Ooooh, sweet progress, in five easy steps.
Step One: Trade a guy for the sad realization of what that guy will actually (hopefully) become.
Josh Fields was a power-hitting third baseman with a suspect glove and a wide-open future. Mark Teahen tied for eighth in errors for American League third basemen last year (11, same as the all-but-done Melvin Mora) while posting a .956 fielding percentage and while I admit there are a million reaons to be suspicious of defensive stats (more on that another day), I do admit this does not look good; if fielding stats are inherently flawed, and Mark Teahen gets killed across the board, and his upside is that he’ll hit a lot of home runs in his new park, and he strikes out a lot (8th in the AL in 2009). . . you know, that sounds a lot like the guy they just ran out of town. Teahen is also 28, suggesting what we see is likely all we’ll ever get. Hawk Harrelson will, on at least five occassions in 2010, call Teahen one of the best third baseman in baseball today. And when he does, I will throw a chair at my TV.
Step Two: Guarantee three years of middle ground.
You know who Teahen really looks like? The average baseball player, and the Sox have taken a look at their newest employee and thought “You know what? Between now and 2012, we will probably have no better option at this position than the most average baseball player imaginable.” And that depresses me.
Step Four: Andruw Jones.
Did you know that since 2007, Jones has posted a batting average as high as .222 and, on one occassion, an astronomical .323 on-base percentage? It’s like Mack-O-Wack, Nicky the Swish, Dewayne “Time to Get” Wise et al never left town! You know something, I can’t bring myself to explore this line of thinking any further.
Step Five: Other teams are stupid, obviously.
Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Curtis Granderson, et cetera et cetera, and you know what you can do with your “top-tier acquisitions” and “huge upgrades over the likes of Nick Swisher”? You can throw them away because this is a team that has signed 21 Gold Gloves and eight All-Star Games’ worth of baseball player since November 23. And they’re just getting started. Team of Destiny!