Monday, December 13, 2004

Trade For Santiago Expected Soon

The Trib reports that the Pirates are close to trading for Royals catcher Benito Santiago and will likely give up pitcher Leo Nunez in return.

Yesterday, Trev of the excellent new Bucco Beyond articulated something I've felt for a while: that analyzing trades can be complex because of the number of ways you can look at them.

Well, this trade wouldn't be one of those trades that's tough to analyze, because it reeks from every angle.

Let's start with this one: Santiago will be 40 before the season starts. He only played 49 games last year and has played more than 130 games in a season only once since 1996. He put up lukewarm offensive statistics last year in one of baseball's better hitters' parks. He can't throw runners out anymore and his range factor is off from years past.

Or how about this one: Just days after the steroid scandal broke in a big way, the Pirates are acquiring a player who told a grand jury he used steroids. Now that's PR.

Or this one: the Pirates already have two catchers, one of whom may have a very good big league career ahead of him. Why the Pirates would want to acquire Santiago rather than playing J.R. House at catcher is beyond me. House hit very well at AAA last year. He's ready. If the quality of his offense doesn't offset his defense (and I'm sure it would, I'm just covering all the angles here), Humberto Cota is available. There is no need whatsoever for the Pirates to acquire a veteran catcher.

Is that enough for you? No? Don't worry, I've got more.

About the guy the Pirates are rumored to be trading to the Royals: he's 21, he throws 95, he has an excellent performance record, and his nickname is "Little Pedro." There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect, of course, but Nunez is one. His ceiling is probably as high as any pitcher in the Pirates system.

Or how about this angle: in case the Pirates have forgotten, they're nowhere near contending. Why are they considering trading any prospect for a 40-year-old?

Don't do it, Littlefield.

Thanks to Baseball Primer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kudos, Charlie!

I agree with your Santiago comments. Not a good move no matter how you look at it. Even if Nunez ends up not being in the team's plans, I think Santiago will just have too much baggage (not to mention to much mileage) to help out.


12:03 PM  

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