You know that thing where there's this person at another job who's so incompetent they become the butt of all your jokes? Maybe you even refer to putting a fax in backwards as "Pulling a Gwen," or you inform your co-worker with regret that you just "Barneyed the sales pitch". And then that lame person is hired at your job in a position where your success depends on them, and you're like...But wait...Um...Er...
OK, fine, the A's have made a contract offer to a guy who used to play for their rival. And play well, I should add, as long as we're talking about the 2000 season. The problem seems to be that more recently, Erstad rarely plays and when he does, well, that's a bigger problem. However, I am here to serve as the voice of optimism and reason. There are a lot of ways that signing Erstad could be a very positive move, and I'm here to point them out:
- We don't know the dollar amount. If it's little enough, and Erstad is just slated to be 3/4 of a fourth outfielder (Kielty being the other 1/4), Erstad is not a horrible starter, he's an above-average sub.
- Erstad may be hurt a lot, but so are Bradley and Kotsay. If the A's can just arrange for a very organized schedule of health, where Bradley and Kotsay agree only to go down when Erstad is healthy, this will be an excellent signing.
- Granted it was 7 years ago, but Erstad's 2000 season was incredible. He has at least proven that in the same season he is capable of hitting as high as .355 and of driving in 100 runs, which actually puts him in very elite company. He just hasn't proven he can do it more than once, or that he can do it unless a Democrat is in office. Small details, both.
- Surprisingly (to me), Erstad is only 32 years old, hardly "over the hill" or even past his prime. The A's are making a habit of taking chances on talented players who are awash in questions about whether they still have another talented season left in them. But while Frank Thomas and Piazza are 38, Erstad is just 32.