Friday, July 5, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, July 5, 2019 -- "Finding Upgrades"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.

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"One of the truisms of team-building is that it’s easier to get better when you have an obvious hole than when you have a lot of average players. You can upgrade from a 2 or a 3 much more easily than from a 6 or a 7. (Ask any woman who has dated me.) This puts teams like the Cardinals and Cubs in a bind. The Cards have five players who have been worth at least one win. Three others, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter, and Yadier Molina, have large, fairly recent contract commitments from the team that make their lineup spots safe. The Cards’ offense is bad, but it’s also hard to find a trade target that makes the team better. The Cubs, similarly, have seven average or better hitters, and the two spots where they might upgrade, second base and center field, are manned by superior defensive players in Addison Russell and Albert Almora Jr. Every Cubs regular save for Kyle Schwarber is on pace to be worth at least one bWAR this year."