Let’s do some quick hits on transactions that didn’t get their own post this week, but are still interesting enough to talk about.
1. Randy Winn signs with the Yankees. This is a somewhat odd move, not because Winn isn’t useful (he is), but because of Winn’s unbelievably terrible line against LHPs a year ago. We’re talking about a switch-hitter with no platoon split over his career (.765 OPS vs RH, .758 OPS vs LH) who just posted one of the single worst lines against LHP of any player in the history of the game.
.158/.184/.200. That’s unfathomably bad. Most pitchers hit better than that. But for 125 at-bats, Winn was utterly useless at the plate, going 19 for 120 against southpaws.
And despite that, the Yankees signed him to be their fourth outfielder and presumably split time with Brett Gardner, who is a left-handed batter that has been fairly heavily platooned as a major league player. It’s just strange that in a winter where lefty mashing outfielders are plentiful, the Yankees chose a reserve outfielder who performed so poorly against LHPs to backup their starting LF who they may not trust to start against LHPs.
Its not a bad move. Winn’s a useful player, the price is right, and his 2009 performance against lefties looks like a fluke. But it’s just a weird one.
2. Jim Thome signs with the Twins. This makes a lot of sense for Minnesota, as they got insurance for both Jason Kubel and Delmon Young on a bargain contract. You could make a case that Thome is even Kubel’s equal, though I fear the wrath of the great white north if I ever say another disparaging word about Kubel again, so I won’t make that case.
Thome gives them depth at two positions and offers a patient bat-off-the-bench that makes starting Nick Punto more palatable, knowing you can pinch-hit for him late in the game. For less than $2 million, this is a no-brainer. It’s a good player at a low cost, giving them options in case of injury or poor performance. However, it also adds another LH hitter to a line-up that is already overly left-handed. Somewhere along the line, the Twins will have to add a right-handed stick who can break up the L-L-L-L top of the order. But, assuming that this move doesn’t preclude them from doing that, this is still a good addition.
3. The Mets re-signed Fernando Tatis, and are apparently going to go into 2010 with a first base platoon of Tatis and Daniel Murphy. I don’t even know what to say. Really, Omar? This is your plan? You couldn’t have used that million dollars you gave Gary Matthews Jr, combined it with the Tatis money, and gotten a younger, better first baseman instead (someone named Garko, perhaps)? You spent approximately 40 bazillion dollars on the core of your roster, and then seem intent on surrounding them with guys who just don’t deserve jobs.
I’d say I don’t get it, but maybe The Contest just has a better grand prize than a World Series trophy.