Placido Polanco

Who is he, and why should you be excited if the Indians sign him?

Placido Polanco was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Scott Rolen deal. They’ve treated him mainly as a utility infielder since, but I think he would make an excellent everyday second baseman. He’s a much better defender than Ronnie Belliard, according to Baseball Prospectus:

Runs Above Replacement
Polanco – 22
Belliard – 6

Polanco – 32
Belliard – 17

What about offense? Polanco is better with the bat as well:

Polanco – .284
Belliard – .253

Polanco – .268
Belliard – .265

From what I’ve seen, there hasn’t been that much interest in Polanco. St. Louis seems to be the front-runner, but ironically if the Indians non-tender Belliard, the Cardinals may sign him instead. He can accept Philadelphia’s arbitration offer, but they have told him that he won’t be starting. Minnesota may non-tender Luis Rivas if he doesn’t agree to a paycut, but otherwise there aren’t a lot of teams looking for second baseman, particularly after Oakland acquired Milwaukee’s Keith Ginter. Along with Belliard, Baltimore’s Jerry Hairston may also be non-tendered if he isn’t traded before December 20th, further increasing the possibilities. I think if Matt Clement signs elsewhere, adding Polanco would represent the best value for the money. If the Indians can get him for $4-4.5M/year, it would be an excellent signing.

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