Saturday, February 4, 2017

Park in DFA limbo

Byung Ho Park
hit 12 homers last
year but stuck out
80 times.
The Twins on Friday signed veteran relief pitcher Matt Belisle. They made room for him on the 40-man roster by designating Byung Ho Park for assignment.

I'll comment sometime next week on Belisle and his implications for the bullpen. Today I want to beef about the Park move.

Taking the public comments of Derek Falvey at face value, the Twins apparently expect Park to slide through waivers unclaimed, in which case they can outright Park to Rochester and bring him to spring training as a non-roster invitee. I suspect they think that will happen in part because there are right-handed sluggers of accomplishment (Mike Napoli, Chris Carter) still on the free-agent market and that the $8.75 million remaining on Park's contract will discourage teams from claiming him.

I see it differently. I see a genuine possibility that such teams as Tampa Bay will see Park as a source of cheap power (less than than $3 million a year) with signficant upside (he played at least part of 2016 with a hand injury and was transitioning to a new culture).

I have higher hopes for Park than I do for Kennys Vargas, who remains on the 40. Or for a couple of pitchers on the 40 (Pat Light, Buddy Boshers), or Danny Santana ... or even Belisle.

Well, at least I know niow that I'm not so ga-ga over the new front office regime that I accept their every move without skepticism.

1 comment:

  1. I don't really know what to make of the Park DFA. Vargas looks like a AAAA guy to me, and like you, I thought Park probably had a greater chance to be a useful big leaguer. My general take is that the FO must feel that Park is unlikely to be more than a low average slugger who doesn't bring enough defensive skills or on base skills to compensate for that. While they might believe he will get through waivers, they can't be particularly worried about losing him. It also possible they may have some sort of plan to use the $10 mil they will save if they do lose him.

    Concerning your previous post about Vielema. I think Escobar, Santana, and probably Polanco as well, are essentially slightly different versions of Eddie Nunez.
    All came through the minors as mostly shortstops, none were considered all that likely to be able stick there as full time major league shortstops, all have enough bat to be interesting but probably stretched as a full timer at any other position.

    Vielema's role is likely more of a glove first utility man. But he could be at least a short term fix at shortstop if he could get on base at .330 rate he has mostly managed in the minors.