Friday, December 14, 2007

Everett's D Has Its Day

The Twins entered this offseason with several holes needing to be filled. They opened another hole when they traded starting shortstop Jason Bartlett as part of a package to acquire Delmon Young, and yesterday they seemingly filled that hole by signing Adam Everett.

The Twins inked Everett, who had been non-tendered by the Astros just a day after a 5-for-1 swap sent Miguel Tejada to Houston, to a one-year deal worth $2.8 million (with an additional $200K possible in incentives). Everett seemingly serves as a stopgap until a guy like Alexi Casilla, Trevor Plouffe or Alejandro Machado is ready to take over the position. The contract is reasonable and it doesn't carry much risk. But is it a good signing?

The Twins came into this offseason badly needing to improve an offense that was one of the league's worst in 2007. As such, bringing in a player who has been one of baseball's worst regular hitters for the past several years seems like a major step in the wrong direction. In the past season, Everett batted .232/.281/.318, which is Nick Punto territory. What's worse is that there isn't much potential for Everett to produce any more than that. Throughout his career, his numbers have always been very consistent with his overall hitting line of .248/.299/.357, which is what you'd expect from a guy who hit .258/.346/.368 in the minor leagues. Everett's career high for on-base percentage is .320; for slugging percentage, .385. On top of all that, he'll turn 31 in February, so he's no spring chicken.

But here's what makes Everett a major-league player: his defense. He's a phenomenal defensive shortstop -- the best, according to many knowledgeable baseball analysts and players. Defense is important -- as Ubelmann notes, perhaps to an underrated degree. This is especially true at shortstop, which is perhaps the second-most important position on the field behind catcher. When he's at his best, Everett can save runs with his glove and help a team's pitching staff tremendously.

But this brings two questions into focus. First, will Everett be at his best? He missed much of the 2007 season after breaking his leg in June, and there's no telling how that will affect his mobility. If Everett loses even a step, his value diminishes greatly. The other question is how helpful he will be to this Twins team -- specifically, how much more helpful will he be in the field than a player like Casilla or Punto who is likely to put up better numbers offensively? With Carlos Silva departing, the Twins don't project to have a very groundball-heavy pitching staff; it is also possible that Everett's range will be less effective on artificial turf than it was on natural grass.

At this point in time, I don't like this signing. Everett is the type of player that can be valuable in the right situation, but I'm not really sure the Twins are a team that can afford the luxury of a superb defensive shortstop who can't hit worth a lick. If Bill Smith manages to fill each of the team's other holes with legitimate hitters, my mind could change; however, that seems somewhat unlikely at this point.

11 comments:

Twin #2 said...

I don't really like this signing at this point either, but I think assuming that Punto or Casilla would be a better hitter is incorrect.

2007:
Casilla (MLB) .222/.256/.259
Casilla (AAA) .269/.345/.344
Punto .210/.291/.271
Everett .232/.281/.318

Career:
Casilla (minors) .298/.368/.374
Punto .245/.314/.321
Everett .248/.299/.357

Sadly, Everett may be the best offensive choice of the three. I still would definitely rather let Casilla develop, but Casilla or Punto wouldn't be that much better than Everett offensively, if at all. Obviously, though, Punto and Casilla were already on the team, and Everett was just added. I don't like the deal because I'd rather let Casilla develop.

Karleeee said...

and he shall be called nicky jr.

lol

Moonlight Graham said...

Punto is overrated on defense -- his range is limited -- and we saw all we need to see of his offense last season. I attended several games last season in which Casilla made mistakes that simply aren't tolerable at the major league level. So, arguing that the best defensive shortstop in baseball is a bad signing given these alternatives makes little sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it possible that Everett would be able to help mentor Casilla (and Harris)? The SS is the leader of the defense, and you need someone who can play that role.

Also, doesn't this allow Smith to look for a better bat at 3rd without worrying as much about the defense?

Nick N. said...

Sadly, Everett may be the best offensive choice of the three.

I know what the numbers say, but then again, we also know what these players are capable of. Punto and Casilla both had brutal years last season that were a huge step back from their 2006 campaigns, so it's fair to believe they'll improve this next season -- especially Casilla, who is young and showed his inexperience in his first stint at the major-league level. Conversely, Everett's ugly numbers last year were about in line with his career averages.

So, arguing that the best defensive shortstop in baseball is a bad signing given these alternatives makes little sense to me.

Did this team fall apart last year because of defense or offense? All too frequently, the offense couldn't produce more than a couple runs much of the time in the second half due to the numerous black holes in the lineup. As a great of a defender as the Twins have added in Everett, they're just added another black hole to their lineup. I just don't feel like this signing helps solve any pressing issues -- instead it compounds the most pressing one.

Also, doesn't this allow Smith to look for a better bat at 3rd without worrying as much about the defense?

Ostensibly, yes. But who's he going to get?

Jeff said...

All good points, Nick. This signing is about as exciting as a dentist appointment.

Anonymous said...

"Also, doesn't this allow Smith to look for a better bat at 3rd without worrying as much about the defense?

Ostensibly, yes. But who's he going to get?"

Mike Lamb, apparently. :-p

Nick N. said...

Mike Lamb, apparently. :-p

Touché.

菲梵 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,