Hiroyuki Nakajima contract a great risk for Oakland Athletics

Hiroyuki Nakajima on the basepaths. - athomeplate

For two-thirds the price of Stephen Drew, the Oakland Athletics signed Hiroyuki Nakajima for two years.

Hiroyuki Nakajima--probably the St. Louis Cardinals' best second base option--signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Oakland Athletics on Monday, completely breaking my heart and also giving the A's a remarkably low-risk chance at a cost-controlled, league-average shortstop with a nice bat. Why?

Because they knew that every signing involves risk, and they, apparently, valued the risk of translating Nakajima's numbers much less than other teams did. Which is exactly right. Nakajima might not really be the .311/.382/.451 hitter he was in Japan last year, even though Japan's hitting numbers are way down in the last two years, but $3 million a year doesn't get you anywhere near an .800-OPS guy who might be able to play shortstop in America anyway.

You know what it gets you? Ty Wigginton, basically. The Athletics are betting that, whatever hit Nakajima's numbers take moving from Japan to America, he'll be at least as valuable as not his America equivalent but a .700-OPS guy who probably isn't able to play third base. This is not a huge gamble, but the A's, for whatever reason, were the only team willing to take it.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.