|Comments on: Dodgers (and your fantasy squad) should sign Rafael over Manny
by: Rob Reed
| December 1, 2008, 5:27pm
If Dodger GM Ned Colletti really wants to prove his mettle (and, I believe we're already passed that after last year's Dodger OF debacle), he should sign Rafael Furcal rather than Manny Ramirez.
Unfortunately, this is not going to happen, according to the L.A. Times (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/
2008/11/rafael-furcal-n.html). The Dodgers have not talked to Furcal, despite the intense rumor mill of other teams -- specifically the A's -- flirting with Rafael like he's a Maxim model.
Rafael Furcal is a .280+ avg, .350+ obp career lead off hitter, who showed remarkable power last year in his limited play before injury.
And, granted, choosing Furcal over Manny would not be a fan-favorite choice because -- for all intents and purposes -- the Dodger/Furcal 3-year $39 million dollar contract of 2005 was a bust. He just didn't play enough.
But, looking at his PLAYERtrack rankings from last season, Furcal was on the verge of a career year. His 5 HRs through May 5th (his last game until late September) was the best power start of his career (it is worth noting that when he hit his career high 15 HRs in 2003 that he hit 7 HRs in the month of May). He was essentially on pace for a 20+ HR/35+ SB year, which would have strengthened a Dodger team that was already good enough to play in the NLCS. Perhaps, a healthy Furcal could have led the Dodgers (with Manny) to a World Series title.
Nothing in the stats, in my opinion, makes me concerned that Furcal's inflated power numbers were solely the result of the free agent year, and the desire for a huge contract. I believe that if Furcal can avoid injury, he is at his fantasy peak level of 15/25 HRs, 25-45 SBs, and a .300+ BA.
On the contrary, Manny's stats do make me concerned. Manny's many fans can point to lack of playing time in 2007 that resulted in his lowly 20 HRs. The problem with this argument is that in 2006 -- in 34 FEWER Abs -- Manny hit 15 more HRs (35). This means, for me, that Manny is on the down side of the career bell-curve, and I remain wary.
For me, the fact that Rafael is playing at a tough position to fill (SS), may get multi position eligibility (because a team like the A's may ask him to play 2B), and looks to be peaking at 31 years old makes me more excited about Rafael's real-life AND fantasy impact over that of 37-year old Manny's impact in 2009.
6/8/11: June Update podcast - Rob looks at pitchers about to break out and hitters about to break up... standard 5x5. PLAYERtrack is now FREE!
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