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Former Indian Omar Vizquel Signs Deal With Toronto At Age 45

Cleveland’s favorite shortstop Omar Vizquel will try to for one more season in the sun. If he makes the Blue Jays team, it will be his 24th season in the big leagues. The Jays will be his 6th team, including the Mariners, Indians, Giants, Rangers and White Sox.

Omar responded to a tweet from a fan who said they were a little sad that Omar didn’t come to Cleveland. Omar responded saying that “the Indians didn’t have a spot”.

Vizquel has 2,841 hits. He hasn’t collected 159 hits in a single season since 2006. It is unlikely that the 11 time Gold Glove winner could hit magic number 3,000 this year.

  • Anonymous

    There will always be a spot for you in Cleveland Omar (maybe not to play though)

  • Anonymous

    Good thing they grabbed Hu and his .176 BA while he was still available as opposed to bringing Omar back.

    /sarcasm’d

  • Harv 21

    Unbelievable. At 45 can still get a spring invite at that position, 12 years after most shorstops have been told to get a third baseman glove. We take Omar for granted because we know him but really this is freakin epic, Satchel Paige-type stuff.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Pretty amazing.  I’m 32 and I feel old sometimes.  Omar is 45 and has a good shot at making a roster.

    Interesting to note that the only players who have more hits than Omar and are NOT in the Hall of Fame are:

    Pete Rose (banned)
    Derek Jeter (1st ballot when he retires)
    Craig Biggio
    Rafael Palmerio (PED’s)
    Barry Bonds (PED’s)
    Harold Baines
    Pudge Rodriguez (1st ballot when he retires)

    So the only 2 players that have more hits and are not in the HOF (and aren’t 1st ballot locks) are Baines and Biggio.  Omar’s defense is far superior to either one of those guys.  Biggio was no slouch in the field…but he’s no Omar either.  Baines was a DH for a good chunk of his career, so he might not make it in…

    When you look at the entire package, I will be shocked if Omar doesn’t make the HOF.  It might take a while, but he deserves to get in. 

  • Anonymous

    agreed full-heartedly.  it helps his case that the baseball HOF likes to reward long careers too.

  • Steve

    It was almost certainly a mutual thing – the current Indians infielders better than Vizquel include Kipnis, Cabrera, Chisenhall, Hannahan, Donald and possibly Phelps. Vizquel was, unequivocally, not good enough to make this roster, but he could in Toronto, who still is giving a 40-man spot to Luis Valbuena.

  • Steve

    The issue though is that Vizquel’s OPS is about 100 points below almost everyone around him. The only guy who is anywhere really close is Brooks Robinson, who played in an era where offense was drastically reduced. Rapping out a bunch of singles is not a good measure of offensive ability, and especially considering that we see HoF shortstops held to a new standard offensively with Ripken, Larkin, Jeter and Rodriguez, I think it’s going to be tough for Vizquel.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Steve – what you say has merit, and OPS is all well and good…but to me, it’s a pretty simple argument.  Top 50 all time in hits + a top 3 defensive SS career (all time fielding % leader) = Hall of Fame.  This doesn’t even take into account his 400 stolen bases.

  • Steve

    Of all the stats to chose from, I’m not sure I could pick three that held less weight with me. Hits just aren’t a good measure of offensive value, and in Vizquel’s case really arent much more of a sign of anything other than he was healthy enough to hang around forever. Fielding metrics aren’t highly reliable, but we can do a lot better than fielding %. And Omar stole bases at a 70% rate, noticeably below the approximately 75% break-even point.

    Omar’s career 82 OPS+ would be tied for 3rd worst among all Hall of Famers. He’s been worth about 100 runs less offensively than Ozzie Smith. So putting him in comes down to one of two choices. Either he was the best fielder in the history of the game, or we simply don’t care that he’s on par with Luis Aparicio or Rabbit Maranville, two of the worst players in the Hall despite that the standards for a HoF shortstop should be rising, not falling.