From the team who brought you the signings of Charlie Manning and Ian Ostlund, I give you Royce Ring.

I’m sure there will be a lot of head scratching and “low hanging fruit” cat calls on message boards, mostly due to his 8.46 ERA last season, but his FIP was 4.48. That’s a huge amount of bad luck. I’m not here to defend the signing, but when Joe Beimel, Brian Shouse and Dennys Reyes are set to make $3 M a year, signing Ring doesn’t seem like an awful idea for a budget consious team with greater needs. The best of the best LOOGy’s are only worth about 1 WAR.  I can understand the Cards not wanting to shell out a ton of cash for a someone who is going to face only 200 batters at the very max.

I can’t find his 2007 splits, but I was able to dig up at on an old BA article that Ring limited Triple-A lefties to averages of .145 and .140 in ’05 and ’06, including just three extra-base hits. All three XBH came in 2005. During his intermittent big league career, he’s held lefties to a .229 batting average, a .231 SLG and has struck out a quarter of them. He also is adept at getting groundballs, for his career he has a 57.7% GB%.

For what it’s worth, his CHONE projection is optimistic, calling for 49 IP, 43 K, 23 BB, 4 HR and a 3.86 ERA in 57 games. His Marcel projects for 38 innings, 30 K’s, 17 walks, 4 homers and an ERA of 4.62.

I’m guessing he’s going to be paid next to nothing compared to what a lot of the higher profile LOOGYs will be netting, so if you’re going to sign low hanging fruit, this seems to be the right way to do it.

update : Derrick Goold tweets that his salary is reportedly only $475,000. That’s two LOOGY’s for just under a mil. I seem to remember the Orioles were stupid enough to sign Jamie Walker for 3 years/$12M and he’s managed to be worth .5 WAR.

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