Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trade Deadline Review (In Other Words, a Short Post)

     "There's not other guys available. You tell me what the other guys are and I can answer that question better."                                                        Doug Melvin, after acquiring Felipe Lopez


     The previous statement essentially sums up the trade deadline the Milwaukee Brewers had. After sending two PTBNLs to the Mets for Francisco Rodriguez over the all-star break, Melvin and Co. spent the next several weeks kicking the tires on Carlos Beltran, Wilson Betemit, any of the available glove-first shortstops, and a lefty reliever, only to find each one too expensive for their tastes. This led to them going after what is politely deemed "depth", receiving some cash from Atlanta to make Wil Nieves go away, buying Felipe Lopez from Tampa Bay ("An excellent use of the $5 they got for Nieves", mused countless comment trolls/users of Twitter), and acquiring infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. from Washington.
     The Brewers were able to scrape up a familiar face with a history of spelling an injured Rickie Weeks and a utilityman capable of platooning with Nyjer Morgan in center and covering for any injuries that might arise, but the end result was rather disappointing. Rather than get an outfield bat, shortstop glove, or third baseman (any of which could potentially push the club over the edge), Milwaukee chose to plug holes and hope that a team with a barely positive run differential will be able to fight off the reinforcements of Pittsburgh and St. Louis. I'm aware that many of the options at the aforementioned positions were somewhat underwhelming and exorbitant prices were being asked for them, but it's hard to imagine how anyone could think, "Yuniesky Betancourt is the shortstop on a playoff team" or "Casey McGehee is definitely the solution at third base." (My personal theory is that Brewers brass have been lulled into a false sense of security by Betancourt's huge face.) Either way, I'm done ranting, and will proceed to take a look at Hairston.

YearAgeTmGPASBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS+
199721BAL-min592581392129.330.409.452
199822BAL-min13558619114857.302.377.449
199822BAL670001.000.000.000-100
199923BAL-min10746919103050.291.363.424
199923BAL50193941124.269.323.41791
200024BAL-min642641043334.297.401.447
200024BAL49212852122.256.353.36787
200125BAL15960229114473.233.305.34475
200226BAL1224792163455.268.329.37692
200327BAL-min8291044.304.448.478
200327BAL582591452325.271.353.37293
200428BAL-min5162030.154.313.231
200428BAL863341382929.303.378.397105
200529CHC-min5253003.318.360.409
200529CHC114430893146.261.336.36882
200630TOT101192521334.206.270.25336
200630CHC389230414.207.253.24427
200630TEX6310022920.205.286.26143
200731TEX-min7290024.148.207.407
200731TEX73184511124.189.249.28941
200832CIN-min20851139.380.405.684
200832CIN802971532336.326.384.487125
200933TOT131433743254.251.315.39485
200933CIN86340732146.254.305.39784
200933NYY459301118.237.352.38290
201034SDP119476963154.244.299.35382
201135WSN-min280020.167.375.167
201135TOT77239222230.266.340.383101
201135WSN75238222230.268.342.385102
201135MIL210000.000.000.000-100
14 Seasons1225433714566325507.257.326.37185
162 Game Avg.1625741994367.257.326.37185
GPASBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS+
BAL (7 yrs)53020869439162229.261.334.37188
TEX (2 yrs)136284732044.194.262.27942
CIN (2 yrs)1666372264482.287.342.438103
CHC (2 yrs)1525221193560.251.322.34672
SDP (1 yr)119476963154.244.299.35382
WSN (1 yr)75238222230.268.342.385102
NYY (1 yr)459301118.237.352.38290
MIL (1 yr)210000.000.000.000-100
AL (10 yrs)711246310143193281.253.326.36183
NL (6 yrs)51418744423132226.263.325.38489
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/2/2011.

     As far as depth goes, it's hard to do better than Jerry Hairston. An average hitter in his best seasons, Hairston is stretched as an everyday player, but is able to not embarrass himself at seven different positions while being passable at the plate. If those sound like back-handed compliments, it's because they are. The fifth Hairston to reach the majors can certainly provide value in a duct-tape capacity, but isn't the definitive solution to any of the problems on the left side of the infield. Just like Jeff Suppan can't be blamed for taking $42 million to be his declining self, it's not Hairston's fault that he can't simultaneously play plus-plus shortstop defense, persuade management to call up Taylor Green, learn to throw a wicked left-handed slider, and make world peace. Did I say I was done ranting?
     It's not unreasonable to hope that Hairston will log some starts at shortstop once Yuniesky Betancourt resumes being Yuniesky Betancourt, in addition to his platoon duties in center field. Of course, it would have made sense for Josh Wilson to have done this a long time ago, but he continues to rot on the bench while Craig Counsell is sent up to pinch "hit" almost daily. Bottom line, acquiring Hairston was an excellent move that did a nice job of plugging the smaller holes on the roster, but there was so much more that could have been done.

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