AL Central SS WARs

Algebra! Oh snap!

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unblurry version here

No Mauer

Indeed.  Peralta is the only one on the list marginally above average for a shortstop, by all of a single run.  This despite the fact that he's expected to be the worst defender by far.  I have to think Peralta is going to move. It makes the most sense to leverage Cabrera's great glove and move Peralta down the spectrum.  He'll likely be a signficantly better fielder at 3B, which leaves his value intact.  The Indians will be about league average at the two positions.

Alexei gets the second largest ding on defense, though it probably won't be clear for a while exactly how much his glove is worth there.  Most play by play fielding stats hated his work at second but he continues to do well in scouting reports and shortstop is his "natural" position, whatever that's worth.  In the very least, I don't think he's likely to be worse than the half win below average CHONE pegs him for.  Alexei may well be the best shortstop in the Central, though unless he starts taking some walks, it's unlikely to be by a signficant margin.

The Tigers and Twins are giving away at least a win at short, mainly because they went all field, no punch.  The Tigers can obviously afford to sacrifice a few runs for the sake of their pitchers and Polanco and Everett make up the slickest fielding double play combo in baseball.  They'll also be throwing Inge out at third, who is Joe Crede good there.

The Twins?  They had Punto and Everett last year and couldn't find regular playing time for either.  They're similar players and good infielders definitely matter on that carpet.  But for serious: Nick Punto is not the single greatest thing to happen to baseball since the lively baseball, no matter how dirt-stained the uniform.

Bottom line: both the Tigers and Twins passed on paying a draft pick for a legit 3 WAR SS in Orlando Cabrera in a year when the division is wide open.  Marginal wins should be cheaper in this environment, yet neither were willing to pay up.  Punto is getting $4.5M a season through '10 with a club option for '11.  Everett is getting $1M on a single year deal.  Meanwhile Orlando Hudson is going to make something like $7M, also on a one-and-done, which is a solid proxy for The OC's expected contract.  The Twins in particular had no obvious reason at all to commit to Punto.  No, that reason was obscure to most, but it's clear enough to me.  The Twins signed Punto specifically to screw with SSS faithful.  Your heads are set to explode any day now, gentlemen.  You have no chance to survive, make your time.

 

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