Is Bautista a better player than Hunter Renfroe?

Kids Edwin Encarnacion Jersey
Edwin Encarnacion is the one star hitter left, and he averaged 39 home runs and slugged .544 the past five seasons. Only Chris Davis has more home runs in that span, and only four others have a higher slugging percentage. He has hit nearly as well on the road as at home. Still, he¡¯ll be 34 next year, and his 2016 season, relative to the league, wasn¡¯t quite as dominant as his previous four.

Elite Mens Gabriel Landeskog Jersey The concerns about Encarnacion, however, pale next to the others. Mark Trumbo led the majors with 47 home runs. Fifteen years ago, or maybe even 10 years ago, he would have signed a fat deal by now and been heralded as some team¡¯s new cleanup hitter.

This is important. While the average salary continues to rise, the median salary on Opening Day payrolls dropped from $1.65 million in 2015 to $1.5 million in 2016. That means teams are keeping younger, less expensive players over older, higher-paid veterans to fill rosters. This appears to be a direct result of what I¡¯ll generously call ¡°rebuilding¡± teams.

Take the San Diego Padres. Is Bautista a better player than Hunter Renfroe? Probably. But what¡¯s the point? You can pay Renfroe the minimum and find out if he¡¯s any good. Why pay Bautista so much more than Renfroe to win a couple extra games? The Chicago White Sox could use a DH. But the team isn¡¯t aiming for the playoffs, so why sign Napoli to a two-year deal for $30 million or so to win maybe 73 games instead of 71?

The net effect is twofold: It puts more money in owners¡¯ pockets (shocker!), but it also means the 30 best first basemen in baseball aren¡¯t necessarily the 30 starting first basemen.

That¡¯s one reason I think the bidding was quiet for Justin Turner. The Dodgers kind of reluctantly took him back. Not because they don¡¯t need him in 2017 and 2018, but because it might block third base for a potential run at Machado or Donaldson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *