Surely sinking $30MM more (mostly payments to arbitration-eligible players) into an 84-win Marlins team would pay for itself after a 10-win increase and playoff birth, no?
Notta Gonna Happen.
That doesn't mean Sky's thesis is wrong, it isn't, but that it just isn't in the realm of possibilities.
The Marlins have already traded away four arbitration eligible players and have release two others. This organization is known as EL Cheapo for a reason and there was never any chance they would more than double the payroll. Of course, one could make the argument that if they did and made it to the playoffs it would pay for the increase. That may be true, but the powers that be aren't the gambling type and they only spend money on what they think are sure things.
So if the Marlins are going to the playoffs in 2009 the cheap version is going to have to perform and with the understanding that the Calvary isn't coming. Does that mean the Marlins won't make the playoffs? Of course not. It just means they are on their own.
In other BtB news, a study was done on the Catcher Block Percentage and Baker was a little under the break even point.
With some work and dedication John Baker should be able to at least reach the neutral point when it comes to blocking pitches.
Oh, sure, his bat more than made up for the flaw, statistically. But he is catcher and his work behind the plate effects the pitching staff. The pitchers have to be confident that no matter what they throw and where it ends up, that their catcher will stop it. If they don't have that confidence in their catcher, it limits their arsenal and possible keeps them from throwing their out pitch.
Baker is real close to being neutral and I don't see any reason why he won't get there.