Thursday, December 09, 2004
Snakes Sign GlausThe Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly signed free-agent 3B Troy Glaus, according to MSNBC. The contract terms were four years and $45M. IMO this was a remarkably stupid deal, both in years and dollars, but it does do one thing: it may force the Dodgers to overpay for Adrian Beltre even more. That said, I like Troy and wish him well in his new digs in Arizona -- unless they're playing the Dodgers, of course.
Mantei Moves To BostonFormer Arizona closer Matt Mantei signed with Boston, for a one-year, $750k contract. He will there assume a setup role for established closer Keith Foulke.
Update: Yes, Bob, you're right, it's M-a-n-t-e-i.
Closer and Closer: Hendry Targeting Danny Kolb?If this is true, I rescind any nice things I may have ever said about Jim Hendry being an astute judge of baseball talent: the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs are hot after Milwaukee closer Danny Kolb. Kolb's 3.30 K/9 and 1.40 K/BB rates represent one of his worst years in the majors and a possible indicator of bad things to come. At best, he's a Ben Weber type who'll keep the ball on the ground, but his ERA is not indicative of ability; he's much, much worse than the 2.98 ERA he accomplished this year. IMO Hendry would be better off with LaTroy Hawkins in the closer spot; at least he can still strike 'em out.
A 40-Man ObservationEarlier in the week, I mentioned that leaving RHP Steve Andrade off the 40-man roster might have been a mistake. Who was on the 40-man roster that could have been left off? Well: Alfredo Amezega, maybe? It's not as easy a choice as I thought.
There's been extensive discussion of Kolb as a closer over on The Cub Reporter and some folks whom I respect, and who are both saber-minded and have seen Kolb pitch on a number of occasions, are optimistic about Kolb as a closer at Wrigley. He throws many, many ground balls, and he just keeps getting outs.
Hawkins career save percentage is 72. Kolb's career save percentage is 86. I know who I'd choose, but that's because of those 0-2 fastballs, which became so frequent that I could predict them. At least if Kolb gives up a hit it's not likely to leave the park.
* a save in a game in which the tying run was in scoring position when he entered.
* (And/or) save a game in which he protected a one-run lead for at least one inning.
45.2% of Eric Gagné's saves during his late streak were quality closes. How many of Kolb's were? How many of Hawkins' were? I would be willing to bet Kolb came to the mound with nobody on in the top of the ninth more times than Hawkins did.