Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trade Review: Hanley for Eovaldi

Not a lot of time to do this, this "real job" really gets in the way...

From Twitter generally, and Ken Rosenthal specifically
BREAKING: Sources tell me and to , Eovaldi and prospect to .
The Dodgers also receive reliever Randy Choate and give up minor-league reliever Scott Mcgough.

First, the easy part of the deal to comment on, Choate for Mcgough.  Choate is a LOOGY and an effective one.  For his career he's struck out 28% of left-handed batters while walking 7% and allowing batted balls that suggest he should give up 2.5 runs per 9 innings.  At the same time he's struck out just 11% of righties while walking 15% and should be giving up 5.5 runs per 9.   LA should rarely allow him to face a right-handed batter.  Choate will join Scott Elbert as lefties in the Dodger pen.

McGough came in 34th on this list of LA's top 200 prospects.  He has decent minor league numbers and the scouting reports are pretty good, but, as a minor league relief pitcher he just doesn't have much value.  There is every possibility that Choate will provide more value from here on out than Mcgough  will.

Now...Hanley.  Hanley used to be a top offensive performer.  Between 2006 and 2010 he was consistently hitting more than 30% better than a league average hitter.  That is excellent for a SS. His defense left a lot to be desired, but he was a very valuable player contributing at least 4.5 wins above replacement in each season.  Then came the last 2 seasons. His hitting has been roughly league average.    He's seen an uptick in strikeout rate and a downturn in power but the biggest problem has been a sever drop in BABIP.  In his prime seasons about 33% of his batted balls became hits.  The last two seasons that number is closer to 27%.  He's hitting the same number of line drives, ground balls and fly balls so I'm not sure why the change.  The internets also haven't come to a consensus on what happened to Hanley.

Regardless, he's still a marked improvement on what LA's been running out at the hot-corner this year.  Dodger 3Bmen are hitting just .306/.369 (OBP/SLG) while Hanely has managed .322/.428.  Hanley may also see time at SS where Dee Gordon and company have "hit" .285/.320.  Hanley is an offensive upgrade.  His defense has never been great, or good, or average, but it't hasn't been terrible either.  Hanley will be an upgrade over either Uribe or Gordon depending on where he plays.

Hanley is signed for about $15 million a season through 2014.  He's on pace for about 3 WAR this season.  1 WAR is generally considered to be worth about $5 million on the open market.  3 * $5 million = $15 million.  Hanley should be worth something like what he's getting paid.

Now, Eovaldi.  Eovaldi's stock has risen rather rapidly recently (alliteration for the win!).  He was most recently number 6 on the aforementioned top 200 list.  Just 22, he's thrown about 100 innings in the bigs and hasn't embarrassed himself; striking out about 15% of batters while walking 10% and pitching in a way that would be expected to give up about 4.5 runs per 9.  That's a decent #4 starter.  Plus he has room and time to improve.  He's not a star, but he's a quality major league pitcher.

My official take on this trade.  I like it.  LA has nothing in the pipeline in the infield so having Hanley at 3B for the next 2+ seasons works.  Gordon isn't a sure thing at SS so Hanley could end up there as well.  The Dodger offense, outside of Kemp, Ethier and the first half of AJ Ellis' season, is pretty poor so even an average bat is a significant upgrade.

Eovaldi is a useful pitcher, but not a star. LA a solid rotation in Kershaw, Billingsley, Capuano and Harang.  Ted Lily is on the DL but all signs point to Ryan Dempster donning blue for his next start and all of LA's top prospects are pitchers.  And Rubby de la Rosa should be in the mix in about a month or so.

For once Ned didn't get taken to the cleaners in a trade.  Now, we'll see what he gives up to get Dempster.

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