Your guide to Everett alternatives
Can you do better than one year, $4m for Carl Everett? We’ve suggested as much in different places, so I’d like to offer this quick rundown.
What you get with Everett
In a previous post, I threw out 140 games where Everett hits .270/.350/.450 as “the best you could reasonably expect from Everett”. That would be better than a league-average DH.
A quick and dirty three-year projection (no park adjustments or anything) comes out at about .270/.330/.450. So if you want to dream a little dream, you’ll come out a lot better than that and yayyy.
If you look at how his career’s been going, though, you’ll see the decline that’s eating away his hitting year by year.
Another point to be considered is that while Everett may come to play DH, that forces Ibanez into left where over his career he’s been below-average. It’s not a horrible disaster, but figure that’s another five runs you lose when you make this roster decision.
This is not as bad an option as it might initially seem. You can play a platoon of Morse/whoever, and the whoever could be one of a couple of internal options:
Choo, Adam Jones, T.J. Bohn, or a relocated Reed as someone else pushes Reed over. And what the heck, if the random OFers you’re using don’t work, you can still be flexible. Plus, while some of these guys might not hit as well as Everett, they improve outfield defense, and going from Ibanez to a good left-fielder goes a long way to covering the gap in offensive production.
Or you can play Dobbs at DH. Sure, that’s not a great solution, but if it means that $4m saved gets the team Millwood over Matt Morris, that’s money well-saved. Plus, again, you can be flexible in-season if you want to move Ibanez back to DH because one of the prospect OFers is ready.
Get someone else
Left-or-both-hitting options still available through free agency with names. I’m quoting their three-year averages as rough projections: while PECOTA’s way better, we don’t have those projections yet, and three-year averages get you almost all the way there. So for this rough purpose, they’re quite useful here.
Jeremy Burnitz, OF-L, 37
His three-year average runs out to .260/.320/.470. But that also includes a Colorado year, and I’m not park-adjusting these at all.
Erubiel Durazo, DH-L, 32
Out with an injury most of last season, his three-year looks like .280/.370/.460 — again, a lot higher than Everett’s. That said, like Sexson before him, no one really knows how well he’ll hit coming off his injury. That may make him a bargain, but it certainly makes him a risk.
Scott Hatteberg, “Picking Machine”-L, 36
.260/.340/.380. No thanks.
Bobby Higginson, OF-L, 35
I remember back when Higginson had some decent years. Oh, those were the days.
Jacque Jones, OF-L, 31
Supposedly looking at three years for $6m or more, which is pretty big… but compared to Everett, a premium of $2m gets you a huge defensive upgrade. Three-year is .270/.320/.440 — but as Dave’s noted, he’s great against righties, so you platoon him with (say) Morse or someone, and he’s a monster.
Matt Lawton, OF-L, 34
Failed a drug test last year. Three year is .260/.350/.410 which is about Everett’s equal.
Travis Lee, 1B-L, 31
Three year is .270/.340/.460 (I know, surprising) but he didn’t play almost at all in 2004, so that’s really more a two-year. Lee can also play passable first base, which means Sexson could DH/rest sometimes.
Tino Martinez, 1B-L, 38
Ahhhhh, Tino. Three-year average is .260/.340/.440. But then, he’s old and decaying rapidly.
Bill Mueller, 3B-B, 35
His three-year’s high because he had that monster 2003, but still: .300/.380/.460. But even toss that out, and you’re still looking at .290/.370/.430 which would be way better than Everett production. And he could spell Beltre without putting a Bloomquist-level bat in the lineup. Would he sign for $4m? I’m not sure what he’s been offered so far, but that would be a career-high for him.