I've already exhausted everything I had to say about the David Eckstein signing in a spirited email exchange with my fellow MOEers and a couple of other dudes, but in summary, there's a majority here who support the signing. At first, it might be tough to stomach having one of the most annoying players in the game starting at short, but even a cursory look at the #s shows that this is a huge offensive upgrade for the team. So, for a one-year deal, well done J.P.
Last season the scrapper hit .309/.356./382, a slight upgrade on his career line of
.286/.351/.362. McDonald hit .251/.279/.333 on the season and .240/.279/.316 on his career. McDonald ranked 973 out of 1078 players in MLB last year with a -7.8 VORP. Eckstein was 127th with a 20.7 VORP (slightly higher than Glaus). Put differently, Eckstein was much closer to Rios (38.9 VORP) in offensive performance last season than he was to McDonald. It's as if we traded last year's Frank Thomas for last season's Vlad.
J-Mac was much better in the field last season, but for their careers the two are apparently almost identical. It's likely that McDonald will regress next season (at 33), while I'm hoping (without much reason) that Eckstein will recover somewhat with the glove.
So why do we have Scutaro? Good question. He's actually a worse hitter than Eckstein, and has never played short for a full season. I'd take him or McDonald on the bench, but not both. And J.P. giving McDonald a guaranteed two-year deal looks even worse from this distance.
But that's J.P., isn't it? He drives you crazy, then does something defensible.
I'll give Razzer the final word: this makes us better, but it isn't enough. Give me something else, J.P.