Just When You Thought Signing Fourth Outfielders Was So Last Year


The Mariners signed Corey Patterson earlier this past month and there were not a lot of things made of it, aside from a complete blogosphere roll of the eyes.

Lets face it. Patterson’s career is on very thin ice if it’s not already over. Furthermore, him signing a minor league contract tells me he concedes to that fact.

Patterson, while he had some (not a lot) offensive abilities coming up through the Cubs system, was mainly coveted for his glove. He really has been very good at covering ground through out the outfield. He still shows that he can retain his defensive abilities.

In fact just a month ago R.J. Anderson put up this piece on Fangraphs pertaining to Patterson’s defensive abilities.

So is it that much of a surprise that Jack Zduriencik would be interested in taking a chance on someone like this? His bat has come and gone from season to season which begs the questions if we could catch a little break with a semi effective bat.

Now I’m not crazy, seriously… I’m not. I don’t think that Patterson is anymore than a quad-A player. Who will either be cut at the end of spring training or spend the rest of the year in Tacoma.

But I’m an skeptical-optimist and if you haven’t gotten that from visiting this website than stick around. I’m weird. I don’t think there is anything wrong with dreaming. So long as it’s done without risking anything real.

We don’t give up a roster spot. We don’t give up money. We have him virtually free. If nothing else we have a plus-defender that can play any outfield position well. It’s not a huge signing at all. Which is why no one is really talking about it. I had just found that RJ Anderson article while relaxing today and it just sparked some thoughts.

Patterson at 30 is a replacement level player that brings the ability to play the 4th outfielder role to the table. God forbid something happens to Ryan Langerhans.

Sounds funny, but a signing like this makes me think about is the creation of a playoff roster.  Corey Patterson does one thing well. He is a perfect late inning defensive replacement. He may have the potential to be a decent pinch-runner but that’s completely debatable.

Say, Griffey pinch-hits in game 1 of ALDS for someone like Michael Saunders or if (God help us) Milton Bradley is playing left field late in the game. You can put Patterson in and still have Langerhans, a better hitter, available on the bench.

Crazy idea, I know. I’m not sure if it all makes sense. But, I got talking with my brother last night, got reading a bit on Fangraphs and doing little random this and that all day. This is what comes out.