Atlanta: Greg Norton (1/800k)
Gregory Blakemoor Norton possesses the best middle name in baseball, challenged only by Curt Montague Schilling. Norton started 2008 with Seattle, hitting .438/.500/.563 with 16 at-bats. Because Jose Vidro is awesome, the Mariners chose to deal him to Atlanta for a player to be named later. With the Braves, he would see an additional 171 at-bats, hitting .246/.361/.427 and convincing them into another contract. Offensively, his skillset lacks consistent homerun power, but does have excellent plate discipline. Since Norton is average at first base and poor elsewhere, this leaves the Braves with Norton as a pinch-hitter. Norton will be lucky to get 200 plate appearances, and even if he does, apathy is likely to reign supreme. Norton figures to teeter close to replacement level.
Detroit: Matt Treanor (1/750k)
Nichols Law of Catcher Defense states an inverse relationship between offensive performance and defensive reputation. Even as a catcher, Treanor’s not much of a hitter, which probably explains why he’s the “perfect back-up”. Observe this article, in which Todd Jones outlines Treanor’s strengths as: handles pitchers well, has cool wife, can really throw, dependable behind the dish. We don’t really know whether Treanor possesses inherent abilities in game calling that separate him from others, but even if you give him marginal credit for that, how much is that really worth? Even with five runs of defensive credit and a positional bonus Treanor’s not too valuable. His wife is an Olympic medalist, that’s neat. Treanor has thrown out about 25% of career attempted base thieves, so I guess he can throw. As for dependability, I suppose he doesn’t leave the plate until the final out of the half inning is recorded. That’s important.
Houston: Aaron Boone (1/750k)
Can you believe Aaron Boone will soon be 36? No? Well even less believable is that Boone and Geoff Blum appear to be your 2009 Houston Astros third base platoon. Yes, the Astros are going to a basic platoon based on the opposing pitchers hand. There’s not much to mess up here. You would expect Blum and Boone to show dominant statistics versus one of the hands, and with Boone being a right-handed hitter, he’s the one who beats up southpaws, right?
Oh, those splits just scream platoon partners.
The Astros are leaving third base up to a pair of 36-year-olds with bizarre splits that present a marginal upgrade over going with just one. Blum is a decent defender, and assuming he gets the lion share of plate appearances might keep this from falling to replacement level.