Last week, the White Sox signed up their good center fielder, Adam Eaton, to a five-year extension worth $25 million. Eaton is a good center fielder, and he is good at center field. He gets a good bit of his value from his speed: he legged out 10 triples and 15 SBs last season while running down a bunch of fly balls in the outfield. Sounds familiar?
It got me thinking about what an extension for Billy Hamilton would look like and whether or not the Reds should entertain the idea. I think Eaton is a pretty good comp for Billy. Eaton broke out last year, posting over 5 bWAR largely on the strength of his defense. The Sox understand that value and so offered him the extension. Eaton understands that his skills ain't exactly compensated well in arbitration and took the money up front rather and going through arb.
Guys like Eaton and Billy don't tend to age well. Speed is a young-man's skill. It might be smart to lock down Billy through his 20s and bid him a fond farewell soon after. The only real question is whether or not Billy can improve. He's a nice player if he runs smartly and plays good defense, but I think he'll need to produce better at the plate before the Reds entertain the idea of an extension. We'll see where things stand at this time next year.
Fangraphs positional rankings has the Reds at #22 in CF
Speaking of Billy, he is projected to not do much as a hitter. A .294 wOBA seems a bit low to me, but whatevs. But dang, #22 in all of baseball seems low. If the Reds have any designs on doing anything this year, they'll need Billy to bring it better than that.
I dunno if we talked about this already
But CTrent posted his predicted Opening Day roster a few days ago. I don't think there are any surprises here (aside from the still gob-smackingly ridiculous notion that Jason Marquis is included. I don't know when I'll get over that.), but it's worth noting all of the non-roster invites who are projected to make it. Marquis is one, along with Kevin Gregg in the 'pen and Brennan Boesch and Chris Dominguez on the bench. I love the idea of using non-roster invites to fill out the back end of the roster, and I'm (perhaps irrationally) inclined to believe that Gregg and Boesch are really savvy moves. We'll see, I guess.
Mick Lorenzen has impressed so far in camp
He has a 1.64 ERA so far through 11 innings. He is still nominally in the running for a spot on the Opening Day roster, but it would probably be in the bullpen. That would be dumb. Personally, I'd love to see him in the rotation instead of Jason Marquis, but to be quite honest, I'd love to see [CONTEST WINNER] in the rotation instead of Marquis. I think Lorenzen will begin the year in the Louisville rotation, which is right and good. He could be special. Definitely someone to keep an eye on moving forward #RIPCREDS.
Ducky Ludwick ain't makin' the Rangers roster
The old fella signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers and some expected he would make the team on account of their embarrassing paucity of talent. He always seemed like a classy fella and everyone likes him, so I wish him the best.
NEWS FROM HELL
Curt Ford, who played for the Cardinals a bit back in the late 80s, was sucker-punched, called a racial slur, and was instructed to "go back to Ferguson" by some jerkhole."I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis," Ford said.
The cops have made an arrest in the case and it seems like they have their man, as there were security cameras and witnesses and everything. It would be easy for me here on a Reds blog to make some crack about St. Louis being a classless hole in the center of America, but the cold truth is that we all know this story isn't exceptional. This kind of thing happens on the daily all over the country. The only reason this particular story made the news is because of Ford's celebrity. We are all St. Louis. We are all Ferguson.