How about Maicer Izturis?
By Editorial Staff
The LA Angels are in limbo right now. They are currently operating without a GM right now, and the new hire will have the task of reworking some hideous roster moves made in the last couple of years by Tony Reagins. I bet they wish they had Mike Napoli right about now. I doubt that Vernon Wells‘ .250 OBP makes anyone in that front office happy, and that could go down as one of the biggest blunders by a GM in history. That doesn’t mean the Angels don’t have some worthwhile talent on their roster.
Maicer Izturis, the younger brother of Cezar Izturis, provides exactly what the Tigers need in an infielder: decent OBP, very good fielder, some versatility, and some pretty good speed. It’s evident that if the Tigers are going to make it anywhere, it’s going to be on the backs of their core players, and Izturis is a perfect complimentary piece.
While I don’t necessarily believe in the “little things”, Izturis has that “winning player” feel to me. Anyone who has played for Mike Scoscia that long is usually a good player in my book. He’s versatile; playing 2B, 3B, and SS, and is an above average defender at 3B and SS. He is a veteran player, so of course, Leyland will love him. Basically, he’s a better fielding and better hitting Ramon Santiago. Unfortunately for Izturis, he’s never gotten the chance to be a full time starter for the Angels, because of the depth they have in their infield. The Angels infield depth allows them to move Izturis in a deal should they want to do so, making him an obtainable option for the Tigers.
Izturis is a prototypical Angel hitter. He walks a decent amount; career 8.2%, and doesn’t strike out, career 10.6 percent. He rarely swings and misses, and is usually in the top 10% of the league in that category. While I would personally hit Boesch in the two hole, and hit Izturis 7th or 8th, I’d venture to guess that Leyland feels otherwise, and Maicer would probably be a mainstay in the top of the lineup. His career .275/.339/.389 line is right about where he’s been the past couple of seasons, and that’s pretty much exactly where he should be going forward in the next few years. He doesn’t have much power, but it’s at least average for his position. While he may not be a long term solution at 2B/3B, he’s definitely a stop gap for next year, and depending on how he does, it’s possible the Tigers could re-sign him after his current contract runs out after next season. You know about what you’re going to get from Izturis, and he’s actually had a few years with a .775 OPS, which would be a massive upgrade at either IF position. He also has the ability to steal 10-12 bases, which isn’t a bad thing either.
I would be remiss if I didn’t speak to one concern with Maicer; his injuries. In the past six seasons, he’s been on the DL 5+ times, and he always seems to have a nagging injury. His contract is pretty cheap, at 3.8MM, so even if he does get hurt, it’s really not that big of a deal. At the same time, if he can just stay healthy until the all star break, Ryan Raburn can do his usual Raburn stuff, and take over 2B duties in the second half of the season. If worst came to worst, the Tigers could probably grab someone else around the trade deadline. Izturis is worth the gamble, even with his injury riddled history. Honestly, I’m not really sure what type of bounty Izturis would require, especially with no executive in place for the Angels. If it took Andy Oliver, or someone of that ilk, I wouldn’t be surprised. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted someone like Avisail Garcia or Daniel Fields, they love athletic outfielders in Anaheim. Izturis can hit in the top of the lineup, and is an above average fielder, two qualities the Tigers are definitely looking for this off-season.