More Noises About Moises

added 6/24/2001 by Steve Cutchen

Darrell and Susan's inaugural Double Play column took on the issue of Moises Alou. I agree with their opposing views...

I agree with Susan's take that Moises seemed to be dogging it last year. But I also agree that he was most likely worried about reinjuring himself. He also played a lot in left, and didn't seem to like the Crawford wall one bit. He seems so much more comfortable in right. And he certainly is not dogging it now. I voted for his diving catch the other night on ESPN's Web Gems.

But I agree with Darrell that we should try to resign him. I'm not sure we have the outfield depth in the minors, and I just don't think Ward is the answer; he is too much of a defensive liability. Even in Enron's small left field. Witness Casey's hit to win the game Friday. Ward is just not an outfielder. I wish he was. I really do. But not only does he have no range, he gets no jump on the ball.

A key point with Moises, though, is that, unlike Hampton for example, Alou has a no trade clause. So the whole "trade him or lose him for nothing" argument is moot. We CAN'T trade him to get something for him before he becomes a free agent. Unless he wants to be traded. And at this point he does not. So there is no "trading deadline" issue.

I think Moises should be resigned if possible, but the key is going to be the length of the contract. I think Gerry and Drayton's decision on Moises will need to take into consideration the timing of possible future contracts to other key players. We know that there are several young guys that we will want to sign when they get arbitration eligible. We want to make sure we have salary room available. So we need to fit Alou's contract into a timeframe to mesh with when those guys big buck contracts may be coming up.

The turd in the punch bowl on all of this is that the Player's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of this season. So there is a lot of uncertainty with signing players. If you sign a guy under the current agreement, will it end up being a mistake? Would it be better to wait and sign under the terms of a new agreement? Who knows?

I like what Drayton said on the Jim Rome show. He wants to resign Moises. He respects him as one of the best players in baseball. Shoot, he went to visit him at home during the off-season last year. I believe the Astros really want to resign him, but it is just not the time to discuss these things, and there just are no promises. At this point, that's good enough for me.

What I'm bummed about is all of the uproar in the press. There is no need to do anything at this point. Let's let it rest while we play ball.

That's my Knuckleball. Try to hit it.

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