Re: How about Justin Smoak?
posted at 1/5/2013 8:49 PM EST
In response to hill55's comment:
Just for fun, compare career hitting numbers:
Player A DOB 12-5-86 1421 PA, .223/.306/.377/.683, 92 OPS+
Player B DOB 5-02-85 1733 PA, .239/.302/.418/.720, 89 OPS+
And their 2012 numbers:
Player A 483 PA, 49 R, 19 HR, 51 RBI, .217/.290/.364/.654, 87 OPS+
Player B 448 PA, 55 R, 25 HR, 59 RBI, .222/.288/.454/.742, 95 OPS+
Player A is Justin Smoak and Player B is Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Given their starkly contrasting positional values, it's not surprising that Smoak has been valued at 0.0 WAR in 355 career games while Saltalamacchia has been valued at 3.9 WAR in 474 career games, including a WAR of 2.0 in 121 games last season.
One could argue that Saltalamacchia is as good an option at firstbase for the Red Sox in 2013 as Smoak would be.
In terms of comparative trade value, we'd be looking at four years of Smoak vs. one year of Saltalamacchia at a projected salary of $3.9 million. Saltalamacchia's value may depend largely on whether another team views him as a defensively competent catcher. The two-year, $6.2 million contract the Red Sox gave David Ross does not represent a ringing endorsement of Saltalamacchia (just as the Seattle trade for Kendrys Morales was not an endorsement of Smoak).
Would the Red Sox trade one year of Saltalamacchia for a pitcher the caliber of Clayton Mortensen, Drake Britton or Alex Wilson? Would the Mariners trade four years of Smoak for the same?
The Red Sox and Mariners probably don't match up well in a trade because each team has bullpen surplus. Seattle needs an innings-eating starter and Boston has none to spare.
Great analysis, hill.
But there is a major flaw here as well. Smoak is behind Morales, and perhaps even Carp (as he got the chance to start only because Carp was injured twice last season) on the Mariners' depth chart at a position that can be filled in so many ways a team does not have too risk giving up to much to fill the position. Salty, on the other hand, is still #1 on the Sox's depth chart at a position that is so hard to fill that teams routinely overpay in an effort to find competent players to fill the position. No. Mortensen would not be enough to land Salty, who is one of the better players (and still considered young) at his position...better than league average. And adding Britton and Wilson would do nothing to tip that balance, either, IME.
But Smoak is not league average. Any team that takes him of the Mariner's hands is taking a flyer on him. No sense in giving up much value in that case.
You do make an important point in that the Mariners do not have bullpen issues so offering a bullpen arm is not going to entice them much. Perhaps Iglesias for Smoak. But then, I would want some young prospect of theirs in case Iglesias goes on to have a long career as a stellar SS for them (I admit to ignorance of 30 year-old Brendan Ryan's fielding prowess but am assuming that Iglesias is the superior glove man and can hit at least as well--Ryan hit .194 last season and .248 the previous season, while their backup, Andino, hit .211).