Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 11, 2004

I was mildly surprised that nobody took a chance on Bret Boone at the trading deadine, given that it was only last season that Boone was third in the league with 117 RBI, scored 111 runs, won the Gold Glove and finished tenth in the MVP balloting, and given some of the weak-hitting second basemen fielded by contenders: the Twins' Luis Rivas (.247/.399/.274); the Yankees' Miguel Cairo (.286/.418/.332 being way over his career averages of .271/.367/.319); the Angels' Adam Kennedy (.257/.366/.327); the Phillies' Placido Polanco (.277/.385/.340); and the A's' Marco Scutaro (.280/.386/.306). Sure enough, Boone - who averaged .301/.526/.358 with 106 runs and 122 RBI the past three seasons, and who I ranked before the season as the 8th best player in baseball by Established Win Shares (with 29) - is batting .305/.467/.368 since the All-Star Break.

Not that I think Boone is a superstar at this juncture; he's 35, and he had a horrid first half, and frankly I haven't really seen him play this season. I suspect his defense may have deteriorated badly; the Hardball Times' Win Shares numbers (granting that in-season Win Shares are not the best way to evaluate defense) show him with 1.5 defensive Win Shares compared to 4.0 for Rivas, 2.6 for Cairo, 2.9 for Kennedy, 3.2 for Polanco, and 3.9 for Scutaro. Boone's Range Factor and Zone Rating this season are 4.32 and .755, career lows and down from 4.54 and .814 just last season. And frankly, while the other second basemen listed above are all offensive weak links, none but Rivas - possibly the best of the bunch with the glove - has really been horrendous. So maybe it's no surprise that the highly-paid Boone ($8 million salary this season) just couldn't be shopped despite pretty good odds that he'd provide an offensive upgrade for a contending team.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:25 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

With his contract, he'll probably get through waivers and be available in August to anyone who wants him (with the Yankees being pretty much the only conceivable option, for the same reason). If Larry Walker could, Boone probably can as well.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at August 11, 2004 10:15 AM

I think his option, which will almost surely kick in, will be something like $10 million next year. Is it really a surprise that no one traded for him?

Posted by: studes at August 11, 2004 11:10 AM

Boone's thirty-five??!!?? Sometimes it's the info like that that jumps out at me the most... and makes me feel old ('cause I'm older than Boone).

Posted by: Mr Furious at August 11, 2004 4:00 PM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg