Along with increased walk and strikeout rates, Eckstein also produced his highest ISO since 2005. CHONE has Eckstein at -4.8 wRAA next season and Marcels at -6.1. We’ll call it -5 and assume his defense is a bit below average.

~15 runs for replacement
~5 runs positional
~ ~5 runs defense
~ -5 runs offense

10 runs, or a win. If that happens, Eckstein is making the Padres a few million in profit, which isn’t a bad return. Throw in the potential for a mid-season trade – even if it is a Chad Beck type – and this is a low risk low reward move. Of course, this also makes the Pads projected middle infield stand just over 11 feet combined, which is going to create some interesting photo ops, especially with the taller players in the division.

The Padres also claimed Jae Kuk Ryu (pronounced like “You”) off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. Ryu missed most of last season thanks to elbow surgery, but he’s got the potential to be a decent grab for San Diego. Ryu has an average repertoire freaturing a high-80’s fastball and change/curve. Ryu was bumped off the Rays 40-man by Gabe Kapler.

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9 Responses to “Eckstein to the Padres”

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  1. CCW says:

    Seems to me there is a trend… below average, but above replacement level, players, are consistently good deals for the team, in terms of dollars per win, while above average players are more often valued more closely to their actual “value”. I know this subject has been hashed out in other contexts, but isn’t this just more evidence that teams are willing to pay a premium for above-average players (relative to below average players), because the supply is limited and you will almost certainly need at least some to make up for any below average players you might have? That would make sense to me. Put another way, there is no reason to assume the supply/demand curve would be the same shape as the $/win curve. In fact, they are almost certainly different shapes.

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  2. Kyle Boddy says:

    Looks like a good deal for a team that won’t compete and just needs to fill some holes.

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  3. BTC says:

    This signing doesn’t make any sense to me. Eckstein will be league average at best with no upside at this point in his career. Why not hand the job off to Antonelli who would more than likely be able to match Eckstein numbers. I don’t get this move at all.

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  4. Marcel says:

    Antonelli’s MLEs are absolutely horrible right now. He needs to stay in the minors and have an awesome year to even be considered a real prospect again.

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    • BTC says:

      Maybe so, but I’d still rather give the kid a shot — in a year that can’t be looked as anything but a rebuilding season — rather than have the position blocked by someone like Eckstein.

      Scrappy or not, he’s not going to do anything special for your team. Just doesn’t make sense.

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  5. Polanco fan says:

    Eck is such a scrapolious scrapper!

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  6. Joe R says:

    Pretty nice sign. I’m thinking Eckstein is worth .9-1.0 wins over replacement, too, and that’s a pretty nice return at 850k Fill a hole and with the way the NL West has been, a possible flukey season and stumble into the playoffs.

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