Giles’ offensive numbers are certainly better. Furcal’s stolen bases are gravy–it’s the defense I’ll miss if he leaves.
The handful of times I saw Betemit play short this year, I got visions of Melvin Mora in 2000 for the Mets. He looked awkward, like he didn’t wanna be there.
A very important point, though Giles is a good defender also, at an easier position. If you replace Furcal with Betemit, you shouldn’t lose a lot offensively. The stolen bases aren’t that important. Furcal is a better hitter, but it’s not that big of a difference.
Where it will hurt will be on the defensive end; Betemit will probably never be anything but serviceable there. That’s not bad, but it weakens the team. In particular, it will be bad news for Hudson, the ground-ball pitcher on the staff. (With Hampton out, he’s pretty much the only one among the starters.) If Alex gets his desired lefty starter, that guy would probably be hurt more, if he’s a ground-ball pitcher, because more balls are hit to short off of lefties.
So, what do you do? I trust we’ve all read Moneyball, right? I think that the way to look at it is the way Beane looked at replacing Jason Giambi. He knew he couldn’t replace Giambi with one guy, so he replaced him with three. We should replace Furcal with two:
1. A shortstop with a good glove, preferably one who’s not an offensive zero.
2. A slugger at first base or left field.
The offense would be “different”, but probably at least as good. The projected lineup would be something like:
1B Marte or LaRoche
SS Glove Boy
Okay, Francoeur’s not an ideal #2 hitter, but you can’t have everything.
Just a proposal, come up with on the fly. I’m not sure of it myself.