Alex Gonzalez in talks with the Giants

So this was pretty much inevitable. Alex Gonzalez seems to carry the traits that are typical of recent Giants shortstops, namely that he’s old and can’t hit. He’s a veteran, a guy that’s been there before, but he’s also not a particularly good player. With the Giants out on Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins, and a few shortstop options already off the market, there isn’t much left out there. Eventually, it gets to the point where it’s not worth it for the Giants to pursue any of these guys because they just aren’t any better than the internal option, Brandon Crawford. Gonzalez might be that point.

The Good

— The defense: As old as Gonzalez is, his defense is still top-notch. If you go by DRS, he’s saved over +30 runs with his glove in the last two seasons; if you go by FRAA, he’s still +20 since 2010. This is really the only thing that makes him a useful player. He was worth 1.3 rWAR in 2011, and 85% of that value came from his glove.

— He’s cheap: Well, presumably he is. Maybe I’m wrong here. This offseason’s been a little crazy, but I still can’t imagine any teams are willing to throw much money at him. Even his last contract only had an average annual value of ~$2.5MM.

The Bad

— He can’t hit: And that’s pretty much all there is to it. On Twitter, Scott Willis (@BAStatsGuy) spells it out pretty simply in two tweets: Gonzalez has never posted a wRC+ above 100; in other words, he’s never even been a league-average hitter. And Crawford, as ugly as his bat may seem, isn’t projected to hit much worse than Gonzalez.

— He’s old: He’ll turn 35 years old in February. He doesn’t seem like the type to age gracefully, either.


…at least it’s not Yuniesky Betancourt?


6 thoughts on “Alex Gonzalez in talks with the Giants

  1. He still is a very good fielder. Also, he cannot hit for average but
    he can hit for some power. He also is somewhat streaky, and ala Edgar
    Renteria, he can be surprisingly clutch in the late innings. I know some
    do not believe in the concept of clutchness, but he seems to be the kind of
    guy who can get a tad more intense in the batters box, in late innings with
    the game on the line. He is often injured, so that should give Crawford
    some major league playing time.

  2. Nothing wrong with having a little ‘chat’.

    The favorable Bill James projections are : .237/.278/.381 with 14 HRs. He had 15 long balls last year and 20+ the year spent mostly in the Rogers Centre. So, he’s still got some pop and would make a decent 8 hitter.

    Who would you rather have? Ronny Cedeno ? Ryan Theriot ? Jack Wilson ?

    The likelihood of Crawford hitting below the Mendoza line is certainly non-zero.

    Jimmy Rollins 4/44 would probably be worth the price by making the above headaches go away.

  3. James Projections have Furcal at .270/.338/.394 in 124 games
    &. 262/.328/.417 in 140 for Rollins.

    He’s sort of like the Beltran of SS’s in this FA class. You’re right, Furcal would be a pretty darn good risk. 2/20ish ??

  4. Good analysis. If Alex Gonzo can be signed for a 1 year deal under 4MM (this MI market is out of control) then its a good deal, providing he can play 2nd as well as caddy our pretty boy and not frown too much. Oh wait, he does. Bill James is the ultimate optimist. If he’s projecting Furcal for 120 I’ll pencil him in for 60.

    You have to have a little sympathy for Sabean trying to navigate this market. Clint Barmes looks good for 2/10 or 2/12? Detroit got their boy back for 2/4MM, nice deal for them. Empty suit Carroll starting on a 2 year contract, the Dodgers and D-Backs loading up on a ton of MIs… Maybe at the end lame Willie Bloomquist will be a bargain. Waiting out the spenders for January is looking very, very good…

    Bold prediction: Sabes throws down Affeldt and Ram-Ram for Scutaro and Andrew Miller, with a high prospect throw in.

  5. Julian

    I just noticed your twitter feed. This is none of my business, I am sure there is a lot of past history going on, but as an innocent bystander my recommendation is to back away from those type of exchanges and treat the feed like you do your blog, polite and professional. You are too good a writer to waste your time that way. Again, not really my business, just some friendly advice, take it as you like.


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