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eckstein on the market. how about 2B?  heh.

per this recent baltimore sun report the O's are in talks with toronto to cheaply acquire eckstein for partial filling of the void tejada left them at SS.  their interest in shoring up on infielders would seem to indicate that a roberts trade is even less likely as well.

eckstein's career slash stats are .285/.352/.361.  this year he's putting up .273/.360/.348, a reduction in AVG but an improvement in OBP which also increases his hit/walk differential.  this could indicate increased plate discipline, and his pitches per plate appearance for 2008 stand at 3.9 so far.  for some historical record, he has been 3.8, 4.0, 3.8, and 3.6 across the last four years.  i take 3.9 as a good sign, especially compared to last year, and his plate discipline stats at fangraphs look well within career levels so i think it might be chalked up to simply working counts better.

eckstein is remarkably balanced against RHP and LHP with a respective career .350 and .355 OBP against.  miles is .318 and .352, kennedy is .334 and .307  miles is doing well this year, but i don't think we're going to see him every day.  the platoon should persist, i'm sure at least partially because neither option we currently have is considered to be a complete player.

if we did get eckstein for a bargain-basement rate i think he would start every day.  i would expect his overall defense to improve at this position as well, with reduced critical emphasis on range as well as a shorter throwing distance to 1B.  at his age, i simply think 2B seems like a more natural position for him wherever he might play.

i find it hard to holistically compare -defense and +offense between eckstein and kennedy, but for what it's worth i'd gladly accept kennedy off the 40-man roster, miles retaining utility status, and eckstein starting every day.  i'm sure STL fans in general would love it too, but there's the whole personal issue of him being jacked around - especially since he'll be a free agent again at the end of this season.  for practical reasons such as that and 2009's sunk cost on kennedy i don't think any of this is likely to be seriously considered, but it was at least fun for me to think about it.

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