I’m still a little baffled by this deal. First off, without a workhorse like Urbina, I can see the whole bullpen falling apart in what would be a worst case scenario. Percival can’t handle the innings, and I see another stint on the DL for him. As for guys like Farnsworth and German, I really hope they’re up for the task.
And for all intents and purposes, Martinez was a throw in, so I’ll be pretty much keeping him out of the analysis. I guess we can call him the tie breaker.
I’m also a little surprised they gave up on Infante so quickly. If I look at the VORP figures through yesterdays game, Polanco (11) has about a 15 run edge over Infante (-4). Of course the Phillies lose little, because Chase Utley has them both topped with 19.4 (second best second baseman only to Jeff Kent). So on the face of things, we’re getting an upgrade.
Now if we compare Urbina and Polanco, we have close to wash. Urbina has been good for 16 pitching runs above replacement so far, while Polanco has been good for 22 (8 hitting and 14 fielding). That six run differential is about half of a win, so that explains why we threw Martinez into the deal.
But numbers aside, through the end of May last year, Omar Infante had three homers. This year, he also had three homers. So if he went on a run, he could easily get himself closer to where he was last year. Polanco has only ten extra base hits, while Infante has 16. And Omar’s eight fielding runs above replacement is a mere six runs less then the slick fielding Polanco (which explains a lot of the differential between the two).
So I just don’t see what we’re getting here. Our pen definitely gets worse, and while Polanco might get an extra single here or there, it’s Infante that can mash the ball if can return to form. And throw in the fact that Polanco has only a one year contract, and it makes the thing even more befuddling.
I really thought we’d be able to get some front line prospects from, well someone, for Urbina. While I’ll never count the Tigers out this early, an eleven game deficit is really tough to come back from so making a move to short things up this year seems somewhat fruitless. And when you throw in the fact that the Indians could pass them if the Tigers falter, it makes things look even more dicey.