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Rays and Marlins after Blalock


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http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Rays-and-Marlins-after-Blalock?urn=mlb,221516

 

Rays and Marlins after Blalock

 

By Mark J. Miller

Hank Blalock(notes) hit .234 with 21 doubles and 25 home runs for the Texas Rangers last year, bringing in 66 runs and scoring 62 himself. And his former teammates thought he was a great guy to have around in the clubhouse. But still he's gone unsigned this offseason.

 

"I don't know if teams think he can't play defense or injuries are the problem," said Ian Kinsler(notes) to MLB.com. "But the guy showed he can play third base in the past and last year he showed he could play an above-average first base. He surprised me how well he played there last year."

 

The Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Pittsburgh Pirates all had some interest but went in different directions. It now appears that Blalock may soon find himself with a contract. The word is that the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays are both interested in signing him, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

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Hank Blalock's former teammates are surprised to see him still without a job, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Earlier today we heard that the Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in the 29-year-old.

 

MLBTR

 

• Hank Blalock. He's turned his personal life around but he's now battling a low batting average and thoughts he benefited from Texas' ballpark. The Marlins and Rays are belived to have some interest in him, and the Indians were looking at him before turning to Russell Branyan.

 

SI

 

 

The Rays depth chart looks like

 

C - Shoppach

1B - Pena

2B - Zobrist

SS - Bartlett

3B - Longoria

LF - Crawford

CF - Upton

RF - Joyce

DH - Burrell

B - Navarro, Aybar, Sean Rodriguez/Reid Brignac, and then a battle between Dan Johnson/Fernando Perez/Gabe Kapler for the last spot. And they kind of need an outfielder with that spot because you can't have Zobrist as your primary backup at every position on the field.

 

I mean, if those are the only two teams chasing you and all you can get is a minor league deal because there is no way the Rays guarantee you one either, doesn't it make sense to go to the team where you have to beat out Jorge Jimenez, Mike Lamb, Brian Barden, and other guys like that for a platoon/bench spot.

 

Just saying. I can see these one happening. He's not going to find a starting or a locked gig on a contender, and we offer the next best combination of fringe contender/easier path to the majors.

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Would love this signing and really don't how it wouldn't happen, unless there comes a third team with better possibilities than us.

 

 

 

Why not just resign Mike Jacobs? He and Blalock have put up eerily identical numbers in recent years. Forget it.

Mike Jacobs signed a minor league contract with the Mets that pays him $900,000 on the active roster and another $1,000,000 in PA performance incentives if he ends up playing a lot.

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Would love this signing and really don't how it wouldn't happen, unless there comes a third team with better possibilities than us.

 

 

 

Why not just resign Mike Jacobs? He and Blalock have put up eerily identical numbers in recent years. Forget it.

 

 

1. Jacobs already signed.

2. Blalock is a better player. And also a better fit.

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Would love this signing and really don't how it wouldn't happen, unless there comes a third team with better possibilities than us.

 

 

 

Why not just resign Mike Jacobs? He and Blalock have put up eerily identical numbers in recent years. Forget it.

 

While they are very similar hitters, there's a big difference in defense. Blalock is about an average first baseman, and although he shouldn't play the position full time anymore, he could at least fake his way at third base if need be in a pinch. Jacobs, meanwhile, can't even fake playing defense at first base.

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Blalock and Jacobs might have put up identical numbers in 2009, but Blalock was putting up numbers in 2007-2008 (although limited ABs due to injury) that were much closer to his 2003-2004 form.

 

Blalock has much more upside. He has hit for respectable OBP in the past (as recently 2007-2008). That's something Jacobs has never done in his career.

 

Blalock can also play third base and somewhat decently. Jacobs can only play first base (and poorly).

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Would love this signing and really don't how it wouldn't happen, unless there comes a third team with better possibilities than us.

 

 

 

Why not just resign Mike Jacobs? He and Blalock have put up eerily identical numbers in recent years. Forget it.

Because Blalock is better and has a much better upside.

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Wow! I was being sarcastic. Jacobs is terrible. And Blalock gives you the same garbage numbers at this point in his career. Let Morrison play for goodness sakes!

 

But let Nic Ungs start, right?

 

Blaylock wasn't particularly good last year but he put up some decent numbers in 07 and 08 (admittedly in shortened seasons), not to mention he's better than Jake by a bit since he plays 3B decently and Jake doesn't play 1B at all. He could be a decent stopgap while Logan gets some more ABs in the minors.

 

I know saying "more ABs in the minors" to you is like saying "throw the children out the window" to most, though come to think of it you'd probably try to save the children if they'd had good Pony league numbers and try to get them to hit 3rd for the Fish.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I don't think it's necessarily true that he would get much more playing time in Tampa for the reason stated above. I think Tampa will probably push harder and probably end up ultimately getting him but I think he would fit better with the Marlins.

 

I'm still hoping that Logan doesn't start the season on the ML roster. Blalock could split time with Gaby, especially if Gaby struggles.

 

It also doesn't sound like Cantu has fully recovered from his wrist injury. If he is injury plagued this season, Blalock could be the replacement over Bonifacio.

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If playing time and plate appearances mean anything to Blalock he'll go to the Rays.

 

If playing time is the sole thing we're looking at, I think this is 100% the Marlins.

 

They have Pat, Aybar, and Joyce/Rodriguez for spot DH duty now, Dan Johnson in AAA, and super prospect Jennings coming quick. Blalock has crazy competition there.

 

The Marlins, have three rookies - Sanchez, Morrison, Jimenez, and vagabond FA - Richar, Barden, Lamb, etc, to deal with. Chances are, Blalock is the best slugging bat of that group and the Marlins REALLY need some left handed pop because even if Morrison wins the job, he is not going to hit for a lot of power for a year or three.

 

I don't know what you're looking at, but I'm seeing 400 PA for Blalock with the Marlins in a Gaby platoon, and letting Morrison smash in AAA until he forces someone off the team.

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