Monday was back to work day. Which means driving to and from downtown, but it also means being in the car for Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton's afternoon radio show. Hacksaw, during his 'greatest 15 minutes of radio' schtick, casually mentioned the Padres appear interested in bringing Khalil Greene back.
I smirked. That CAN'T be right. One of the major bright spots in 2009 was the rapid development of Everth Cabrera at short. I know this because the SDUT writers and Padre announcers constantly talked about it.
Why would Jed Hoyer even consider this? Khalil, dealing with anxiety issues and depression, went in the tank on the field. Cabrera was much better at the plate:
45 points of wOBA is pretty significant, in my opinion, in Cabrera's favor. So is 31 points of ISO in Greene's. But Greene had a bad year in 2009. How do his career numbers stack up with Cabrera?
Almost identical wOBA, but Greene walks 4% less career than Cabrera did last season and only trailed Cabrera by 6 wOBA points. A HUGE advantage in ISO for Greene. Granted, Greene nosedived badly in 2008 and 2009. There's risk, but if he could reprise something close to his career numbers...that'd help, wouldn't it?
Defensively, Greene was always solid (at least, that was his reputation), but wasn't Cabrera as good or better? Let's look:
Cabrera was god-awful at short last year. His WAR is solely a function of his bat. Greene, despite his reputation, isn't a very good defensive shortstop either. His UZR numbers, however, are better than Cabrera's. His Dewan plus/minus is worse. So call it a wash - neither one is very good.
There's been no discussion, either in the paper, on ESPN, or any other sites I frequent, regarding possible Padre interest in Greene. No where other than in Hacksaw's sports summary. So how much credence can be given to this seemingly preposterous rumor us unclear. But a back-of-the-napkin look indicates it's not as crazy as it seemed at first blush.
Which is the exact opposite of what I thought going into this line of inquiry.
Of course, the Padres would be taking a pretty big risk, betting that Khalil Greene could approach his 2007 season production when all recent data says those days are gone, never to return.