Monday, August 2, 2010

Evaluating the Deadline Deals

Yankees acquire RHP Kerry Wood and $2,172,131 for Cash or a PTBNL

Kerry Wood's 2010 has been a tale of two seasons thus far. In May, Wood posted an 11.05 ERA, 2.32 WHIP, and 7.4 BB/9. Granted - this line occurred over 7.1 IP, an incredibly small sample size ... but Wood was working off of an injury and, at the age of 33, it wouldn't bee surprising to see his numbers nosedive after yet another trip to the disabled list. In June and July, however, Wood performed much better (another trip to the disabled list notwithstanding). Over 12.2 IP, Wood posted a 3.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 3.55 BB/9. Once more we are working off of an incredibly small sample size - but there's not much else to work with.

Wood's 2009 was fairly mediocre - 4.25 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 4.11 xFIP, and 2.25 K/BB provided for a fairly poor return for the first year of his two year, $20.5 M contract. While he certainly wasn't bad, he wasn't very good either. He was relatively healthy, however, and continued to rack up strikeouts (as he has done this year, as well).

In my mind, this deal represents a low-risk, high-reward situation for the bullpen. The Wood of June and July bolsters the bullpen significantly, as would his 2009 incarnation. The 2008 Wood could very well give the Yankees the best bullpen in the game. The Wood of May, however, would be far worse than Park (or anyone, for that matter). The typical Wood ... may just end up on the disabled list - I'm sure Nick Johnson could use the company. All this for a paltry PTBNL or $500,000.

Yankees acquire OF Austin Kearns for a PTBNL

Austin Kearns represents a tremendous upgrade to the Yankees bench - he provides a better bat and glove than Colin Curtis (or Kevin Russo or Greg Golson) and a better glove than Marcus Thames (without giving away too much with the bat, to boot). He's batting .272/.354/.419 with 8 HR, 4 SB, and a 115 wRC+ in 301 AB, while playing solid defense in LF and RF (and not embarrassing himself in CF).

For his career, Kearns doesn't show much of a platoon split, batting .261/.383/.416 against LHP and .256/.341/.430 against RHP. Against a strong lefty, having Kearns in LF, Gardner in CF, and Thames DH'ing represents a massive upgrade over previous alignments.

Yankees acquire 1B Lance Berkman and $4 M for RHP Mark Melancon and IF Jimmy Paredes

Despite being in the midst of the worst season of his career, Lance Berkman represents a massive upgrade over the DH pu pu platter of Juan Miranda and Marcus Thames, while strengthening the bench with the latter moving to what will primarily be a PH role against LHP. Further, it's worth noting that Berkman has an .882 OPS in July and has traditionally batted better against RHP (which will only be assisted by the short porch in New Yankee Stadium).

In my mind, Berkman's early season woes were the product of recovering from offseason knee surgery. His .275 BABIP is a career low (and about 20 points lower than expected), as his is still-solid .189 ISO. Noting this, the ZiPS projection system, found on Fangraphs, projects a .260/.383/.480 for the remainder of 2010 - and that doesn't account for the move to the Yankees line-up or stadium.

Mark Melancon, in my mind, never received much of a shot - but he was battered in his short Major League stints and was in the midst of his worst minor league season at 25. With Albaladejo and Sanchez still around, I'm not sure that he'll be missed. Jimmy Paredes does not appear to be anything special, either - he outgrew SS at age 21 and has not drawn many positive reviews for his defense at 2B or 3B, either. He's essentially David Adams with a lesser glove and less plate discipline - and the Yankees still have Adams.

blog comments powered by Disqus