Matthews' Value Is Relatively Set

Here are my thoughts on Adam's topic which were too much for a they are here in diary form.

By exercising the team option on Torii Hunter, the Twins began setting the price for GMJ.  I threw in Edmonds for balance.  If they pick up the $10 million option on Edmonds then we have a little more to go on.

Here is a statistical comparison:

Hunter - 31 years old
Offensively - .826 OPS (112 OPS+) 31 HR 12 SB
Defensively - Most likely a 6th straight Gold Glove
Career - 102 OPS+ .323 OBP

Matthews - 32 years old
Offensively - .866 OPS (119 OPS+) 19 HR 10 SB
Defensively - Average
Career - 96 OPS+ .336 OBP

Edmonds - 36 years old
Offensively - .821 (111 OPS+) 19 HR 4 SB
Defensively - Above Average
Career - 137 OPS+ .382 OBP

Historically, Edmonds is a much better hitter than either Hunter or Matthews.  Last season, they were relatively similar though.  Hunter is much better defensively than either Edmonds or Matthews, although I might say that the defense of Matthews and Edmonds was similar last season (although Edmonds used to be better but age is kicking in).

Hunter is one year younger, and better offensively and defensively over his career (although they were similar last season) to Matthews.  Therefore, Matthews cannot demand $12 million on the open market.

Edmonds is 4 years older, but has historically been a much better hitter.  Defensive and age work against his price though, so the $10 million option is realistic.

I think with those prices set (if Edmonds option is picked up) that Matthews can enter the market as the best CF available and can easily demand 9-10 million for three years.  Many, many teams would love to have the Gary Matthews of last season, and that will be obvious by the price he demands.

I think at that price the Rangers must pass.  No, there may not be other options available that can produce at the same level as Matthews in CF.  But the offensive defeciency that this team had last season were more affected by weakened offense at one of the corner infield spots, DH and one of the corner outfield spots.  Improving offensively at those spots would be much more financially possible and probably more productive to the overall offense of the team.  Don't forget, Nevin, Wilkerson, Blalock and Barajas had respective OPS+'s of 82, 83, 84 and 78.  The difference in dropping from Matthews 119 OPS+ to a below average CF with an OPS+ of 90 would more than be made up by the upgrades of Barajas (78) to Laird (102), Blalock (84) to his career average of 99, and Nevin to just about anyone.

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