Results tagged ‘ Braves ’
According to Fox Sports John Paul Morosi, the Tigers and Braves are working on a deal that would send Martin Prado to Detroit. The Tigers would be sending Delmon Young back in the deal, possibly more. Why are they doing this? To get a leadoff hitter. Martin Prado is apparently their goal for that. It’s funny and sad. Dave Dombrowski could become Dumbrowski.
Prado has a career .341 OBP, with a career low .302 OBP in 2011. He is arbitration eligible and he made $3.1 million in 2011. He is 28-years-old.
Austin Jackson is or was the Tigers leadoff hitter of the future when he was acquired from the Yankees in the three-way deal with the Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy, Curtis Granderson, and Max Scherzer were also in that deal, which was a win for everyone). Jackson turns 25 in February, isn’t arbitration eligible until 2013, and won’t be a Free Agent until 2016. His OBP last season was an abysmal .317, still better than Prado’s, and his career .331 OBP isn’t far off considering he hasn’t had a breakout season and his speed (49 SB in 304 games) far outweighs the “danger” that Prado brings if he gets on leading off (his career 13 SB in 527 games). Jackson brings an element that can’t be replaced, creating runs in a spacious ballpark. He’d still be on the team, as Prado would be in left field or at third.
Which brings us to Delmon Young. Young is 26, he’ll be a Free Agent after the 2012 season, and he’ll make about $7 million in arbitration in 2012 after making $5.38 million last year. Young is taking the position player Edwin Jackson approach, playing for his 3rd team at such a young age. While he probably isn’t worth what he’ll earn in arbitration based on his production so far in his career, he has shown glimpses of stardom and he is entering his prime. While Young has been an enigma, he hasn’t been an enema, especially as a Tiger. The man played in just 40 games for Detroit and if you multiply his production by four (to get to 160 games), he could have posted 112 R, 184 H, 20 2B, 4 3B, 32 HR, 128 RBI and a 120/20 K/BB with a .274 AVG and .756 OPS. While the AVG and OPS are underwhelming, his statistics are pretty sexy. He’d be someone who would fit in nicely by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the lineup if he finally breaks out.
If the Tigers can get Prado and have him play third, that would be a solid deal. They shouldn’t get him to play left if it means giving up Delmon Young. They shouldn’t get him to lead off because he isn’t really a good guy to have clogging up the bases IF he even gets on. This is another addition of a veteran who might do something to help, but probably isn’t the answer. The Tigers had a solid team this past season. They seem to overthink things. They STOLE Young from the Twins for the playoff run and he did a nice job producing for them.
It’s about time they make minor changes instead of reaching for a splash. They need to keep the players that got them to where they were last season. They need to dump guys who are hurt and cost too much like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen. They don’t need to trade guys in their prime for overvalued, underproducing corner players. Do you want a guy hitting 11-15 homers in LF/RF/1B/3B? Especially if he is below average defensively at 3B and LF like Prado is? Wilson Betemit is below average and has posted a .378 and .343 OBP and .889 and .795 OPS the last two years, but no one is giving him a job. Even the Tigers, as he was allowed to walk as a Free Agent. Seems like a bad move.
Hunter Pence is a good baseball player. Good, not great. You could even say that he is so good that he isn’t great enough to be worth the type of talent that it is rumored that he will cost a team trading for him. Pence is batting .309, good for 18th in MLB. His .356 OBP ranks 50th, his .472 slugging percentage ranks 54th, and his .828 OPS ranks him 49th in MLB. Value has changed to where OPS is a pretty good indicator of run production, as a high OPS shows that a player gets on base and can drive the ball. Pence ranks behind names like Casey Kotchman, Seth Smith, and Yunel Escobar, players that no team are throwing the names of their top prospects around for in a trade.
Hunter Pence will be 29 in April. He makes $6.9 million this year and is eligible for arbitration, which will make him capable of making $10 million or more next season based on his current salary and production. But…is he worth it, let alone the amount of talent a team will be giving up to get him? www.baseball-reference.com has a ranking system based on age-level production. Hunter Pence is nearly equal to…Bobby Higginson…at this point in his career. Bobby Higginson’s best season came at the age of 29, in 2000, when he hit .300/.377/.538 with 30 homers and 102 RBI. Higginson did one thing that made him better than Pence…he walked. Pence’s .339 career OBP makes him a liability for his long swing as he ages. His strange approach to hitting has long been questioned. John Sickels of www.minorleagueball.com wrote: “The question now is, when he gets into his late 20s, does Pence stay where he is now (which is really good) or does he take a further step forward into genuine superstardom? Most scouts would doubt the latter possibility. Many have never been comfortable with his unorthodox stance at the plate. But it works, and if he can make even a marginal improvement in his plate discipline, such a breakthrough is possible.” This was posted on February 4, 2008 (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/2/4/18526/90212).
Pence is good, not great. He was an All-Star this season, but so was damn-near everyone in baseball, as well as in 2009. He hit 25 homers in 2008, 2009, and 2010. His on-base skills have bounced up and down like Aubrey Huff’s last few seasons. Pence is a very good player. He isn’t Carlos Beltran, who was traded for a legitimate top prospect in Zack Wheeler. It is rumored that Philadelphia and Atlanta are in on Pence. Philadelphia may offer Domonic Brown, Jonathan Singleton, and/or Jarrod Cosart, all top prospects for the Phillies. The Astros are asking for Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Arodys Vizcaino, and/or Randall Delgado from the Braves, all top prospects. It doesn’t make sense for these teams. To get over the hump and then have to pay the type of money it will require in arbitration to Pence…it isn’t worth it. He is a good player. Not a great one. If Philadelphia or Atlanta deal a group of top prospects for Pence, they will get a solid hitter, a great fielder, and a 3rd-tier star.