The Manny-Hermida Deal

So, apparently, this trading deadline won’t be a boring one, with the Red Sox, Pirates, and Marlins engaged in talks that would send Manny Ramirez to Florida, Jeremy Hermida to Pittsburgh, and Jason Bay to Boston, along with various assorted minor leaguers and cash floating around.

There’s a lot of interesting things about this deal, but this morning, I’ll tackle this deal from Florida’s perspective. Depending on how things go this afternoon, we’ll get to the Boston/Pittsburgh perspectives a bit later.

How much does this help the Marlins?

Florida paid a high price for the Hermida/Ramirez upgrade, believing that Manny’s extra offense could push them into the playoffs. But Jeremy Hermida is no slouch himself. The in-seaosn Marcel tool has him at .276/.352/.458 for the rest of the season, compared to it’s .287/.386/.517 projection for the rest of Manny’s 2008. Clearly, Manny’s better, but like with the Teixeira-Kotchman trade, the upgrade isn’t huge.

In fact, over the course of 237 PAs (the projected total for Hermida), Marcel thinks the offensive difference between the two is about seven runs. The offensive difference… seven runs. Manny’s also a pretty horrible fielder (though the Green Monster makes most zone based stats overstate how bad), and the defensive difference between the two is nearly as large as the offensive difference (The Fielding Bible has Hermida as +4 plays so far in 2008 with Ramirez at -15). Even over two months, the defensive difference between the two will almost certainly be worth at least 3 or 4 runs, and that’s being really kind to Manny. It’s certainly possible that Manny is as bad as UZR, +/-, and the rest all think, and the defensive difference over two months is closer to 10 runs.

In fact, it’s arguable that this trade will actually make the Marlins worse for the rest of 2008. Their two best hitters, Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, are both right-handed, and adding Manny to that now makes the middle of their line-up much more susceptible to right-handed specialists. It’s a minor thing, but when they’re not getting a player substantially better than the one they’re giving up, the minor things can make a difference.

When you factor both offense and defense into the equation, this is basically a push for Florida. This wouldn’t make them better by any real margin, and it would cost them significant future assets. As I write this, the deal isn’t complete yet, so hopefully for Marlins fans, someone in Miami will come to their sense.

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

10 Responses to “The Manny-Hermida Deal”

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  1. Eric says:

    Agree with you 110%, was really happy when it was rumored to be Williangham and prospects for Ramirez but I am actually terrified now. It is just scary picturing Williangham or Ramirez in RF. On top of that we have no one in the minors who can fill Hermida shoes next year.

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  2. taro says:

    Wow…if that rumor is true its a HORRIBLE deal for the Marlins. Not quite sure what the thought process is there.

    In other news Epstein is still damn good.

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  3. Blackadder says:

    Maybe the Marlins feel about taking one of the most valuable properties in baseball from the Sox and are trying to make amends?

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  4. Scott says:

    I have a feeling, completely unfounded by number, that if Manny get traded, he will rake for the rest of the season. I think he has been dogging it either constantly or on and off, and will throw on a switch to stick it to the Sox. But yeah, Hermida is a pretty valuable piece, even if Tucker and Stanton aren’t included in the deal.

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  5. Anthony says:

    i don’t think it’s that bad a trade. you’re overrating hermida on defense, as he tends to look alright for a few weeks and then makes a real bonehead play on a line drive hit right at him with runners on base it seems.

    in addition, it would be a huge financial benefit for the marlins. they wouldn’t pay a cent to ramirez, and would save a couple million dollars in arbitration for hermida next year. and whoever said there’s no clear-cut replacement for hermida is dead wrong…cody ross would probably slide over next year and fill his spot. he’s having a very nice year since he became a full-time starter. who would fill the CF spot? one of the two centerpieces of the cabrera trade, cameron maybin. they were gonna have trouble finding room for him unless they dealt somebody, and this takes care of that

    also, for some reason the marlins have struggled against LHP this year more so than in the past, and ramirez would fix that

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  6. Simmy says:

    Exactly, Cameron Maybin will be ready to start full time in CF next year, which means that they have a surplus between him, Hermida, Willingham and Ross. So why not go for the 2008 upgrade by trading that future depth for an improvement from Hermida–>Manny? Defense I don’t think is calculable with these metrics as offense. Speaking of which, why does Marcel give Manny such a low OBP for the rest of the year – .386? It’s .398 right now, .409 career, .400+ last 3 years. I think Manny will outperform that projected line.

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  7. Simmy says:

    By the way there is a lot more to this deal than just these 3 players. According to almost any source you read, Florida is both giving up and getting prospects and there is money changing hands.

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  8. Dave Cameron says:

    You might be able to justify giving up Hermida’s future value if Manny actually represented any real upgrade. But he doesn’t. If the goal was to open a spot for Maybin, the Marlins would have been better off not making this trade, then dealing Hermida in the winter for something that could help them next year.

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  9. Subhash Roy says:

    “Scott said,

    I have a feeling, completely unfounded by number, that if Manny get traded, he will rake for the rest of the season. I think he has been dogging it either constantly or on and off, and will throw on a switch to stick it to the Sox. But yeah, Hermida is a pretty valuable piece, even if Tucker and Stanton aren’t included in the deal.”

    Huh, dogging it?
    351/467/622 since the All Star Break

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  10. Tom Au says:

    As a former Pittsburgher (and Pirate fan), I don’t like this deal. Jeremy Hermida is no great shakes (.257 BA), nor are Tucker and Stanton. Essentially, Florida is offering a bunch of second-raters for the Pirates best player, and none of the prospects even have Tabata’s potential. Maybe the deal works if Florida offers Hellickson and Brignac (without Hermida) for Bay. That could solve the Pirates’ pitching problem, and free up Jack Wilson for another trade, like the Wilson-Jair Jurrens deal that didn’t go through.

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