In his November 26th column, Roger Brown of the Plain Dealer lobbied for the Tribe to sign Robert Fick as a “proven first baseman offering more offensive consistency than Travis Hafner and Ben Broussard”.
Why, you ask, would the Indians be interested in a man that was outhit by 44-year-old Julio Franco?
“Word is,” says Brown, the “past All-Star … is interested in signing with the Indians.” Should we be flattered?
This is a player who ranked 21st among NL first basemen in OPS, below the likes of Eric Karros, Tino Martinez and Sean Casey. Fick had a season almost identical to Broussard, yet he is nearly three years older and his salary was three times larger. He also bats left-handed, so there is no platoon advantage to be gained. His catching days are over, limiting him to 1B, OF and DH. The Tribe has an abundance of better alternatives at these positions.
So why, Roger, should the Indians sign Fick?
“For one,” says Brown, “Fick liked playing for current Indians bench coach Buddy Bell when Bell managed Detroit in 1998.” Putting aside the fact that Fick played a total of 7 games for the Tigers in 1998 (likely all for Larry Parrish after Bell was fired), the greater question should be, “Should Mark Shapiro try to reassemble the powerhouse ’98 Tigers?”
If the answer is yes, the agents for Deivi Cruz and Damion Easley are awaiting Shapiro’s call.