Let’s talk about brand names for a quick second McDonalds, Apple, Levi’s, Oakley, Adidas, Nike. They are a familiar name and one that sparks an immediate image. An image of a specific type of product that you expect when you invest your money in them. There are a lot of people that pay an egregious amount of money just to be dressed in a specific designer garment that they saw fashioned by some celebrity on the red carpet. It sounds crazy with today’s society and current financial market but it still exist.
I have no problem buying my Wife or my Son things such as clothing or shoes or other name brand gear because there is a reason why those products have built names. But with any purchase you have to answer a series of question to make sure that you are actually spending your hard earned money wisely.
What are you buying?
This is an obvious question. Whether it be a Blu-Ray DVD player or a New car you have to understand what you want before you can determine what brand you should buy. This seems obvious at first when we talk about it, but the realization that I have come to is that too many people are so wimsical with their purchases that they see something (a price, a new gadget, ect) and it drives them to make a purchase rather than spending an extra time researching and finding whether or not the price you are given is worth it for that specific brand. My parents drilled into my head the most important thing when buying a car was research, research and more research. Even the best brands can create a crap product.
What are you buying it for?
You can establish that you need to buy a car, but realistically without predetermining what you are going to use that car for it realistically lower the value of your purchase. You wouldn’t buy an SUV if you drove more than 50 miles a day back-and-forth to work, would you? Of course not. It would be a complete waste of gas efficiency. Likewise you wouldn’t buy an economy car if you had 3 – 4 passengers (kids), groceries and large purchases to buy and maybe even on road trips. Establishing what you are going to be using your new position for is going to make it more valuable to you and even be willing to spend that little extra to make sure it comes with all the comforts and necessities.
Who are you buying it for?
If I bought a pair of shoes and I wanted them to be comfortable so that they can be used to be mobile and endure plenty of walking. The next, and conceivably, last detail needed is whom will be wearing them. If I were to buy them for me I know that I would take care of them and so going with a big name brand isn’t a big deal and in some cases it might be smart as a good pair can last you quite a while versus just buying a cheap pair that will make do for the time being. But, if I bought shoes for my two year old son they’d hardly last so paying the same price for a pair of Nikes as I would for myself is just plain stupid. This gives you depth to such a transaction.
So why would I go into all of that. Well.. let’s talk about those brand names.
For those of you who don’t already know, the individuals whose stat lines were given in the polls two days prior were Charlie Blackmon and Seth Smith respectively. Both stats lines are extremely close and really even split the vote nearly down the middle. Both players are stuck in the depth of the Rockies outfield and are thought to be expendable at this time.
Seth Smith has been rumored to be amongst viable options in the Mariners, but one has to wonder what the asking price of such a target would be. There was rumors that Smith was a target of the Braves and the Rockies were seeking both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado in return. However, the Rockies were willing to surrender a prospect also but the type of prospect was disputed and of course the deal fell apart after the Winter Meetings. It’s obvious that despite the fact the Rockies could be forced into using Smith as their 4th outfielder that they still regard his talent to be at a premium level.
This thought has driven much of thinking that Seth Smith just isn’t an option right now for the Mariners as I really don’t think we should be giving up much for an individual that isn’t much more than a marginal upgrade over Mike Carp in left field. Smith is an obviously better fielder, but his bat stands very similar to Carp in that they both good line drive hitters that have the potential to be above average. The cavet being Smith can’t hit left handed pitching. In fact he is down right terrible with a career 47 wRC+ against lefties. Where Mike Carp has actually shown the ability to lefties quite well.
Enter, Charlie Blackmon.
Blackmon, who is also left handed, has yet to display a significant platoon split. This interested me and caused me to dig a bit deeper into their stats. Ironically Charlie Blackmon is seemingly Seth Smith with a bit less power and a bit more speed. Oh, did I also mention he was a pitcher in college and he’s new to the out field position but still profiles as a plus due to speed and the .50 caliber rifle that is attached to left shoulder.
While obviously the Rockies aren’t going to let Blackmon go for cheap as he’s someone that I’m sure they’d like to have for depth with the increasing age of their outfield. But if Colorado holds onto Smith, Blackmon stands to fall somewhere between 5-7 on the depth charts for a starting outfield position due to the recent additions of Tyler Colvin, Michael Cuddyer and still retaining Eric Young jr.
Here is my line of thinking and you can just tell me if I’m way off base here.
Blackmon’s ceiling isn’t that much higher than that of Trayvon Robinson so it’s not like we’re talking about a huge upgrade to what we already have. What is important is that he’s ready now, versus Robinson, who should start the year down on the farm working on those strike out issues. Oh and something not an issue for Blackmon he doesn’t have a document struggle with making contact (ala Robinson).
So here is what I would do. I’d ship Robinson or maybe Peguero off a long with a lesser minor leaguer pitcher (say Arias or maybe Hensley) to the Rockies for Blackmon. Stick Blackmon and Carp in left and use them in a proper platoon while moving Carp to the DH role where he is less likely to hurt someone (including himself). Do you like this move? Not like this move? It seemed like a lot of people liked the idea of Seth Smith and I don’t hate it, I’m just not a fan of the price tag. Maybe Blackmon could be had at a cheap(er) cost and still produce similar results to that of Smith.