That leaves us with Mr. Thomson, who's missing a "p" but won't lack for dollars in the coming years. I almost wrote this TA the day of the signing, which you may remember was the day after Atlanta decided not to offer arbitration to Lopez, Sheffield or Maddux. John Thomson doesn't look real good when he's being compared to any of those three.
But there's a lot here to like, along with a lot to not like. We often try to view the world in a strict black and white manner; this is absolutely good, this is absolutely bad. It makes analysis a lot simpler, and our minds are attracted to the simpler explanations. Nowhere is this truer than in the game of baseball, where revolutionary advances in statistics over the past three decades have indeed allowed to us to say with more certainty what moves are good or bad.
|John Thomson was a favorite of Texas Manager Buck Showalter.(Photo/Getty)|
Thomson's strikeout rate is mediocre, but his walk numbers are excellent, which means you've got a starter with a really nice K/BB ratio. He's endured above-average hit rates over the years, and pitching in front of bad defenses in Colorado and Texas didn't help those numbers at all.
So consider this a cautious thumbs-up. Thomson's only going to make $1.75 million next year, and even if he doesn't improve one bit on his career 102 ERA+, it's not a bad price to pay for average starting pitching.