Discussion: Hank Blalock

Older players are feeling the crunch these days, especially if they're one dimensional. Teams just aren't willing to pay big bucks for declining players, regardless of how notable they are or how good of a fit they may be. However some younger players are feeling it too; if they want a big league contract they better be able to do several things well.

Two-time All Star Hank Blalock sits here on February 8th without a job, despite hitting 25 homers last season and averaging 27 bombs per 162 games played for his career. The problem is that Blalock doesn't get on base well (.277 OBP in 2009, .329 career), isn't very good in the field at either first or third, and has dealt with major shoulder injuries in recent seasons. His value comes from his ability to occasionally make pitchers pay when they make a mistake.

At this point, Blalock's probably looking at a minor league deal, however his significant platoon split might be enough to land him a gig as a the lefty-half of a first base platoon somewhere. All it takes is an injury in Spring Training, after all.

Do you see any possible fits for Blalock, maybe as a platoon player or a bat off the bench for an NL team? The pickin's are slim this far into the offseason…


76 Responses to Discussion: Hank Blalock Leave a Reply

  1. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    I dont know if Blalock will be signed for awhile. Likely Delgado and Jacobs will be signed first.

  2. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    I dont know if Blalock will be signed for awhile. Likely Delgado and Jacobs will be signed first.

  3. sajjushah 5 years ago

    The Dodgers could definitely use some pop off the bench.

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      The Dodgers are a really good fit. They have right handed OFers and MIs on the bench but don’t have any real LH CI or PH types. Blalock would give them some flexibility at both 1B and 3B and would be a legit lefty power threat off the bench in PH situations.

      • Tommy_Blackjack 5 years ago

        That could be possible depending on how Brain Giles does in ST. If he can still hit and play somewhat, he’ll be our lefty power bat off the bench.

  4. sajjushah 5 years ago

    The Dodgers could definitely use some pop off the bench.

  5. GravediggerHebnerTRDMB 5 years ago

    Sunday corner IF for the Indians?

  6. GravediggerHebnerTRDMB 5 years ago

    Sunday corner IF for the Indians?

  7. I can see Kenny Williams picking him up.

    • Nicolas_C 5 years ago

      Absolutely not. At least he’d better not

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        he really wouldnt be that bad on the wsox….think about it considering there is a roster spot open due to the Dh thing the wsox have going on…He could be the lefty spell of PK and if he actually gets things going in the field could be the 1st basemen for some time on the wsox..it gives them a very good power hitting lefty to platoon as DH, 1st and 3rd having him and nix and jones on the bench(if he is not starting in the field or DHin) would give us some good pop on the bench…also it works becuase kenny clearly likes taking guys from the rangers this season in omar and jones

        • jwsox 5 years ago

          although he will more than likely get a minor league offer some where i as a chisox fan would not be against a hank signing

    • Nicolas_C 5 years ago

      Absolutely not. At least he’d better not

  8. I can see Kenny Williams picking him up.

  9. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    reds maybe? give votto a day off and rolen when (hopefully not) hits the dl?

  10. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    reds maybe? give votto a day off and rolen when (hopefully not) hits the dl?

  11. yankees4ever 5 years ago

    im feeling the mets if they end up missing on delgado

  12. yankees4ever 5 years ago

    im feeling the mets if they end up missing on delgado

  13. Guest 5 years ago

    Padres or Mets.

  14. Guest 5 years ago

    Padres or Mets.

  15. yeah…5th starter for the mets sounds about right.

  16. yeah…5th starter for the mets sounds about right.

  17. Sounds like it’s time for the player’s union to push for expansion so more of these players have jobs. I would really like to see a team in Brooklyn to dilute the Yankees fanbase. Call them Da Bums.

    Also, seeing guys like this should help Edgar Martinez’s push for the HOF. Not just anybody can play for years just because they are a DH. They have to have skills. OPSing 1.002 at age 37 is not an easy task.

    • Diluting the Yankee fan base isn’t going to do anything.

      • There are 29 other teams not diluting the Yankees fan base. Winning and tradition go a long way and an expansion team isn’t going to change that.

    • Diluting the Yankee fan base isn’t going to do anything.

    • markjsunz 5 years ago

      Baseball has had major expansion over the last 50 years, and the answer to a team in Brooklyn is the Mets. Expansion has already diluted the quality of the major league game and there are teams that do not draw well that would have 1st. shot at emerging markets. I am not sure how many other big cities there are that can support a baseball team.

  18. Sounds like it’s time for the player’s union to push for expansion so more of these players have jobs. I would really like to see a team in Brooklyn to dilute the Yankees fanbase. Call them Da Bums.

    Also, seeing guys like this should help Edgar Martinez’s push for the HOF. Not just anybody can play for years just because they are a DH. They have to have skills. OPSing 1.002 at age 37 is not an easy task.

  19. Maybe the Cardinals? Could be a cheap alternative to getting Lopez. Also a backup plan for Freese.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Makes more sense to platoon with freese

      • Admiralchad 5 years ago

        Makes sense- left handed power bat off the bench to backup freese at third and even spell Pujols at first. Even El Hombre needs a day off once in a while. And theres no harm in signing him to a minor league deal for $500K.

        • luchetti03 5 years ago

          I like him to get quite a bit of time at 3B, spell Pujols at 1B and knowing LaRussa he would probably see time in LF. I am not sure he is any less reliable than Freese or Mather at any of the mentioned positions. I would love for him to be in St. L! GO BIRDS!

  20. Maybe the Cardinals? Could be a cheap alternative to getting Lopez. Also a backup plan for Freese.

  21. S8P7W 5 years ago

    Braves, to backup Glaus and Jones? One of them is bound to see some DL time this year…

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      That’s a pretty solid idea. If the Braves think they will get 140+ games out of Glaus they are mistaken.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      That’s a pretty solid idea. If the Braves think they will get 140+ games out of Glaus they are mistaken.

    • razorwing77 5 years ago

      “One” of them will hit the DL? That’s an incredibly optimistic view.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      if they’re going to add an infielder to the bench, i’d rather take ty wigginton over hank blalock. he could probably be had in a trade.

  22. S8P7W 5 years ago

    Braves, to backup Glaus and Jones? One of them is bound to see some DL time this year…

  23. myk13 5 years ago

    I could see him taking the hometown discount and possibly signing for cheap with the Padres. Add some pop off the bench, I’d rather have him than Stairs just for the simple fact that he can actually play the field and spell someone occasionally.

  24. myk13 5 years ago

    I could see him taking the hometown discount and possibly signing for cheap with the Padres. Add some pop off the bench, I’d rather have him than Stairs just for the simple fact that he can actually play the field and spell someone occasionally.

  25. Suzysman 5 years ago

    Branyan, Jacobs, Blalock, Dye, Gomes…

    Players who offer nothing but HR-ability are the ones really getting phased out. Defense and OBP are just too important to clubs right now. These types of players would be better off taking the first offer presented in the future so they dont see forced retirement.

  26. Suzysman 5 years ago

    Branyan, Jacobs, Blalock, Dye, Gomes…

    Players who offer nothing but HR-ability are the ones really getting phased out. Defense and OBP are just too important to clubs right now. These types of players would be better off taking the first offer presented in the future so they dont see forced retirement.

    • Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

      “HR-Ability” is too much even for Jacobs right now.

      I agree completely though………….. It seems like most AL clubs are now adopting the strategy of using the DH slot as a revolving door to rest or rehab regulars so that they can still get a key bat in the lineup without the stresses of them having to take the field. Why necessarily clog the DH slot and thus a valuable roster spot with a one-dimensonal player, especially if that one-dimensonal player is declining or can only offer 20-something HR’s?

      I wouldn’t mind Blalock on the Cards btw, provided he comes VERY cheap in the end.

  27. PDR297 5 years ago

    I bet he could get 1yr 5mil from the Astros.

  28. PDR297 5 years ago

    I bet he could get 1yr 5mil from the Astros.

  29. laxtonto 5 years ago

    I think people are missing the point here. One of the main reasons why he doesn’t have a gig is that his shoulder makes him incapable of playing 3B even in a backup role.

    He is a 1B/DH only guy at this point. That is what is really hurting his value. He was at one point a good defender at 3B, but his last set of injuries have pretty much destroyed whatever chance he had left to play 3B.

    There a a lot of guys left that can fill his similar role at this point.

  30. I’m an NL guy but the NL needs to add the DH already. I was against it for so long, but the name recognition is needed. It would also even up the leagues for pitchers. Baseball is so weird, what if the AFC and NFC played by different rules?

    • dire straits 5 years ago

      “Baseball is so weird, what if the AFC and NFC played by different rules?”

      That is why baseball as a game is much better than football. It is unique in a way that no other sport is. I, for one, am fine with the DH rule in baseball.

  31. leviticus6688 5 years ago

    Blalock would certainly make the Dayton Moore all star team.

    • Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

      Its this season’s newest hit TV game show: What crappy FA will Dayton Moore overpay for next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      In the hallowed pattern/tradition of Betancourt, Jacobs, Kendall, Ankiel, and Farnsworth, What crappy FA will Dayton Moore sign and overpay for next!!!!!…………….. Jarrod Washburn?, Braden Looper, Garciaparra?……………….. In the probable words of Dayton Moore, “Jarrod Washburn is that solid #3 LH starter that we have been desiring for years. I will thus throw 4 million dollars at him.”

      Also from Dayton’s horse’s mouth……………… “Garciaparra can provide us that solid utility and veteran presence that we really need. The guy can play at any position on the infield, in the sense that we can have him literally stand there and try and deflect balls hit in his general vicinity. We’ll also get lots of awesome camera angles of Mia Hamm sitting in the bleachers, wearing sunglasses and a large hat, with a forced smile or an aloof look on her face, at least during the 18 or so games in April in which Garciaparra is actually able to walk and is on the roster. After Garciaparra goes down due to leprosy, We’ll have a cute yet profound interview with Mia Hamm in the booth, in which we have a deep discussion about soccer and inquire as to how Garciaparra is holding up while he is rehabbing at a swank clinic on the team dime.”

      Or on Braden Looper, “Looper can start or relieve. He is a good flyball pitcher who surrenders many flyballs, and we hope that he will play well in our pitchers park……………….., and hopefully our awesome defensive outfielder Rick Ankiel can track down most of these flyballs, at least the ones that do not travel 450 feet and keep denting our team HOF. We also hope that Ankiel somehow remembers how to hold the baseball bat and also remembers to keep his pants on out in LF. Anyway, powder-blue was Looper’s favorite color, especially when he was a baby.”

      Dayton Moore: “John Smoltz told me yesterday that he is literally crapping his pants, as he CANNOT WAIT to put on a powder-blue uniform. He told me in fact that he has a private personal fetish in which he loves to put on a powder-blue polyester one-piece uniform at home with a v-neck top. John Smoltz has experienced so much winning in his career, that he wants to come over to the other side and see what it is like to play in a miserably hopless situation for absolutely nothing and get the crap beat out of you for six months straight. ‘I just hope he can be a good mentor for all 3 of our halfway-decent young prospects.’ Smoltz also can either start or relieve……………….. In fact, he is willing to be utilized in whatever dog-like capacity that Trey Hillman manages to deploy him in, despite the fact that his arm may well be completely finished and he has a career ERA over 8 in the AL. He promises also to be totally obediant, give upbeat media soundbites, and never complain and shine Hillman’s shoes, and also to put the mayonnaise on Billy Butler’s 3 cheeseburgers that he eats after every game. He will also put the bowl on Zack Greinke’s head before he gives him his ‘Corky’ bowl-cut, in his official capacity as team barber. Smoltz is very excited about golfing with George Brett on the days that the Royals aren’t getting their @$$ handed to them. He is just here for the experience. This is why we are giving him 3 years and 12 million dollars. We want him to retire as a Royal.”

      Or Dayton Moore says………………… “I’m going to sign Pedro Martinez. We need veteran leadership for our rotation. We also need a pitcher who will only pitch in August and September, despite the fact that we will probably be about 25 games out by that time. Also, who DOESN’T want an diminutive, old, primadonna starting pitcher who only works about 5 innings and gives up 3 or 4 runs every start? I do, because I am Dayton Moore!!!!!!”

      P.S…… I am also making a serious effort to track down, relocate, and resign ‘former ace’ Runelvys Hernandez. Happy Valentine’s Day Chief’s Fans.

      P.S……….. It would be extremely helpful if anyone could direct me to the whereabouts of our 2004 All-Star 1Bman Ken Harvey, as I need to find yet another body to block all 23 of our 1B prospects..

      P.S…………… On another note, I spent most of last winter watching Bernie Williams’s rehab. I made a serious effort to get him back, but even Bernie wound up realizing that it was a truly lost cause.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      Yes. Unfortunately, the Royals can only carry 25 guys though so there is a very limited number of one-dimensional players who can hide there for a year or two. This year already has Guillen, Betancourt, Pods, Ankiel, Thorman and Kendal so all the guys I listed above will need to find another club for 2010.

      • leviticus6688 5 years ago

        I never thought I’d say this, but I bet Brian Sabean is wishing he hadn’t spent all his money on Aubrey Huff.

  32. guytp 5 years ago

    The Cardinals… looking for a lefty bat off the bench, could use a little competition for Freese at 3b. I Could see a cheap signing during Spring Training.

  33. ontheball 5 years ago

    Blalock could fit into a Bench/DH/1B /3B back-up role scenario with several teams.

    The Jays, Indians, Dodgers, White Sox and LA Angels would round out my Top 5.

    From a team chemistry perspective, these clubs seem like they might have the best chance with their current rosters to get the most productivity out of Blalock, while at the same time not suffering too much from his low OBP and waning glove-work, if for no other reason than because they may not have much better options available.

    Another veteran presence would not be a horrible thing for any of these teams if they can afford the luxury of having a guy like Blalock occupy a roster spot in what could be his swan song season.

  34. If it is a minor league deal, i would love to see the Twins pick Blalock up. I mean our 3B situation is still weak at the moment with harris, and we don’t really know what to expect from Valencia. I would like us to add him as a depth move. If he produced at the minor league level and looks like he would outperform Harris and if Valencia struggles then we could promote him. I know that’s alot of If’s but if its a minor league deal i’m all for it.

  35. Personanlly I would love him on the Braves, I know he’s another health risk for the corner infield, but what do they lose if he gets hurt? He’s a better option for the bench than anyone they are currently considering (Joe Thurston,Brent Cleven,Brooks Conrad, and the intriguing Mitch Jones). Bring him in on a minor league deal with incintives that can bring it up to 700k base if he makes the team out of ST and have PA incintives.

    • Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

      Joe Thurston, HA HA……………………. no, seriously, enjoy.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I do think the braves could use an extra player for the bench in the event glaus and chipper both go down. However, i’d have to think ty wigginton would be a better target than blalock. not that he’d be my absolute first choice

  36. vaipunk 5 years ago

    RED SOX DH..ortiz is a joke

  37. hooligan_bill 5 years ago

    My Tigers have needed a lefty bat for years. Huff certainly didn’t work out last year and Damon might still want Yankee money and that’s not happening. He could give Cabby a break at 1B and DH once in a while. Dombrowski may be waiting him out until he’s desperate for a job and will sign for peanuts.

  38. dolfanmark 5 years ago

    I think he’d be a good fit on the Red Sox bench, once they can clear Mike Lowell off the roster. With Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis being RH, they could use a corner guy to hit lefty off the bench. And he could be Papi insurance, too.

  39. thefabs 5 years ago

    I am flabbergasted as to why the Mets would not sign this guy. Murphy is terrible, and Ike Davis is not yet ready to take the job. Would it kill the Mets to sign this guy and platoon him with Murphy? With Beltran out (I believe he wont play till June), they need all the offense they can get.

  40. rottengazebo 5 years ago

    I’d like the Tigers to sign him to get some lefty pop off of the bench. They currently have no lefties in the lineup. He could split time with Inge, DH, and give Migs a day off when needed.

  41. JohnLucarelli 5 years ago

    Mariners.

  42. frankie00 5 years ago

    Although I do not care to much for Blalock, how about a pinch hitting, back up role with the Reds. They are short on veteran hitters off the bench without Gomes, Blalock might be a decent fit. He could also spell Votto and Rolen every know and then to. They do not have a back up first baseman on the roster unless you include Alonso.

  43. whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

    If the price is right, Kenny would be dumb not to offer a deal to add him to the platoon at DH. Plus, even though his 3B activity has diminished, he could still spell Teahan a game here and a game there. He’s lefty and has power, something the sox need on their bench at the very least.

    Also, if none of these guys sign, the baseball community or MLBPA should petition that the cities of Dubai and Las Vegas get together to create a team of the left over free agents. Add it to the AL West so there are no more lame 4-team divisions.

    • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

      I think Kenny’s plan all along has been to grab the best guy off the unsigned, getting desperate heap of players, sometime around mid-Feb.
      It might work out. Branyon, Jacobs, Damon, Delgado, Sheffield, Blaylock are all still looking for a team.
      Any of those guys are a better DH option than Ozzie’s DH by committee idea.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        He doesnt have a roster spot to do that with.

        Kenny’s plan was shown back in November/December when he signed Kotsay and Jones to major league deals and brought in Teahen. It was then finalized when he acquired Pierre.

  44. Guest 5 years ago

    He could be the hitter version of Colby Lewis.

  45. Guest 5 years ago

    if you’re pro-dh, then thats your opinion and thats fine. but there’s a very good reason the nl hasnt jumped on that bandwagon and that was the main point i was trying to make.

  46. hoostinohambone 5 years ago

    I see your point blurba…but here’s how I look at it. Pitchers need to be focused on their craft. They need to be on the bench in between innings focusing on their approach for the hitters coming up in the next half of the inning…they need the rest, too.

    If I owned an NL team, I wouldn’t invest alot of dough in pitching for the simple fact that hitting presents so many injury possibilities. In fact, if I were an NL manager and I was facing Roy Halladay…I’d intentionally walk him so that he has to be on the field versus resting his arm. I know outs are important…but I’d make the other team’s ace work a little harder.

    In the end, if pitchers have to hit, then maybe hitters should have to pitch? Just bein’ silly, but I hope you see my points. Take care…peaceyo

  47. Guest 5 years ago

    I don’t buy the “pitchers need to focus on their craft” argument. I do see your point but respectfully disagree 100%. Ask Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tim Lincecum, or any other remotely accomplished pitcher (that didnt have the dh, of course) if walking to the batters box every 9th at bat in any way interfered with their ability to take the mound, and I think you’ll find that it’s not an issue. The fact is, that real baseball players don’t gripe and complain about having to play baseball, and playing baseball involves both wearing a glove AND wielding a bat. Baseball is a game of both offense and defense. If you do not play offense AND defense then you are not playing baseball, only portions of it.

    I don’t understand your argument that it’s better to walk a pitcher and let him run the paths than pitch to him. If the pitcher never has to bat, then he’s ALWAYS going to rest. I don’t see the issue, but if anything, it isn’t fair to the other 8 players on the team (that do actually have to play the entire game) for the pitcher to rest. As I mentioned before, baseball has been around for over 100 years, and pitchers survived just fine without the DH. Case in point: if you have ESPN Classic, try and catch the ’57 World Series sometime. In Game 7, Bottom of the Ninth, the Yankees were attempting a comeback against the Braves. They had two men on, two outs, and the STARTING pitcher came up to bat. They left him in because he was “a pretty good hitter” and could be counted on to pitch even further into the game. He singled and loaded the bases. The fact that he had to walk to the plate mutliple times earlier in the game in no way tired him out, nor did it prevent him from playing later in the game. I honestly don’t mean any disrespect, but saying that it tires out the pitcher or leaves him vulnerable to injury really just sounds like a cop-out. They’re athletes playing a sport. That alone involves risk as well as having to physically play the game. In fact, if any argument could be made, its that pitchers get hurt more frequently in today’s game than they did 50 or 60 years ago, when the DH wasn’t present. The reasons for that surely do NOT lie within the implementation of the DH rule. I’m definitely NOT saying there is a correlation between injuries to pitchers and the DH rule, but my point is that having the DH definitely has not decreased injuries to pitchers. Injuries have risen, if anything. So the argument that hitting leaves pitchers more vulnerable to injury is just not a very good one. I mean, come on, a pitcher could get hurt walking out of the dugout. Should they install three foot tall escalators so that they don’t have to strain themselves climbing the stairs to get onto the field?

  48. hoostinohambone 5 years ago

    Have you ever pitched? Do you have any idea what it takes to be a consistent pitcher? Your comments lead me to believe that “no” is your answer to my questions.

    With your philosophy…should the quarterback also play linebacker in football? Just wondering because you mentioned, “The fact is, that real baseball players don’t gripe and complain about having to play baseball, and playing baseball involves both wearing a glove AND wielding a bat. Baseball is a game of both offense and defense. If you do not play offense AND defense then you are not playing baseball, only portions of it.”

  49. Guest 5 years ago

    have i ever pitched? yes. my question to you is: have you ever even watched baseball? your comments lead me to believe you have not. your example of a quarterback playing linebacker has absolutely no relevance at all to the topic at hand. football and baseball are two completely different sports that have very little in common and using football as an example to back up your assertion that pitchers are too frail to take an at-bat just simply doesnt make any sense. the expectations of a quarterback are far different from that of a pitcher. a quarterback is never supposed to play linebacker, but a pitcher is actually supposed to hit. where’s the relevance? what you copy and pasted actually sums it up pretty well. baseball players are expected to play on both sides of the ball. You’re original argument actually made some sense, but my opinion was different. That was all. However, at this point I’m really not sure where you’re trying to go with this, or if you’re still even trying to prove that you’re right.

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