A few rumors floating around recently that the White Sox would like to acquire Omar Vizquel for Juan Uribe and probably a pitching prospect. Uribe has had some off season trouble being involved in a shooting. The White Sox heavily pursued Omar before he signed with the Giants during the 2004-2005 off season. The Sox are believed to have offered Omar 2 years at 10 million but the Giants came in and gave him the 3rd year that he wanted. Brian Sabean has recently stated that he would think about extending Omar’s contract for another year or two. I love Omar as much as the next guy but I don’t know if extending a 40 year old shortstop, who is still amazing, is really that great of an idea and at the same time I don’t think trading him away is either. Lets look over a couple of numbers.
Juan Uribe is a slick fielding shortstop with some pop, hitting 21 homers in ’06, but has abysmal on base skills. Last year he took less walks than Pedro Feliz. Try and wrap your head around that. No, seriously, try it. I didn’t think any human being on this planet could walk less than Pedro but Jaun Uribe did. Walking just 13 times in 463 at bats. That’s a walk to at bat ratio of 1:37 which makes Pedro Feliz look like Barry Bonds (Feliz had a 1:18 ratio for those that are interested). Heres quick stat line on how Omar and Juan did offensively
Omar Vizquel – .295/.361/.389 with a OPS+ of 93
Juan Uribe – .235/.257/.441 with a OPS+ of 74
If I had to chose between the two based on offense, I would take Vizquel. Even though Uribe slugs at a higher percentage his inability to draw walks or get on base consistently really hurts his stock. Comparing VORP for Omar and Juan further stresses this point. Omar’s VORP in ’06 was 28 and Uribe’s was -0.6, ouch. But offense isn’t all there is to baseball, we also need to take into account defense. Defensively Uribe is a fine choice to play shortstop. Lets run down some quick defensive stats for both of our shortstops
Omar Vizquel – FPCT .993 | RF 4.18 | ZR .864
Juan Uribe – FPCT .977 | RF 4.70 | ZR .868
Omar comes out on top in fielding percentage but Uribe has a better range factor score. The zone rating for both comes out to a draw. Even though Omar is approaching 40 he is still a very respectable short stop. Uribe also is no slouch defensively. Overall, I still have to take Omar over Juan. Defensively, they are a draw but offensively I have to go with Omar. Uribe is an absolute black hole when it comes to getting on base and if he could raise his OBP to around his 2004 levels (.327) then he is a much more valuable player than Omar but I have my doubts if Uribe can ever do that. I would rather the Giants hang on to Omar for 2007 and look at the 2008 free agent market for a shortstop replacement. Guys like Michael Young and Carlos Guillen will be free agents in ’08 and would fit nicely as the next Giants shortstop
Award time! Hanely Ramirez and Justin Verlander win the NL and AL ROY awards respectively. I was pulling for Ryan Zimmerman to win the NL but Ramirez is also a good choice. The Red Sox have to be grimacing over Hanely right now. Verlander was pretty much a lock to win the AL.
- Padres aren’t opposed to moving Brian Giles. I personally can’t see it happening. Giles isn’t the 30 home run threat he used to be but has been one of the few sources of offense on a weak hitting Padres squad. I think they’ll hang on to Giles which also doesn’t hurt their chances of acquiring Marcus Giles to play second.