I was at the Edgar Martinez event at Elysian Fields tonight and had a great time. Thanks a million to Edgar and the Mariners' organization for making this happen. Go right now and support his foundation at http://www.themartinezfoundation.org/
As I was sitting there drinking a beer and watching Edgar meet with anyone who wanted to talk to him or get their picture with him...it occurred to me that not only is Edgar a great human being, he would probably be a better DH than any the M's have had since he left. I was thinking of going over and begging him to return, but I didn't have the numbers to back me up.
I wish I had done it.
Only in 2007 did M's DH's do better than Edgar's worst season (his last) of at least 200 PA -- and then only by 21 points of OPS. In only two seasons since have M's DH's posted a better AVG. In only one season did they best his SLG. In three seasons they bettered Edgar's OBP, but in only two did they top his OPS.
Of course Edgar wouldn't necessarily have continued to perform the same way after 2004. (Or would he??) But given the results and how much I love Gar, I would rather have seen him out there than the guys we've had.
Below is a chart of Edgar's last season and the Mariners' DH's numbers in each successive season. Numbers that are better than Edgar's in seasons after he left are in bold.