Thursday, February 18, 2010

Barajas, More Damon

It's looking increasingly likely that Rod Barajas will land with the Mets on a surprisingly light contract, possibly even a minor league deal.  Barajas didn't hit particularly well last year with Toronto, batting only .226, but he does have some power (19 home runs last year that went with a somewhat flukey 71 RBI) and could help the Mets get through this year.

If he ends up here, neither his nor anyone else's forecast on the team will change too much, though Josh Thole's forecasted 201 at bats would mostly disappear as Thole would then likely head back to the minors.  For Barajas, we'd probably forecast an average closer to .250 than last year's .226 average with around 10 home runs and 40 RBI over around 300 at bats.  When we published the previous forecasts, we already considered that the Mets might go out and sign someone else for catching depth so massive downgrades to other catchers will not be needed.

By the way, I've already mentioned Johnny Damon a couple of times recently but it seems everytime he is reported to have a fairly likely destination, the target moves.  Yesterday, all sources seem to report that now the White Sox are in the lead for his services.

If he lands with the White Sox, a couple of things will happen to his forecast.  First, I'd likely take the games projection up to around 125-130 games.  I just can't go any higher than that no matter where he signs, not because I don't believe he'd find opportunities to play as much as he's a huge injury risk at thirty-six, especially without having cleared the 145 game mark since 2006.

With the White Sox, he would become the full-time DH (there's no playing time for him in the outfield unless someone gets hurt) and in this environment, including consideration of the upgrade in playing time he'd be getting, I'd be forecasting around 500 at bats, an average in the low to mid .270s, around 15 home runs, 80 runs scored, 65 RBI and 10-15 steals.