Remember the other day, when I went through some options the Dodgers might be interested in for the role of lefty outfielder off the bench? One name I didn’t mention was the corpse of Garrett Anderson, because, well, why would I? I didn’t mention Marlon Anderson either, but he’s out there too.
I’d hoped to ignore that Garrett even exists, but both Yahoo’s Tim Brown and SI’s Jon Heyman are tweeting that the Dodgers are showing interest in him for a bench role. No one should be surprised that I think this is ridiculous, but it’s not for the reasons you think.
Well, not only the reasons you think. Yes, I don’t like him because he’s old (38 in June). Yes, I don’t like him because he’s coming off the worst year of his career despite having just moved to the easier league (.705 OPS, the third year in a row that decreased). Yes, I don’t like him because he is by all accounts a horrible fielder (-16.5 UZR/150 last year). Hey, a senior citizen who can’t hit or field? Sign me up?!
But what I like even less than the fact that Garrett Anderson is a terrible baseball player is the idea of Garrett Anderson. Let’s say he was where he was three or four years ago, when he was past his peak but still an average-ish hitter. That’s still valuable, but you’re not playing that guy over Manny, Kemp or Ethier, right? Nor was his glove so good that he’s really a huge upgrade over Manny in the late innings, agreed? And since he’s not much of a LF, you’re sure not going to put him into center or right to rest those guys either.
Because of the way the Dodger outfield is built, what you need more than anything is a speed type who can get on base and play above-average defense at all three positions. Juan Pierre wasn’t that guy because of his arm, and if Garrett Anderson from 2005 couldn’t be that guy, then Garrett Anderson of 2010 (the one who is well past his expiration date) sure as hell isn’t either.
Now, these are just rumors, so let’s not bash the team just yet. It’s just that bringing in a guy who doesn’t fit the needs at all, rather than giving a younger player like Xavier Paul or Jason Repko a chance, or even bringing in a young vet like Gabe Gross, makes no sense whatsoever.
Clearly, I don’t think this is going to happen, so don’t lose any sleep over it. I just want it out there in case it does. You never thought you’d hear me say this, but (since Heyman reported that the Dodgers and Angels could be in play), let’s go Angels!