Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's talk LaPorta and what the options are.

The Indians' fans are not enamored with Matt LaPorta.

Apparently the Indians are not enamored with Matt LaPorta.

I have seen LaPorta play and I am not enamored with him that much, either.

The issue is this:  People are talking about adding Derrek Lee, they are talking about adding Carlos Pena. 

But why?  Look, LaPorta is, considering his current situation, is at what I consider a career low.  He isn't going to get any worse.  The question is, in this lineup, can we live with that?  To me, the answer is YES. 

LaPorta CAN get a lot better.  He is coming off multiple injuries in 2010 that could have totally ruined his 2011.  Did that happen?  I don't know, but it is a real possibility.  The key, for me, is how dedicated LaPorta was at getting and staying healthy in the off-season.  If he is doing that, he is in line for a career year.

Plus, if you replace LaPorta you have to get rid of LaPorta, unless you think he can play LF, which most people don't.  Given his stats you will get minimum value for him.  That is unacceptable to a small market club, especially one who has invested so much (see CC trade) in him and Brantley.  Look, as I have said repeatedly, after their 30-15 start last year they had the same winning pct. the rest of the way that they had in the dismal 2010 season.  It's not like they are a sure thing to compete, right?

So a change from LaPorta would be incremental and expensive.  We would most likely (despite his remaining option) dump LaPorta as this replacement would signal that this organization is done with him.  Thus we would be selling low on him. 

Replacing LaPorta is not completely additive to this team, it is expensive, and it is adding a player at a position where we have a returning veteran, albeit one that everyone is questioning.  Where we need help is in the outfield or, as I have said repeatedly, at second base with Kipnis moving to the outfield.  That is where I think the Indians should continue looking. 

Hey, if you can sign Prince Fielder, great.  Otherwise, let's leave the first base options where they are and focus on where the bigger holes, in my opinion, are.

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