Tuesday, December 6, 2011
If Pujols signs: The Marlins' fab four
By David Schoenfield
DALLAS -- Let's have a little fun as we speculate whether Albert Pujols will sign with the Miami Marlins.
A lineup that includes Pujols, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton certainly has the possibility to be one of the most imposing in the game.
In fact, the Marlins would have the potential to be that rare team to feature at least four position players with a WAR (wins above replacement) of 5.0 or higher. Here is the career-best single-season WAR for each player, via Baseball-Reference.com:
Now, that's a little misleading, as Pujols' 10.9 season came in 2003 and Ramirez was injured and struggled in 2011. Here are the 2011 totals for each player:
Only 29 teams since 1901 have had four five-win position players (two had five and only the 1939 Yankees had six). The last teams with four such players were the 2003 Braves and Cardinals.
Marcus Giles: 8.2 (yes, Marcus Giles)
Gary Sheffield: 7.6
Javy Lopez: 6.6
Andruw Jones: 5.1
(Even though he posted a .402 OBP, Chipper Jones graded as 3.6-WAR player, with bad defense in left field contributing to that.)
Jim Edmonds: 7.3
Edgar Renteria: 6.5
Scott Rolen: 5.1
The 2001 Mariners -- who won 116 games -- had five five-win players:
Bret Boone: 9.3
Ichiro Suzuki: 7.6
Mike Cameron: 6.4
Edgar Martinez: 5.5
John Olerud: 5.3
(The 1972 Reds, with Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Bobby Tolan were the other team with five five-win guys in their lineup. The famed 1939 Yankees had six: Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Charlie Keller, Joe Gordon, Red Rolfe and George Selkirk.)
Anyway, having four players of such high caliber would certainly be a rarity, as its happened just 10 times in the past 30 years.
For 10 years and $220 million, maybe the Marlins will make it happen.