Friday, January 15, 2010

Head vs. Heart

An extra post today, because I just heard that Mike Redmond signed with the Indians. I wrote this for the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook , basically an open letter to Bill Smith about the tough decision he had to make. Honestly, I wouldn't have faulted Smith either way, and that's a tribute to Redmond.

Personally, I wish the best for him, even with Cleveland. And I selfishly hope he'll come back to the Twins when his playing career is over.


Head vs. Heart… Head vs. Heart…

That’s what this decision is going to come down to for you. For years, Redmond has defied his age, but sooner or later Father Time has his day.

After five years of being the ideal backup catcher, the 38-year-old declined across the board this year. He hit .237, with just a 588 OPS. That latter number is BELOW that of Nick Punto. He threw out only five of forty runners. And he missed time early in the season with a sore shoulder.

This performance was made grimmer by the fact that the Twins suddenly seem to have a replacement for Red Dog. Jose Morales utilized his time with the Twins while Joe Mauer and Redmond were dealing with injuries. Morales posted an 742 OPS and threw out 8 of 26 stolen base attempts this year. He’s also 26 years old and financially desirable (i.e. cheap).

The head says it’s time to go with Morales. He’s not as good as he was this year offensively, but he’s certainly shown enough to earn the backup spot. Plus, if Mauer were to leave after 2010, you would like Morales to have as much experience as possible.

But the heart, the heart says Redmond just had a down year. That the shoulder was worse than we know. That the rotation needs a veteran hand occasionally. That the clubhouse needs some leadership, and the coaching staff needs one less kid to baby sit.

You can try to avoid the decision. You can offer Redmond an organizational coaching job, and be sure to be generous with the salary when you do. But if he wants to continue playing – and who would blame him if he did? – you’re going to need to decide whether to listen to your head or your heart.

Estimated Contract: 1 year, $900K


thisisbeth said...

I really wish he had picked a non-AL Central team. It'll be hard to cheer against him.

I had the head vs. heart argument myself plenty of times.

thrylos98 said...

You are right on the $ with your estimate. The contact is for $850K + $50K in incentives.

That said, I am really happy that he landed with an AL Central team. Too bad he did not land with the White Sox... Base runners will have a field day with Redman catching.

Beej said...

I won't cheer for the Indians, but will always cheer for Red!

Unknown said...

"That the rotation needs a veteran hand occasionally. That the clubhouse needs some leadership, and the coaching staff needs one less kid to baby sit."

Mauer has caught over 600 games and played in parts of six seasons at the Major League level. Surely by now he can be counted as one of those veteran hands? Far less of a concern if the backup is a little green, in my opinion.

writerjoel said...

You can't knock baseball money. Lots easier, it seems, for a journeyman like Redmond who barely broke the $1 mil mark to take a salary between $500,000 and a mil than, it seems, someone who made $10 million to accept only a couple. Why is that?

Initial rumor was he to be backup to A.J. The evil is, now the Twins don't have anyone in the line-up to run against him!

Anonymous said...

It was a good run, Red. Like Beej said, I'll cheer for you but not the Tribe. Come back and coach for us when you're ready!