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November 20, 2006

Little Cat Comes Home

Texas signed OF FRANK CATALANOTTO to a three-year contract for about $13 million with a fourth-year club option.

Catalanotto returns to Texas after four years in the Great White North. Little Cat has a career line of .297/.362/.454, and last year he drew a career-best 52 walks. Texas can place him atop the lineup if new manager Ron Washington can tolerate modest speed at leadoff. Unfortunately, he doesn’t hit lefties, batting .221/.287/.331 against them during his four years in Toronto. He hits over .300 with mostly doubles power against righties.

Though considered a utility player, Cat honestly doesn’t have much utility in the field. The Dallas Morning News suggested he could fill in at second, but he hasn’t played there since 2002. From 2004-2006 he played 253 games in left field and one in right. That’s it. He’s not replacing Mark DeRosa.

Texas surrenders its first-round pick in 2007 by signing Type-A free agent Catalanotto. That’s a heavy price, but the Rangers aren’t done with the free-agent market and almost assuredly will sign another, similarly ranked player. With the many holes they needed to fill this offseason, losing that pick was a foregone conclusion.

Posted by Lucas at November 20, 2006 08:41 AM