The plus side is that Josh Banks is a knuckleballer, so that's at least cool. The non-plus side is that he owns a career xFIP of 5.25. Also added to the non-plus side is that he had an obscene FIP of 6.41 last year. However, back on the plus side of the ledger, we can add to it that this is a minor-league deal. Of course then on the other side of the ledger we have to be honest and ask the question, has signing a Padres pitcher ever worked out well for the Astros? Has it? Not so much. (you have to click both separately to truly get it).
To recap visually:
Of course, it's always possible just to not worry about it because it is, in fact, a minor league deal. I don't want the Josh Bank signing itself to be seen as the motivation for this piece. The fact of the matter is, this piece has been brewing in the back my mind for sometime. To catch up on the thought process/inspiration for this here's a list of other people's work that inspired me:
- Joe Posnanski's long, winding, and incredible recap of the Royal's decade.
- Matt Klaassen asking the question, is the NL worse because the GM's are?
- Clack's reaction/analysis of Dave Cameron's piece on the right-ward shift of demand in the free agent market.