Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Bye Aaron

Look, the Phillies can’t guarantee sixty million dollars to Aaron Rowand- a huge payday that is really off one really admittedly superior year in a hitter’s park- to an increasingly thirty-something player who gets hurt a lot. Read your Bill James and Moneyball people. The surest road to ruin in pro-sports is huge contracts to players in their thirties- and ultimately the Phillies will be glad they did not pay this bill. I’m not saying this will make them better- but a lot of choices in pro-sports are between getting worse (losing Rowand) or making a bad contract mistake (see the Phillies’ veteran starting pitching).

Frankly, the Phillies have a infinitely cheaper and accomplished outfield option: Shane Victorino. They don’t lose much defensively with the Flyin' Hawaiian out there. The offense the Phillies lose over the next five years might be mitigated by the fact that a fair over/under on “how many games more does Victorino actually play than Rowand between now and 2012 might be 150?

$60M bills Rowand as a "can't miss" middle-of-the-order hitter- pretty big talk about a 30 year old player with 90 career home runs and 300 or so RBIs. Think Rowand will have 150 dingers when he retires? I don't. You wanna pay David Wright money to find out?

Being honest, and I am sure Jennifer Whittington would agree, once Rowand walked away from three years at crazy money from the Phillies, I thought it was a no-brainer to let him walk. They simply will not lose much vis-à-vis Victorino over the total five years (although what they do lose will be front-loaded- and will hurt). Frankly, the marginal improivement of Victorino versus Rowand isn’t worth ten million annually: fairly projected .280 hitting outfielders with decent-to-good power and good defensive skills are not deserving of that sort of premium.

More Rowand blogging here!

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