juan is the loneliest number

encarnacion by the projections:

baseball primer's ZIPS system projects him to have a .761 ops in 2006. jc bradbury's new system at hardball times, based upon predicted ops (or prOPS), makes the truly alarming projection that encarnacion will post a ghastly .701 ops, with .749 representing an upper boundary . . . . they're only projections, so take `em for what they're worth. but even if encarnacion beats those projections by 50 points, he's still only a league avg corner outfielder. digest that for a second. he has to outperform these projections -- which are based on empirical evidence, ie how previous players of his age and ability performed as they moved forward -- by 50 points just to be average.

for the sake of comparison, ZIPS projects jacque jones to .752, and bradbury's prOPS pegs jacque at .761. if you think the cubs' signing of jones was a blunder, then you can't like this signing much either. . . . .

cardnilly has a nice post up comparing the relative values of jacque, juancion, and reggie sanders -- the latter of whom signed with kansas city today by the way for less money than juancion (2 yrs, $5m per). nilly shows pretty clearly that reggie's a better player than juancion, even at 38, and signed for less money . . . .

some happier news: the denver post makes it sound as if junior spivey will soon be a cardinal for one year at about $1.5m. if it happens, i will applaud; good bargain with real upside, might get on base enough to make a good #2 hitter . . .

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