Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Did You Guys Really Fall for That?

So everyone's believing all they read now, huh?  Are you guys for real?  I came home from work today, and, like I do most days, checked bluejaysaggr and MLBTR to see if anything was up, only to see post after post and link after link suggesting that the Jays are going to trade Bautista?!

Come on, guys.  Let's use our brains on this one, yeah?

Obviously it wasn't going to be straight up, but the rumored deal was Bautista for Dom Brown, because we're apparently in the business of conveniencing the Phillies.  Bautista is infinitely better than Brown, is coming off a year that he missed a pile of games with injuries (i.e. selling low), and still has three years of team control.  Brown is quite a bit cheaper, is worse than Bautista, and comes with only one more year of control.  This one would be sort of dependent on what the Phillies would be throwing in.

The Jays are in need of-- in no particular order-- a catcher, starter, and second baseman.  The Phillies "don't have" a catcher at the moment (Carlos Ruiz is a free agent) so we can omit that one.  They have a recently extended Chase Utley at 2B, which doesn't preclude them from trading him per se, but obviously they want Utley around or they wouldn't have extended him, right?  Probably.  I also doubt the Phillies go Utley-and-Brown for Bautista if the situation even arose, though the more I think about it, it might make a bit of sense if you throw in a bullpen piece here and a prospect or bench player there.  But that's not the point.

Starters in Philly include Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, and then a few dudes that the Jays couldn't possibly have any interest in trading Jose Bautista for.  I doubt the Phillies are overly interested in moving Hamels or Lee, given their strategy the last few years.

So yeah-- it's a Bautista-for-Utley type of thing, or it's nothing.

Don't believe everything you read.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

When a Half-Measure is Close Enough

Ryan Hanigan appears to be available, given that the Reds have signed Brayan Pena to a two-year deal, and have Devin Mesoraco kicking around as well.  Some juice on Hanigan.

  • Ryan Hanigan is a career .262/.359/.343 hitter, with a walkrate of 12% and a strikeout rate of 10.1%.  He hits for very little power (.081 ISO career), but gets on base and makes contact at a pretty good rate.
  • Ryan Hanigan is pretty good defensively, and has some nice insights on pitch framing.
  • Ryan Hanigan is set to make $2.3MM through arbitration, which is actually less than JP Arencibia.
  • Ryan Hanigan is not JP Arencibia.
  • Ryan Hanigan is not a free agent-- a team interested in his services would need to come to an agreement with the Cincinatti Reds on a cost, which is probably easier than coming to an agreement with a player/agent on how much money it would take to bring him in.
That stuff all seems pretty good.  If you can't get Brian McCann, you could certainly do worse than Ryan Hanigan on a 1-year deal (i.e. JP Arencibia).

I guess the main issue here is that Hanigan is 33 years old, and is coming off a season where he hit .198/.306/.261 over 275 plate appearances.  The Reds will certainly be selling low on Hanigan, which makes taking a flyer on him an attractive option.  He still walked more than he struck out, he still put up some pretty good defensive numbers, and he had a babip that was about 65 points lower than his career mark without any significant change in his batted ball profile-- his IFFB% rose by 4%, which is certainly a bad sign, but his 2013 LD%, GB% and FB% are all within a percentage point of his career norms.

For a team in need of catching help, Hanigan and Thole could certainly split time for a relatively inexpensive price.  If there is any kind of payroll restrictions in Toronto this year, acquiring Hanigan for a prospect or bullpen arm will allow the Jays to allocate money elsewhere, such as 2B or the rotation.  Acquiring Hanigan, in and of itself, would probably be a sort of half-measure, but as part of the big picture, Hanigan is a cheap alternative that would plug a hole and allow AA to go focus on the bigger parts of the offseason.