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Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Overlooked

It seems to me, with all of the recent talk about trading one of Carlos Lee and Paul Konerko, we, and probably the White Sox organization too, have forgotten the value of these two sluggers.

Today Carlos hit his 30th and 31st HR's and needs just one RBI to have his second straight 30HR/100RBI season. With just 4 games remaining, Carlos can almost go 0-for-the rest of the season(0-15) and still finish with the magical .300 average, giving him the rare .300/30/100 season for the first time in his career. The .300/30/100 plateau is one that Magglio Ordonez was going to turn into $$$ pre-injury.

Here's how Carlos ranked among AL outfielders the last two seasons as compared using Aaron Gleeman's GPA (Gross Production Average).
2004                 2003

AL OFers GPA AL OFers GPA
M. Ramirez .333 M. Ramirez .339
V. Guerrero .321 T. Nixon .323
G. Sheffield .313 M. Ordonez .308
H. Matsui .302 C. Beltran .306
I. Suzuki .301 V. Wells .299
A. Rowand .300 C. Everett .292
C. Lee .299 G. Anderson .291
L. Ford .289 S. Stewart .279
J. Damon .289 F. Catalanotto .276
M. Kotsay .284 C. Lee .274
J. Guillen .283
There is only one player on the list twice who's not making $20MIL/year, Carlos Lee. He made $4.2MIL in 2003, $6.5MIL in 2004, and is scheduled to make $8.0MIL in 2005.

And there is the crux of the situation, Carlos Lee is due to make over 10% of the White Sox Payroll next season. With Carlos Lee($8MIL), Paul Konerko($8.75MIL), Frank Thomas($8MIL), Freddy Garcia($8MIL), Jose Contreras($6MIL), and Mark Buehrle($5.75MIL) taking up a huge chunk of the Sox overall payroll, the sox are likely going to have to move one of them in order to have enough money to fill the other holes. Konerko and Lee are the only two likely to be moved, as they are the most expensive, and have only one year remaining on their contracts. Lee actually has an option at $8.5 MIL in 2006.

I titled this entry "overlooked" because that's exactly what Carlos has been in his career. The press and the fans tend to focus on what he can't do, rather than all of the stuff that he does really well.

Carlos currently has a 163 game errorless streak going in the outfield. His fielding stats appear very good when compared to other LFers. (It's very hard to compare fielding as their aren't many good metrics to measure fielding.) What I can tell you is that I no longer hold my breath when a ball is hit towards left field. I don't even hold my breath when one is hit in the gap Carlos' way. He makes all of the routine plays, and has occasionally made a few spectacular ones too.

Too often we think the grass is greener on the other side, that the player from another team is the answer to all that is wrong with our favorite team. There are so few players who can bring to the table what Carlos does, and those that do will break the bankroll of most non-Yankee teams, that trading him would seem to me to be a big mistake.

Random Notes
  • The White Sox opening day starting infield each have 20 HR's -- Crede (21) Uribe (22) Valentin (29) and Konerko (41) -- It's the first time in team history this has happened.
  • Ross Gload is now batting .400 with RISP, removing Timo Perez's one claim to fame as being the best on the team in that situation.
  • Here's how a few players have performed in various metrics
    • Gload -- VORP (17.1) RCAA (-1) RARP (10.5)
    • Perez -- VORP (-6.2) RCAA (-22) RARP (-8.0)
    • Borchard -- VORP (-12.1) RCAA (-18) RARP (-11.5)
    • Crede -- VORP (3.1) RCAA(-23) RARP (2.0)
  • Ross Gload extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Other notable hit streaks this season: Willie Harris (13), Frank Thomas(15), and Carlos Lee (28)


*Disclaimer*
-- The statistics in the "Random Notes" section may not be 100% accurate. I haven't been very good about updating the blog lately. It hasn't been for lack of effort though. I have a saved draft for each of the last three nights. I just get distracted doing something else, and I save the entry for later. The random notes section is just stuff I've pulled from various entries that didn't actually get posted. The stats were accurate at the time, but they could be from 1,2, or 3 days ago. Sorry.

It's been fairly difficult to find topics to write about these last few weeks, but don't worry, I've got a few things in the works for the off-season. Those include a look at the effect the new roof at USCF has had on our pitchers and hitters, comparing Jon Garland to the other 3rd starters in the American League, and a comparison between Jon Garland's "big innings" and Mark Buehrle and other similar starters "big innings". Then there will be the post-season, which I doubt will be able to rival last post-season, and I'm sure I'll examine the FA outlook once that becomes a little situation becomes a little more clear. So there should still be plenty of content, none of it worth reading ;-), but content none-the-less.