Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don’t sign Rowand

I have come out of my long period of blogging hibernation to send a simple message to Pat Gillick. Bringing back Aaron Rowand would be a terrible mistake. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of Rowand. After “The Catch” how could you not be?

However, I have a few points to make. First Rowand’s last season was a classic career year for a player in the final year of his contract. According to reports Rowand who is 30 wants at least a five-year deal. 30 years of age is about the time a player’s production starts to decline. I don’t believe Rowand will experience a precipitous drop in his offensive output next season. But, my baseball intuition tells me by the end of his contract Rowand will be a huge burden. I’m thinking of Pat Burrell here.

In addition there is reason to believe that Rowand’s golden glove may turn to wood. I can practically hear Phillie Phans yelling at their screens but stay with me for a second. In years past Rowand has played a first rate center field and he certainly deserved his first Gold Glove award. Despite his record of stellar play, age again dictates the end of the status quo for Rowand. Aaron has never had a good arm or good speed. His success as a center fielder is a product of his ability to read balls with ease and his willingness to sacrifice his body. At 34 and 35 Rowand’s average speed will have become sub-par and his lack of arm strength will be become woefully obvious.

Finally the Phillies led the league in runs by a large margin the past two seasons. Therefore they can afford a slight decrease in their offensive stats that would accompany the departure of Rowand. It would also give Pat Gillick the flexibility to bring in another quality starter.

Picture from