So I’ll be honest, I originally planned on writing this post a few days ago when the Giants/Royals trade occurred and my response was how awful a trade it was. I hated it, thought it was a stereotypical stupid Sabean trade and that was that. However as the days have passed and I’ve had time to process my feelings have changed, not a lot mind you, but some. I still don’t like the trade overall but I don’t think it’s quite as bad as I thought at first.
First of all we have Melky, as average of a ballplayer as you can get. I had a friend ask me if anyone who starts for the Yankees could truly be considered average, and the answer is yes and his name was Melky Cabrera. His stats through 5 seasons and a little over 2100 at bats as a Yankee were 90 doubles, 12 triples, 36 HR’s, 228 RBI, 44 Stolen bases, 171 walks, 246 K’s and a .269/.331/.335 line, in other words, nothing exciting or outstanding at all. Add to that a terrible season in Atlanta and a career year in KC where he hit half of the amount of HR’s he hit in his whole 5 seasons in New York and I’m not excited, at least not for the price it cost, and there is the real issue with this trade. Melky is a fine addition to the Giants and a much better option than someone like Coco Crisp or David DeJesus, but for what the Giants gave up, we should have gotten more.
Now before anyone says it, yes, Jonathan Sanchez is no more than an above average pitcher, a good 3rd or 4th starter option for almost any team in the league. His career stats in 6 seasons with the Giants are a 38-46 record with a 4.26 ERA and 376 walks. However he also has 736 strikeouts and he’s a lefty, which by nature means he has more value than an identical righty. Do I think it was a good idea to trade Sanchez? I do, in fact I said so in a post shortly after the regular season ended, and trading him for a bat brings more value than DFA’ing him or trading him for another arm, but Jonathan Sanchez is still a valuable pitcher who should have brought more value in than an average outfielder that management doesn’t yet know how to fit in the lineup. Now I know real life baseball is not like a video game where you can propose any trade and it works out for your team 99% of the time, and if this is what the market thought Sanchez was worth, than that is what he’s worth, but it’s hard for me to see how this pitcher wouldn’t be more coveted in a league where pitching is valued so much. I didn’t expect to get an all-star for Sanchez, but it feels like Sabean took the first offer given to him rather than wait for the market to develop (the Red Sox, for instance, didn’t even know he was on the market).
Will Melky help the Giants next year? I hope so, but it’s not like he’s a power hitter. We need to resign Beltran and get another veteran infielder and maybe a 5th starter, but a solid bat HAS to be our priority this offseason, and Melky just isn’t that.