Weekend Transaction Roundup

Sometimes I think people underestimate the performance analysis savvy of certain organizations. Then, today happens.

Trade reaction from Ben Badler, via Twitter.

After a long week, I was tired Friday evening and was in desperate need of a nap. About an hour and a half later, I woke up bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed, and went over to the computer to read up on some baseball in attempt to help wake myself up out of a hard sleep. Looking over the headlines, I thought to myself “why, this must be April 1st. That, or I’m still dreaming”. The Royals and the Mets both made moves to acquire two of the worst regulars in all of baseball. After pinching myself and checking other various websites, yes it was true. Jeff Francoeur and Yuniesky Betancourt were both traded on the same day.

R.J. already covered the stupid that is the Betancourt trade. There’s little to say about the Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur trade that hasn’t been said, and really, there really is no reason to even try and break down such a trade here to FanGraphs readers. I will say that my favorite part of the trade is hearing Minaya repeatedly refer to the amount of games Francoeur can play. Good job, Omar. Way to fail to get the simple concept of replacement level. Gratuitous graph, in light of Frenchy’s now famous quote “If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?” :


In a Day of Crazy, Jack Zduriencik shined by trading minor league pitcher Justin Souza for 3B Jack Hannahan as a stop-gap option while Adrian Beltre is on the shelf until mid-August. No, Hannahan is not very good, but he’s an upgrade over Chris Woodward, he’s basically free and can pick it at third, to put it in a nutshell. Hitting is definitely not Hannahan’s thing, last season he was 15 runs below average and this season he put up a paltry .260 wOBA before being sent down to Triple-A. He’s the proud owner of one of the major league’s longest swings, and the result is a 30% strikeout rate. He at least has some sort of batting eye, with an 11% walk rate last season.

No, what makes Hannahan a nice addition is the fact he can play third base with the best of them. Over the past three seasons, Hannahan has an UZR of 18.4 and an UZR/150 of 14.7. Over the course of a season, his defense alone is worth a win alone, and over the past 238 games with Oakland and now a couple with Seattle, Hannahan has been a three WAR player on the strength of that defense. The M’s are still in the race and adding Hannahan to replace Woodward only helps. Zduriencik is continuing a pattern of picking up undervalued glove men, as we’ve seen him do with acquiring Franklin Gutierrez, Endy Chavez and Ryan Langerhans. On a day of fools, Jack Z. looks like a genius in contrast.

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Erik Manning is the founder of Future Redbirds and covers the Cardinals for Heater Magazine. You can get more of his analysis and rantings in bite-sized bits by following him on twitter.

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