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.

12 Responses to “Weekend Transaction Roundup”

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  1. don says:

    I’m amazed that Minaya gave up anything at all to get a guy who seemed likely to be available for free before too long, especially to a division rival.

    That said, does Francoeur have any potential to change his approach? He’s still only 25.

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  2. Joe R says:

    MLB GM of the year? Probably.

    Coletti’s going to get it, though. I mean, Coletti had TONS to do with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Jon Broxton, etc, right? No? Instead he gave Furcal and Pierre a ton of money to be mediocre? Paid Andruw Jones $18,000,000 to go away and take his productive bat with him to Texas? Traded away your catcher with an .864 minor league OPS so you can pay Casey Blake $6,000,000 when he’s 38 and probably miserable?

    GM of the year!

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    • Joe R says:

      Even though Blake is possibly having by far his best season ever at 35-36.

      Someone explain this occurance to me? More blind man Coletti luck?

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    • Roland says:

      The 6MM in ’12 is a club option (1.25MM buyout) so it doesn’t need to be picked up. And Blake’s been a ~2 WAR player consistently since becoming a regular, so even accounting for regression it wasn’t a bad deal — especially now that he’s threating to be worth the 17.5MM this year alone.

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      • Joe R says:

        I still think accessing salary values in a linear fashion to win values is inaccurate given the current FA market (ex: a 2.5 win player will not get 1/2 what a 5 win guy will). And I was actually refering to 2011, Blake will turn 38 during the season. I was aware of the 2012 buyout option.

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    • CH says:

      I thought they were teaching Santana to play 3B, too. I’m still surprised by that trade, even this far after the fact.

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  3. Ray says:

    who is this ‘Frenchy’? – the one with the quote?

    fricken hilarious

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  4. Shawon says:

    Ok, I feel the need to say something, because this is the third time (Here, BP, Rob Neyer) that Omar’s “he can play a lot of games” comment has been taken out of context.

    I am not defending the trade (I also think it’s pointless), but Omar’s comment was clearly a jab at Ryan Church, who had fallen out of favor with the team and had a reputation for not wanting to play everyday. Jerry Manuel also said something similar (“I think he’s [Frenchy] looking at proving he can play and wants to play on this stage,” Manuel said) in comparing Francoeur to Church, and how Francoeur’s desire to start was a net positive for the club.

    I’m not advocating that the Mets are right (and personally I think they really mishandled Church’s head injury last year) in how they feel about Church, but Omar’s quote about games played should be taken more as a criticism of Church than anything else.

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