I’m not understanding all this buzz over Colorado outfielder Seth Smith. A few Mets rumors have even hinted that the Mets could swap either Jon Niese or Daniel Murphy for the Rockies’ 4th outfielder. Really? Why?
Snith, 29, has had a very mediocre career batting .275 with a .348 OBP in 1,286 AB over his five year major league career. He’s a corner outfielder with good range, but doesn’t always catch what he gets to. I’ve read some other Mets blogs touting him as an alternative to newly acquired Andres Torres, but he’s only played seven games in center in his career and the last time was almost five years ago. He can’t even help form a platoon in left field with Lucas Duda because he’s a lefthanded hitter, plus he’s expected to make close to $3 million dollars in 2012.
If Smith is so good, why was replacing him such a top priority for the Rockies who signed Michael Cuddyer and traded for Tyler Colvin from the Cubs?
Meanwhile, you have a free agent outfielder that is easily as productive as Smith, has a shotgun for an arm, is a great presence in the clubhouse and has a propensity of coming through in the clutch throughout his career. I’m talking about another Rockies outfielder – Ryan Spilborghs.
Spilborghs, 32, was non-tendered this offseason, but was one of the most popular players on the team with fans who loved his hustle on the field. He has started at all three outfield positions, but more importantly would be a perfect compliment in right field to Lucas Duda.
Over seven seasons, Spilborghs hit .272/.345/.423 with 42 home runs and 218 RBIs and has a career .305 average as a pinch-hitter. When the Rockies went to the World Series in 2007, Spilborghs established himself by playing in 97 games and hitting .299. He hit a career-best .313 in 89 games in 2008.
Last season, Spilly struggled through plantar fasciitis and ended the year with a .210 batting average, three home runs and 22 RBIs. However, he has been playing in Mexico this winter with goals of fixing his swing and showing his foot is healthy. He accomplished both according to the Denver Post. “I think next year will be a normal year for me again.”
Spilly has posted a .301/.389/.456 slash in 55 at-bats in Winter League Baseball with a couple of homers, a triple and two stolen bases.
Look, I’m not saying Spilborghs is going to come to the Mets and become an impact player, but neither is Smith. I’m just trying to say if you want a Seth Smith type outfielder, here’s one that you can sign for a lot less money and you don’t have to give up Niese or Murphy or anyone else to get him.
Here’s a video of Spilborghs’ greatest moment with the Rockies…
He was a big part of the Rockies’ dramatic stretch drive in 2009 which was highlighted by Spilborghs’ 14th-inning grand slam off Giants pitcher Merkin Valdez to give the Rockies a 6-4 victory. It was the first game-ending grand slam in Rockies history.