Random free agents: Hinske
This off-season, I wanted to pick some random names out of the free agent hat and generally spout off about how I always end up thinking about roster construction. This will inevitably lead to me advocating the team sign a relief pitcher who can steal 15-20 bases.
What he offers:
– historically mashes righties
– he’s not so old at 31
– having been through a playing-time wringer last year, it’s unlikely he’s going to kvetch about any reasonable arrangement
– will probably come cheap
– former Blue Jay
You have to live with:
– he’s neutralized by lefties. His career line against them is .219/.293/.365.
– he’s not a defender any more
– his upside is probably not all that up
Random other info:
– late-season slump and being dropped off the Rays playoff roster for a time may drive his value down
Sounds like our new DH to me! Woo-hoo!
Really: last year, he still managed to hit .262/.344/.500 against right-handers. He’ll do pretty well in lefty-friendly Safeco Field.
The problem is that if you find him a platoon partner somewhere and protect him aggressively, he’ll still face some lefties, and on the season you’ll get ~400 at-bats out of him and hoping you get a .250/.330/.440 season out of him. Which is a little above league average but not much. The problem is that with Branyan you’re already looking at a potential platoon candidate, putting a little more pressure the remaining roster to fill more roles.
Hinske’s ability to play the outfield badly isn’t helpful, and with Branyan, his potentially competent first base defense wouldn’t be much of a bonus either.
Overall, Hinske’s kind of a boring possibility. This makes him useful as a baseline DH candidate. Take for instance Cliff Floyd. Over his career Floyd’s a much better hitter against lefties than Hinske. But he’s way more fragile. For the same money, which one would you rather have? Or Dunn, or Bradley, or so on… but I’m getting ahead of myself now.
There’s an inspiring pitch — “Hinske: a decent and reasonably priced default platoon DH option to compare other against”