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.