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Not Bill Swift, but....

Eliezer Alfonzo hit another home run yesterday, and proud we are of all of him, but he still hasn't convinced me he's a starting catcher in the majors. He's sloppy defensively, has a slingshot arm with a trebuchet release, and his offensive stats have taken a bit of a tumble:

June: .271/.306/.525
July: .315/.333/.603
August: .253/.289/.407
September: .207/.270/.328
If I had to guess, I'd say his August stats some closest to reality. He's Matheny with a wee bit more pop, but Matheny can block balls better with his mind than Alfonzo can block with his body. Would it be the end of the world if Alfonzo started? Not at all, but if an upgrade fell into the team's lap, they'd be crazy not to take it.

The free agent market isn't exactly overwhelming when it comes to catchers. Unless another go-round with Doug Mirabelli spreads your mustard, it's Eliezer or a trade. There's a problem there too, as there aren't a whole bunch of teams with extra catchers to spare. After looking over the rosters I was able to find one catcher, and came up with a modest mock proposal.

Mike Redmond is solid defensively, though not spectacular. He has hit .293/.351/.371 over his career, with a .280 EqA, and .351/.376/.427 in 2006. The Twins just extended his contract for two years, so he'd be under the Giants' control for a while. Unfortunately, the Twins really like him as Joe Mauer insurance, and as someone who can spell Mauer behind the plate without completely sacrificing offense. They wouldn't just give him away, but he certainly wouldn't be untouchable. With that in mind:

To: Minnesota

Marcus Sanders
Kevin Correia
Merkin Valdez

To: Giants

Mike Redmond

It seems like a lot, but my reasoning is sound. Sanders is as exciting a player as the Giants have, but can't stay healthy. He's also just an A-baller. Can't stay healthy + A-baller = don't look back if you need to include him in a trade. Correia has finally found a niche in the bullpen, but I still don't trust him. He has great stuff, but doesn't seem to have the mental mindset to close and I can't see him ever returning to the rotation again. His arbitration is coming up soon, and this might be the highest trade value he has. Merkin is a former top starting pitcher prospect who has fallen on hard times, and those kinds of pitchers don't bounce back too often.

A lot to give up? Yeah, I could see that. But Redmond is a solid hitter, especially for average. He seems to ground into a double play every 30 plate appearances, which is high, but his .300 average makes up for a lot of that. Of the three players the Giants give up, I doubt any will be missed. I don't see a downside to this deal.

Comment starter: Eliezer as starter for 2006? Modest proposals aside, I don't see any automatic upgrades.