Diaspora update

ESPN.com – MLB – Orioles close deal with catcher Javy Lopez

You can’t argue with the decision to let Javy go. The Orioles signed him to a three-year deal worth $22.5 million, apparently thinking he’s going to match, or nearly so, what he did in 2003. I don’t think that the Braves expected that.

If you’ve missed any signings… Henry Blanco signed with the Twins, in their continuing efforts to keep the AL Central races interesting. Vinny, of course, wound up back in Colorado, where he will put up an empty 30 HR. Kent Mercker wound up with the Cubs; now watch the Braves replace him with the Cubs’ Dave Veres because their pitching wasn’t superior enough to ours yet.

17 thoughts on “Diaspora update”

  1. With the ridiculously short power alleys in Baltimore, Javy will probably hit 25-30 homers … but he’ll hit plenty of yawning fly balls when the Orioles play in Yankee Stadium. I always liked Javy, but at that price, good riddance…

  2. Yeah, I think everyone’s happy about that move. Javy will make plenty o cash into his mid-30s, the Braves will likely get more for their money with Estrada/Perez, and the Orioles get another quality player who can jack curveballs in the zone. He’ll probably get a bunch more at-bats this year too, with the DH. Let’s just say he’s quite the upgrade over Brook Fordyce and Geronimo Gil.

  3. That $8.5 million final season of the contract when Javy is a 35 year old DH with bad knees is going to be tough to watch for Oriole fans. But of course they are used to that sort of thing.

  4. Hey, look on the bright side, we’ve got ARMANDO ALMANZA now. A guy who’s coming off an injury plagued year and has never pitched more than 50.3 innings in a season. His strikeout rate is good though, 217 SO in 199 IP. I Hope they can make something out of this guy, cause I’m not impressed by his durability or his ERA (6.08 in 2003, 4.79 career). I guess we’ll see.

  5. JS liked Boom-Boom Bobby Hernandez so much that he went out and got two more (Almanza and Alfonseca) just like him.

  6. The Orioles signed him to a three-year deal worth $22.5 million, apparently thinking he’s going to match, or nearly so, what he did in 2003

    I disagree. If they really expected a repeat of 2003, he’d be worth a lot more than $7.5m a year. $7.5m a year presumes some dropoff, though clearly not a collapse. I think that Javy will generally be worth what this contract will pay him.

  7. Yeah, I think Javy will be worth what the O’s pay him. It just wasn’t worth it for us to pay him that, given our budget situation.

  8. I don’t think the budget was the main concern, or should have been, anyway. What would worry me is that Javy would put up three straight years like 2002, rather than come close to his success of 2003.

  9. Grst-
    The budget was there to sign Javy; as I’ve outlined in other threads, though, JS has instead chosen to spend most of that money on Marrero, Alfonseca, Eddie Perez, Gary Matthews Jr, and now Almanza. They will combined for $6.3m in salary next year, about $1.2m less than what Javy will make. And all of them will likely suck.

  10. Colin is right, there was money to sign Javy. In fact with the money JS offered Sheff, we could have signed Javy, Marrero and Alfonseca. I think those numbers come out to about the same. I would like the Braves chances next year much better with Javy in the line up. I think those predicting Javy’s complete implosion next year should get a tune up on their crystal balls. I too doubt if Javy puts up 2003 numbers this year, but I think he will put up 25 – 30 Hrs and a .290 – .300 AVG, which ain’t too shabby for a catcher.

  11. According to the Wash Post (therefore completely unreliable) there is a $5 million incentive clsuse if he keeps his weight under 213 lbs for the entire 2004 season. Makes that contract even harder to swallow if you’re the Braves.

    Javy will easily hit 40 tacos next year in that park DHing. He’s likely to have 100 ABs more than he did last year.

  12. FYI, Camden Yards hasn’t played as a hitters park since 1995 and has generally reduced offense between 3 and 6 percent per year since then.

  13. Well, given that the O’s have fielded a AAA team for the past six years, it’s no surprise to see the park factor decline.

  14. You’re right Dan, Camden Yards does suppress offense overall, but that’s mostly in doubles and triples. It has always been and still is, a great home run park for right-handed hitters.

    I could only find data through 2000 at this website:

    http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/Bal/index.htm

    Camden Yards’ HR rate for RH hitters from 1992-2000 was: 99, 134, 110, 126, 96, 132, 102, 110 and 109. Does anyone have any more updated info than that?

  15. bledsole,

    The quality of performers has NOTHING to do with park factors. The easiest way of expressing a park factor is (runs allowed on the road plus runs scored on the road) divided by (RA home plus RS home) Good, bad, or indifferent, the quality of play doesn’t drive the park factor.

    Creg,

    I agree that HR park factors are not the same as runs scored ones. But I think folks saying that Lopez will *improve* his career norms by moving to Baltimore are overly optimistic.

    Anyway, according to Ballparks.com, there was a minor remodling in Camden for the 2001 season. The fences were pushed back in LF, LCF and CF. Many of those changes were reversed in 2002 bringing the park back in line with the original dimensions, but not all of them. I don’t have new RHB HR factors, but I would suggest the use of pre-2001 numbers is somewhat misleading.

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