A Theoretical Roster
To build on the post I did the other day, here’s a slightly tweaked roster that involves adding two non-major players that would push this team into the contending-is-a-real-possibility range. The numbers are based on the CHONE projections for 2009, and I projected the playing time.
As you probably noticed, the two additions are Nick Johnson and Alfredo Amezaga. They’re projected to combine for 600 PA, so I’m not penciling either of them in as full time players, but their impact on the roster could still be pretty dramatic.
Despite all of his injury issues, Nick Johnson is a remarkably productive player when he’s on the field. His CHONE projection has him at +25 runs per 150 games, or about +4 runs per 100 PA. Even with his can’t-stay-healthy, can’t-be-trusted track record, Johnson doesn’t need to play much to help the team. Washington simply isn’t going to demand the moon for one year of Nick Johnson, considering that he’s owed $5 million and his health is a pretty big question mark.
Amezaga essentially replaces Bloomquist on the roster, and is a pretty comparable hitter and baserunner. However, he’s a switch-hitter and a tremendous defensive player, which gives the team a legitimate defensive middle infielder. Amezaga is arb. eligible, which means he’s getting expensive for the Marlins, and could be acquired without giving up a key piece of the future.
That group of position players projects out to about a 720 run offense. Considering the run prevention that the defense and pitching staff should be capable of, that’s a ~.500ish team with real upside.
Nick Johnson and Alfredo Amezaga would add about $6 or $7 million to the payroll. Based on 300 PA apiece, they’d be worth about 3 wins combined. If Johnson stays healthy, that could easily be 5 wins. And, you don’t have to mortgage the farm to get either one.
These are the kinds of moves that I’d like to see the M’s make. You add a legitimate LH bat who gets on base and a great infield glove, give the team a shot at contention in 2009, and don’t set the organization’s build-with-youth plan back much at all. This team simply doesn’t have to be terrible in 2009. There are legitimate options to win and build for the future at the same time.
Here’s to hoping the M’s can pull it off.