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The Impact of Johjima

A little cocktail napkin math...

2005 VORP

Rene Rivera: 7.7
Wiki Gonzalez: 1.3
Yorvit Torrealba: 0.1
Miguel Ojeda: -1.4
Dan Wilson: -3.0
Pat Borders: -6.6
Miguel Olivo: -12.8
Total: -14.7

Now let's make four assumptions:

  1. Johjima plays in 130 games
  2. 10 VORP ~ 1 win
  3. The defensive change between years is negligible
  4. The backup catcher(s) perform exactly at replacement level
Worst Case:

Johjima as AJ Pierzynski: +3.3 wins

Reasonable Expectation 1:

Johjima as Damian Miller: +4.0 wins

Reasonable Expectation 2:

Johjima as Ben Molina: +4.6 wins

Total Awesomeness:

Johjima as Jason Varitek: +6.1 wins

Kenji Johjima could be an absolute, total bust, and he'd still represent something like a two-game improvement over last year's heptacular abomination. And while the "reasonable" four-win addition may not seem like much on paper, that's the rough equivalent of replacing Ryan Franklin with Jake Peavy, or Raul Ibanez with Travis Hafner. It's significant, and it's only going to cost us about $5m per season.

Seriously, I keep saying it, but there's just no way to spin this as a bad deal. It's a heck of an improvement over what we had last summer, and a more significant one for the Mariners than the rumored Beckett trade that so many people are worried about is for Texas.