Hunting for Shortstops: Edgar Renteria, Houston Astro?

The Astros need to get better offensively.

The Astros also need to get better at the shortstop position.

There just happens to be a certain World Series hero on the market this winter. He'd make a big splash without costing as much as someone like Carl Crawford. He'd also figure to improve both of the areas that Houston needs improving.

Does that make Edgar Renteria a good fit for the Astros?

First of all, he won't be as good defensively as Tommy Manzella. Renteria looked good in the playoffs in the field, but overall impressions of his play the past two years in the field has been unfavorable. FanGraphs UZR has him as right around zero in 2008 and 2009, almost 7 in 2010 and just about -6 in 2007. The only time Baseball Reference has him being bad in the field, according to their WAR calculations, is that one season in Boston. So, what does that mean? Who do we believe, the numbers or the eyeballs? I think he'd hold up somewhat on the defensive end, but would quickly devolve into what we had with Miguel Tejada.

His offense would also be passable, but probably not special. Despite his postseason hits, Renteria hasn't produced much offensively in the past few years. With average to slightly-below average defense and not much at the plate, is it surprising that his WAR totals have hovered around 1.0 for much of the past six or seven years (with a notable exception of his two seasons in Atlanta)? 

Renteria averaged 8 million in salary over the past two seasons and was scheduled to make 11.5 million on a club option next year. The Giants declined that option, putting him on the open market. You have to figure he won't take a drastic pay cut, but since he was already talking about retirement this season, he probably won't want a long contract. A one-year, 6 million dollar contract might do the trick, with a 2012 option for 8 or 9 million. 

The question then becomes, is Renteria worth that much money and do the Astros need him? 

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