Rangers Sign Eli Whiteside
By Eric Reining
If you are reading this I’m going to assume you’re either (a) a fan of the Texas Rangers or (b) a fan of a team who dislikes the Texas Rangers. So if you belong in the (a) category, I’m going to advise you at this moment to either shield your eyes from the computer or be prepared for another stroke of 2012 offseason disappointment; if you belong in the (b) category I’ll ask you to continue reading, smile, laugh, do whatever you need to such that your appetite for a little schadenfreude is satisfied.
About an hour ago the Rangers announced the signing of career journeyman catcher Eli Whiteside, who, by virtue of several waiver claims, finds himself in Arlington by way of San Francisco, New York (AL) and Toronto. Whiteside, who will be entering his age-34 season in 2013, is exclusively considered a defensive backstop all the way, which, you know, kind of makes sense given his career triple slash line of .215/.273/.335.
Although he’s only accumulated 537 plate appearances spread out across five separate seasons spanning the last eight years, the results have been abysmal. His career wOBA stands at a mere .268, generating a lifetime wRC+ of just 65. We can only hope this move was made for depth purposes, even with Jon Daniels saying today that he has “always heard very good things about [his] ability to catch and throw, and to work with the staff.”
We know the Rangers have upgrading to do at several different positions, but if they plan on rolling out a catching tandem featuring Geovany Soto and Eli Whiteside as their 1-2 combination, then I’d be very hard-pressed to find a worse, less productive duo in all of Major League baseball behind the plate.