Here is an assessment of the 2-year/$3MM contract Willie Bloomquist agreed to on an early Friday morning.
- Bloomquist can play a multitude of different positions - some better than others. Basically, he can ably play every position except catcher and pitcher - a pretty valuable asset from the bench
- The Bill James and Marcel projections don't reveal terrible #s for an essential middle infield backup for 2009
- We have enough worthwhile candidates for starter spots that Bloomquist can be safely stowed on the bench
- It's a two-year contract. I have to think that a one-year deal, or at least a 1 year deal with an option could have been available. Willie Bloomquist is not more valuable in 2008-9 than Miguel Olivo was in 2007-8.
- The formidable possibility remains that Bloomquist unseats Alberto Callaspo (and, to a much lesser degree, Mike Aviles) for the starting role sometime sooner in 2009. That would be a mistake. He doesn't possess nearly the upside Callaspo does, defense included. (Callaspo is a .300/.360/.380 hitter, at best, which is very good for a 2B.
I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but only narrowly. A one-year deal for Bloomquist certainly would have been a better move than 1-year for Eckstein or Counsell, but a 2-year? Hmmmm.....management needs to handle Bloomquist correctly.
I think Bloomquist is a worthwhile signing....it makes sense. But why the second year, Dayton? Although I'm encouraged by his OBP last year (.377), I'm almost entirely convinced it's an outlier. He'll likely return to his .265/.330/.340 line next year. For the money, and coupled with his ability to play an above average middle infield, and capability of playing five other positions in a pinch (including center field), I think it's an understandable move.
A note to the blogosphere, though. I understand your point that potentially bad moves can add up, preventing us to land Vladimir Guerrero to a 6-year/$140MM deal in 2012, but for now, it's a worthwhile signing. In the end, it's David Glass' problem, not mine. Overall, I'd give the offseason a C or C-. Pretty significantly below average, but certainly nothing to proclaim Doomsday over.
In other news, is anyone attending FanFest next weekend? I have posted regarding this matter over on RN's General Discussion area. I plan on attending on Saturday and taking plenty of pictures. Nonetheless, I do feel a bit smited, as the event is now a 30 minute drive (and 15 minute park+walk time) in my own freaking hometown, as a Jackson County taxpayer who is helping several hundred thousand others commit to a huge renovation project to a perennial losing ballclub. Also - my father's season tickets to the Club Level seating have now been deemed officially unrenewable by the ballclub. They promised seating changes, but they haven't fulfilled them. Wow! I'm beginning to think we should have voted against the stadium renovation initiative. Way to go, ballclub. Anyway, rant over. As for FanFest itself....apparently Ross Gload, Jimmy Gobble, and Esteban German will not be present at the occasion. Trade bait, anyone?
For more details on the players who will be present at the event, here is the official page. Pictures to come! Promise!