48-Year-Old Designated Hitter – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Mike Piazza in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Mike Piazza Contract Information:
Agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with Oakland in December 2006.
Piazza has decided to retire, the Associated Press reports.
To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Mike Piazza – simply subscribe now.
Mike Piazza: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Mike Piazza.
Piazza was limited to just 83 games due to a shoulder injury, but he wasn't very productive when healthy. His road numbers (.315/.339/.500) might entice another team to give him a try as a full-time DH, but his batting eye has started to drop off drastically and the end is likely near. The A's offered him arbitration, but it's expected that he'll play elsewhere in 2008.
Piazza experienced a renaissance in 2006, clubbing 22 homers, his highest total since 2002 and the fourth-most among major league catchers. The 38-year-old was rested two or three times per week and often left games early for a better defender, a scheme that helped him stay fresh throughout the season. Piazza will serve primarily as the designated hitter for Oakland, while occasionally backing up Jason Kendall. Last year showed that when he's fresh he can be a force at the plate and that shouldn't change too much in the AL.
Piazza has followed the same pattern over the past few seasons: starts slow, gets hot, then suffers an injury that short-circuits his season. Last year was a bit different because manager Willie Randolph played him extensively down the stretch knowing that he probably wouldn't be back with the team in 2006. That's in part because his batting and on-base averages slid again as he became even more of a guess hitter. Surprisingly, Piazza did a better job defensively, earning a .997 fielding percentage, but continued to struggle throwing out base stealers, who were successful on 82 of 95 chances. Likely, he'll sign somewhere in the AL, where he can catch and DH long enough to chase his 400th career homer.
Piazza's 2004 looked like his 2003: slow start, gets hot, then suffers an injury, never regains his stroke and speculation starts that he either will be moved to a different position or team. This time the speculation is that he will not play first base but be a full-time catcher and it's possible that he will be traded to the American League, where he could DH and be a part-time catcher. The only saving grace to Piazza's lost 2004 season, during which his slugging percentage declined for the fourth straight year, was breaking Carlton Fisk's record for most homers by a catcher. It's clear that he's on the downside of his career and would benefit from a change of scenery.
Last year was a lost season for Piazza as he tore a groin muscle against San Francisco on May 16 that kept him out of the lineup until August 13. During his time out, the media and his own team speculated on a potential move to first base, and whether the team should trade him now while they have the chance. Piazza will both catch and play first base in 2004, but no official determination has been made as to the ratio of games at each position. Piazza's pursuit of Carlton Fisk's record for home runs by a catcher has sparked some trade demand rumors, but nothing has come to fruition. The Mets hope that by playing first base part time, Piazza's legs will be fresher down the stretch.
Piazza finished 2002 with close to his usual numbers, 33 home runs and 98 RBI. His batting average (.280) was low, mostly due to a horrendous August when he hit just .177. As the lineup can hardly be worse than last year, expect Piazza to have more RBI opportunities. If Mo Vaughn comes all the way back, his biggest effect may be to force pitchers to pitch to Piazza, making him that much more dangerous. One concern is a two-year decline in power, as his slugging percentage has dropped from .614 to .573 to .544.