Random free agents: Nomar
NOMAHHHHH!! That’s the first and only time I’ll do that.
What you get:
– some number of healthy games
– a decent glove at a couple positions (maybe)
– right handed bat
– could come reasonably cheap (he’s not going to get $9m again at 35 after that last season)
What’s the catch:
– he was on the DL more times than I can easily count last year
– he may just retire
– probably will retire
– I’d retire if I were Nomar anyway
– I mean, he’s made his money, been awesome, why not go hang out with Mia instead of spend another year in the trainer’s room trying to figure out what that last snapping noise was?
– whether or not Nomar’s defense is even average, even at first, is debatable
– might not be a whole lot left in the bat
Think of Nomar as Mike Morse if Mike Morse was ridiculously injury prone, and could hit and fielded a little better. And didn’t have a steroid scandal in his past.
Think about how Nomar might fit on the M’s. Branyan could use a right-handed bat to caddy at first, and Nomar can do that. Nomar can spot start and play better-than-Morse defense at third and short.
If he can hit. And this is where I think we start to get to what’s interesting about Nomar as a free agent this off-season: the high end for a 2008 Nomar performance where you play him as a super-sub against righties and rotate him through DH and first base against lefties (or something equally weird) is that you get him into 80, maybe 90 games, keep him well-rested and somewhat more healthy, and squeeze 300, 350 at-bats of .290/.345/.450 hitting. And the worst case is he’s injured, bad when injured, and takes the Pokey Reese Memorial Award for Well-Compensated Absenteeism (The Greg Hibbard Award is given to deserving pitchers).
What’s that gamble worth? The M’s may have the flexibility to take that chance at the right place, but I don’t think it’ll happen: he’ll retire or someone else will give him too much money on a one or two-yea deal. But it’s interesting to think about how well even a Nomar packed in protective padding for two or three days a week could fit into this year’s roster.