Acquisition Analysis: Jeff Cirillo

Acquisition Analysis: Jeff Cirillo

The Arizona Diamondbacks claimed 37-year old Jeff Cirillo off waivers from the Minnesota Twins on Friday. Jeff DaVanon has been designated for assignment to make room for the veteran infielder. This move comes as a shock, since the last thing the Diamondbacks needed was another corner infielder.

The Diamondbacks now have 10 days to either trade or release Jeff DaVanon.  His absence from the roster gives the D-Backs just three outfielders.  One of those outfielders, the newly-promoted Justin Upton, has only been playing outfield for the past year and a half.  Upton is the new starting right fielder despite having played just ten professional games there at the time of the Cirillo acquisition.

Jeff Cirillo will have a difficult time finding playing time with Conor Jackson, Chad Tracy, Mark Reynolds, and Tony Clark all occupying the two positions that Cirillo can play, and all having superior offensive seasons to Cirillo.  There is a good chance that Jackson, Tracy, and Reynolds will each see extensive time in the outfield now, as all three have at least some outfield experience in their professional careers.   

But even if this move did make sense from a roster makeup standpoint, it doesn't from a let's-add-quality-players-to-our-team standpoint.  It might have been a good move for the Milwaukee Brewers to make, however.  Cirillo has posted an OPS above the league average with the Brew Crew in seven of his eight seasons with the team, only missing that distinction in his 126-at bat rookie campaign.  In his six seasons with non-Brewers organizations, however, Cirillo has never posted an OPS above the league average.

The one argument that someone could make for Cirillo is that he could bolster the Diamondbacks' league-worst batting average against southpaws.  But while Cirillo boasts a career .305 mark against left-handed pitching, that is only 9 points higher than his .294 mark against righties.  And since he has been a .258 hitter over the past six seasons, if he's only hitting a couple of ticks higher against southpaws, he's not going to really benefit the team that way.

Jeff Cirillo, 2002-2007:

1419 167 366 74 2 18 151 119 181 16 8 38
.258 .321 .351 .672 66.67 78.83

Cirillo does still possess good hands at the hot corner, albeit with limited range.  It is hard to fathom that his service as a late-inning defensive replacement there would justify his inclusion on the 25-man roster.

But as a 14-year veteran, Cirillo can bring some invaluable veteran leadership that could lead a young Diamondbacks team to the postseaon, right?  Nope. Cirillo's teams have never made the playoffs.

In related news, a record number of chins were bruised yesterday in the Phoenix area, as Diamondbacks fans jaws all hit the ground in astonishment of this baffling move.


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