A's blog joins SweetSpot Network

This is a good day.

Of course, I don't generally have much to complain about, so most of them are good days.

This is a particularly good day, though, because today I'm pleased to introduce the latest addition to the SweetSpot Network ... Baseballin' on a Budget, covering the Oakland Athletics.

It's actually somewhat shocking that it's taken this long to find an A's blog, considering how many really smart people follow the team. Finally, though, I met Dan Hennessey at the PITCHf/x Summit in San Francisco last summer, and after reading a few entries from his Knuckleballs blog, I figured I might have my man.

I was right, and we've since been blessed by the addition of Chris Martinez, who will cover (among other things) the Athetics' farm system, to the team.

Enough with the introductions. Here's Dan on the A's new designated hitter:

    As I wrote Sunday, I’m ok with acquiring Hideki Matsui, so long as the first item of business is to steal any glove he tries to bring with him. If he’s allowed to play any outfield, expect to see Bob Geren crushed in these here (electronic) pages. He will give back everything he earns at the plate. Even if they find another DH-only type player, he’s probably better than Matsui in the outfield (if they want both in the lineup). I can’t stress this enough; I will flip out if I see Matsui in the outfield. With Coco Crisp, David DeJesus, and Ryan Sweeney, there’s no reason he should ever be out there.

    Enough ranting, back to rationality. The deal is reportedly for about $4.5 million and some incentives, which is fine. I’m a little surprised it’s that low, since I think he’s a 1.5 to 2 WAR player if he plays 140+ games. Given the number of DH options available though, everyone’s price comes down. Seemingly, the A’s are betting on Matsui’s ability to play a lot, passing on older (but possibly better) players like Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez, as well as injury-prone players like Nick Johnson.

I think that's probably right. Matsui missed a big chunk of 2008 with an injury. Otherwise, in the three seasons since 2006 he's played 143, 142, and 145 games, and posted adjusted OPS's of 123, 123, and 124. If he does those things for the A's, he's a bargain. As long as he doesn't play more than a tiny smattering of games in the field.

Again, I want to welcome Dan and Chris to the SweetSpot fold. The network just got a little better.