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Catcher in the Sky

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In the midst of this article outlining a blockbuster deal in the works between the Marlins and Rangers (Beckett and Lowell for Blalock and one of the DVD trio of pitching prospects), we get a second confirmation of the Rockies interest in Paul Lo Duca. Yesterday I said LoDuca was an upgrade over what we have, but how much of an upgrade and is it worth it? To start, let's look at where we were:

2005 NL West Ranked by Catcher Win Shares (at the Hardball Times)

  1. San Francisco (Matheny, Torrealba, Knoedler, Haad) 21 WS
  2. San Diego (Hernandez, Olivo, Ross, Ojeda) 15 WS
  3. Los Angeles (Phillips, Navarro, Bako, Rose) 13 WS
  4. Colorado (Ardoin, Greene, Closser) 10 WS
  5. Arizona  (Snyder, Hill, Stinnett) 7 WS
Paul LoDuca by himself had 11 WS, which while it's right around half the output of the Giants' Matheny, it's also one more than the soon to be departed Hernandez put up for San Diego, or the cumulative total of all three Rockies backstops combined for last season. What's more, with Ardoin and Closser, the Rockies would have the most capabale backups in the division and we'd be at least on a par with San Fran, if not a step above.

If the cost is only Larry Bigbie, it would be the equivalent of signing one of this year's top free agents without worrying about a weak market and lots of competition overinflating the contract  (Hernandez is rumored to be asking for seven million). I imagine the sticking points right now are how much of LoDuca's salary the Marlins are willing to pay or whether the Rox (or Mets, who are also supposedly interested) will also take Guillermo Mota off the Fishes' hands, but I have to say again I really like what this move will do for our team's chances if we can pull it off.