Apr
01

A late Spring Training cut that might actually be useful

By

Dallas McPhersonLate last night we got word that the Marlins had released third baseman Dallas McPherson, a former top prospect with the Angels. Rated the twelfth best prospect in the game as recently as 2005 by Baseball America, McPherson was never able to grab hold of the Halos’ hot corner job and saw his career beset by a series of hip and back injuries. After signing a Major League contract with the Marlins last offseason, he brought his baseball career back from the grave with a monster year in the Pacific Coast League, clubbing 42 homers with the Simpsons inspired Albuquerque Isotopes. I think you know where this post is going.

First things first, McPherson had a phenomenal year last year (.275-.379-.618) in his first healthy year since 2004, but he was in an extremely favorable environment. The PCL is a hitters’ league in general, plus Albuquerque is at altitude (his home OPS was nearly two hundred points greater than his road OPS), giving him another nice boost. Translating his numbers to a neutral MLB environment (via the MLE Calculator) gives you a .207-.295-.440 batting line with a Mo awful 181 strikeouts in 468 at-bats. The .233 IsoP is dead sexy, and that’s pretty much right in line with his .213 career mark. There’s no doubt about it, the guy can hit the ball a long way. He just struggles making contact.

The second part you need to understand about his offense is his massive platoon split. A lefty, McPherson hit just .217-.308-.528 against his fellow southpaws last year, down from .285-.395-.635 against righties. In his big league career (128 total games), he’s managed just a .176-.218-.297 line off lefties, with a 38.5% strikeout rate. If the Yanks were tempted to bring McPherson aboard, it would have to be in a platoon situation only, which is fine because Cody Ransom is a righty and annihilates lefties (1.056 career OPS).

Defensively, he’s nothing special. Total Zone had him pegged as a zero run defender in Triple-A last year, which is about what you’d expect from him following surgery to fuse two of his freaking vertebrae together. I think his days of being a +9 UZR third baseman – which is what he was pre-injuries – are over. He can also play first, but that’s not going to make or break a deal for him.

CHONE sees a .203-.301-.409 line for McP next year, which is better than what it spits out for Ransom. Platooning the two will probably bump you up into the .250-.310-.430 range, an improvement over what you’d reasonably expect each player to do individually. Adding McPherson also allows Ransom to serve as the utility infielder (on days he starts you just slide him around if needed), which keeps Angel Berroa’s inevitable suckiness off the team, not to mention stopping all this Ramiro Pena nonsense. (Seriously, it’s Ramiro frickin’ Pena, when did this guy become the next great Yankee shorstop?)

Now, there’s two problems here. One is that the Yanks certainly won’t be the only team interested. The Astros can use a third baseman, and teams like the Giants and Tigers could use upgrades. Don’t discount the Cardinals either. The second is that once A-Rod comes back, McPherson’s useless because he can’t play anywhere other than first or third. You’d have to keep Ransom as the spare infielder because he can actually play the two middle spots. And as we’ve mentioned a bunch of times the last few months, why should we expect this guy to sign with the Yanks when other teams can offer him more playing time and greater opportunity? Because he wants to win? Puh-lease, the guy’s looking for the longest guaranteed paycheck he can find.

The Fish resigned McPherson to a one year, $500,000 contract earlier this offseason to avoid arbitration (he’s a Super Two), so they’re stuck eating that money while all his new team is on the hook for is the league minimum. He hit .239-.314-.370 in 46 at-bats this spring, but is out-of-options and the team had no room for him, hence the release. I obviously think the Yanks should look into McPherson as a temporary solution at third base, but I’m not very confident they’ll be able to land him. A gig with basically zero security beyond May just isn’t very attractive to a player in McPherson’s position. I’ve certainly been wrong in the past though, so who knows.

Photo Credit: Rick Scibelli Jr., The New Mexican

Categories : Hot Stove League

95 Comments»

  1. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    HAHAHA! Good one Mike.

  2. The Fish resigned McPherson to a one year, $500,000 contract earlier this offseason to avoid arbitration (he’s a Super Two), so they’re stuck eating that money while all his new team is on the hook for is the league minimum.

    Wait, isn’t the league minimum like 400,000 now anyway?

  3. jsbrendog says:

    which is about what you’d expect from him following surgery to fuse two of his freaking vertebrae together.

    this made me laugh.

    now, as for the rest of the article:

    when you put it that way, yeah he’ll prob end up in either houston or san fran. but hey, whatevs, it was worth a shot and I’m sure cash will do his due diligence.

    not gonna lie first thing that came to my mind basically word for ord when i read this last night was “GET ON THE PHONE CASH DUBYA TEE EFF SERIOUS OR YOU ARE TEH SUXORIEST!” then i was like, wow, this website has got me thinking in internet inside jokes.

  4. Sweet Mo, I never thought I’d say this, but…

    I think I’d rather have Angel Berroa.

  5. steve (different one) says:

    CHONE wOBA:

    McPherson – .313
    Mike Lamb – .321

    i’d wager that McPherson is a better bet to outperform his projection and Lamb is a decent bet to underperform him, but wrapping defense into it, i wonder if Lamb isn’t the safer move.

    i’m not sold either way, but i do think we’re letting the sexiness of McPherson’s ex-prospect status muddy the waters a little. he’s just not very good.

  6. UNION YES. says:

    Dallas reminds me of Mike Jacobs a bit.

  7. UNION YES. says:

    If there was some way to give the guy a little playing time, let him hit and flex that power, build up his trade value and send him on his way, I’d be all for it. Not too realistic I suppose.

  8. Axl says:

    Trade Melky heads up for him. They both stink.

  9. MattG says:

    “once A-Rod comes back, McPherson’s useless because he can’t play anywhere other than first or third.”

    I think this is why you don’t jump on McPherson today. He will add something as a platoon partner for Random for 6 weeks, but it is a small add, and I like the possibility of a better player shaking loose in the next 5 days. The PCL numbers, and the old prospect label, are smoke and mirrors.

    If someone else swoops in, so be it. Maybe Melvin Mora gets released tomorrow. I’d rather wait a bit.

    • andrew says:

      Why would the O’s release Mora? He’s on a reasonable contract, $9 million, and he’s fairly consistent.

      • MattG says:

        You realize that the contract size is irrelevant when being released?

        The only reason to release someone is because you have another player you want to have his role, and no other role to give him. That was Sheffield, that was Andruw, and it might be someone else better than McPherson between now and opening day.

  10. Tampa Yankee says:

    A little off topic but did you see the garbage Rosenthal wrote today about the Yanks? I know he’s probably trying to be funny but still…

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....k?MSNHPHMA

    This probably made the B-Jobbers jizz in their pants.

  11. Jamal G. says:

    June 3: A-Rod, showing increased agility at third base, publicly offers to switch positions with Jeter “for the good of the club.”

    Jeter declines comment, then makes two diving plays and goes 3-for-4 with two doubles.

    The front page of the Post the next day features a doctored photograph of Rodriguez with a piece of tape over his mouth under the headline, “Shaddup!”

    I didn’t even finish reading it and I know this is the best of the bunch.

  12. Drew says:

    I see this as a no-lose situation. Who cares if we lose the services of the great Angel Berroa? (The F***ing Royals didn’t want him) If we need a back-up to our backup utility guy(C-dog) then we have bigger issues to worry about. Mcphereson offers potential to hit for power from the right side. If he works out, we have him and tex mashing righties over the right field wall. If he doesn’t work out we’re out the league minimum. If he is succesful, not only do we have a power hitter off the bench to hit righties,(perfect complement to C-dog) we also have a trade chip that is earning the league minimum. And why doesn’t everyone want this guy if we can get him?

    • Drew says:

      Whoops, I meant *left side* mashing righties.

    • steve (different one) says:

      i don’t think it’s that anyone “doesn’t” want him, it’s just that we expect him to be terrible for the Yankees. if they get him, fine. if they don’t, fine.

      and i don’t put much stock into the scenario where he plays for a month and becomes an attractive trade chip.

      anyone can have him now for nothing. a month isn’t going to all of a sudden generate major trade value.

      • Drew says:

        I disagree, if the guy has five homers and has an obp of 360 teams will want to pick him up. And it’s not like we wouldn’t have the leverage, we wouldn’t “have” to trade him. He’s a great guy off the bench if he does well and Alex comes back.

  13. Jamal G. says:

    IDK what’s worse: the “joke” by Ken Rosenthal or the fact that nearly 20% of the myriad FOX Sports readers said that the biggest concern for the 2009 New York Yankees is “ARod’s mental state.” Other options in the poll were “ARod’s hip,” (13%) “Jeter’s declining range,” (10%) and “the Rays and Red Sox,” who garnered 58% of the vote.

    People are fucking awesome.

    • Drew says:

      I know it doesn’t count for anything. The Yankees have won 16 of the last 18 games. 21-10 overall in ST. Can we get just a little bit of love? I’m so sick of these sensationalists. We got more recognition last year with the emergence of “generation tre.”

    • My biggest concerns for the 2009 season:

      1. Why we didn’t solve the 8th inning problem, like the Mets did
      2. The clubhouse distractions caused by ARod, Cano, and Melky
      3. The fact that Joe Girardi isn’t a proven winner like Joe Torre
      4. Our appaling lack of gamers, like my by Scotty Bro
      5. The fact that our GM isn’t smart enough to get a utility infielder

  14. UNION YES. says:

    “…clubbing 42 homers with the Simpsons inspired Albuquerque Isotopes.”

    The episode where Homer lobbies for an NFL expansion team in Springfield and gets his wish, The Springfield Meltdowns. Enter Lenny and Carl:

    Lenny: “I have Melts Fever!”
    Carl: “I have Downs syndrome!”

  15. Bruno says:

    (Seriously, it’s Ramiro frickin’ Pena, when did this guy become the next great Yankee shorstop?)

    Hopefully this year ;)

    • Bruno says:

      Seriously, if he shows he can hit at all this year, any chance Cash & Co. ask Capt’n Jete to “volunteer” to move to LF next year? Then trade IPK and Cervelli for Yadier Molina. I know it’ll never happen, but one can dream right?

      LF-Jeter
      2B-Cano
      1B-Tex
      3B-A-Rod
      RF-Swish
      DH-Posada
      C-Molina
      CF-A-Jax
      SS-Pena

  16. [...] A-rod the month-plus the all-star is out, Mike Axisa at River Avenue Blues caught an interesting prospective add on the waiver wire: Dallas McPherson, a former prospect in the Angels’ system, who made his way over to the [...]

  17. [...] Axisa over at River Ave. Blues believes the Yankees should take a long look at former top prospect Dallas [...]

  18. brett says:

    that MLE calculator is fun. Pujols would have hit .484/.600/.927 in AAA Albuquerque last year

  19. [...] our favorite Yankee-mocking columnist mentions that some Yankees scouts pondered the idea of signing Dallas McPherson. Yet they never brought the idea to Brian Cashman, so it’s not going to happen. Mike and I [...]

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