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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More Berroa notes

Here's some additional thoughts I couldn't squeeze into today's piece:

Berroa: Is it really so outlandish for the Royals to consider eating Berroa's contract?

From an economic standpoint, probably so. When Berroa inked a four-year, $11 million deal last season (What were the Royals thinking?!), the deal was backloaded. He was guaranteed only $500K for this season's non-production. The next three years, it escalates as follows: $2 million; $3.75 million; $4.25 million.

So you'd be eating $10 million. The Royals can't afford to do that. That is why Andres Blanco was moved away from a position at which he could be dominant defensively. That is why Buddy Bell continues to spew forth balderdash like "Berroa will be just fine." Unfortunately, my idea to s***can Berroa is just wishful thinking.

On the other hand - you knew this was coming - think of the message this would send: get with the plan or get out, money be damned.

Ah, but it's not that simple. Never is. Berroa, talented as he is, wouldn't be unemployed long. And he'd have $10 million worth of ice to apply to his bruised ego. Likely, he'd be snapped up by a better organization, surrounded by a better support system of veterans, and be one happy little free-swinging camper.

Face it - the Royals are stuck with Berroa. That is why when a chincy franchise like the Royals chooses to invest in a player, they better make damn sure they invest in the right ones. Meanwhile, if I have to spend the next three years riding Berroa, then you can be sure that I will.

Looking at this issue from another way, economics aside, consider what the Royals would have if they just made the switch with Blanco.

Using my PROFITS model, if you switch Berroa with Blanco over a full season, you lose 31 runs offensively (that's how bad of a hitter Blanco is - Berroa without the power) but you pick up 33 runs defensively. That's a lot. Not only do you pick up two net runs but you get much better defensive support for your young, developing staff.

Yes, you do get a defensive boon by putting Blanco at second base not only are you minimizing the yield from his skills, but you're giving away yet another position offensively. If you're getting premium play defensively from one postion, perhaps you can surrender that spot in the batting order. But a team without any truly elite run producers certainly can't afford to give away any more spots than that.


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