Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sanchez for Alderson: I was pissed at first

This is the first contribution by TK, a new addition to the Dodgerhater staff.

When I first heard of the Freddy Sanchez for Tim Alderson trade I was absolutely infuriated. Why on earth are we trading away the #4 prospect in our organization-- a guy who Keith Law of ESPN recently rated as the #26 best prospect in baseball, for a player who is anything but the power bat our organization so desperately needs.

Sanchez is a guy everyone wanted, obviously a nice upgrade over Downs/Frandsen/Velez. He allows Uribe to return to his better suited utility position, but nonetheless, is a player who is tough to imagine as a true difference maker. Simply put, I felt betrayed.

At the beginning of the 2008 season, Giants Nation was disgusted with Sabean’s recent moves as a GM. The great majority wanted him out. Recently, Sabes has been regaining some of the cred that made him one of the league’s top GMs in the late 90s and early 2000s. Sabean’s recent drafts have restocked our farm system, and the free agent gems brought on board have solidified our pen (see: Affeldt, Jeremy; Medders, Brandon; Miller, Justin; Howry, Bobby). In additon, the Garko trade was a nice move as he is a right-handed power bat at a relatively cheap price (and a Stanford guy at that).

But of course, just as B-Sabes started gathering some goodwill – BOOM!!! A massive backhanded slap to the face!

I was suddenly rocked back into reality.

I mean this.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, the same team who traded us Rajai Davis for Matt Morris, while taking on all of Morris's salary, the same team who gave us Jason Schmidt for the immortal Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios somehow were able to get the better of the deal????

It was like we had been robbed by an old woman; our candy stolen by a baby.

All the way back to the Bonds signing, the Pirates have repeatedly been a source to supply our farm system. What gives?

In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friends.”

Upon further review, I like this trade.

Sanchez, though only having 6 home runs on the season, does rank 5th in the NL in doubles, and carries a .296 average. This is a .296 average which is right on pace with his career .300 avg, not to mention that Sanchez was a former NL batting champ in 2006 (.344 avg.). He also carries a .776 OPS on the year, which ranks 3rd on the team behind Pandoval and the newly acquired Garks. He plays very solid defense, and my favorite, he loves to play the game and do the little things that it takes to win.

Krukow would say…


As for Alderson, he is indeed a 20-year-old in AA who is certainly holding his own with a 3.47 ERA in 72.2 innings. However, looking at the peripherals, opponents are hitting .272 on him over the season. Another subject of note is that one of his biggest compliments coming out of high school was that he was very polished. Of course meaning that it is not necessarily a surprise that he advanced quickly for a kid out of 12th grade.

Alderson has a plus curveball, but his fastball only tops off in the low 90s and he doesn’t have a changeup worth mentioning. With this in mind, I still fully expect him to make it to the big leagues and be a contributor. However, I see him more as a Mark Gardner than a Matt Cain, and this current Giants squad does not need a young Mark Gardner.

While some may argue that we could have gotten more for him in return, that is purely speculation. F-Sanch is of proven quality who will immediately help this squad this year and next-- possibly beyond. Too often do fans get overly obsessed with prospects and forget about what truly matters: winning at the big league level.

Could Alderson be the next Francisco Liriano or Joe Nathan? Sure.

But he could just as easily be the next Jesse Foppert, Kurt Ainsworth, Merkin Valdez, Nate Bump, Jason Grilli, David Aardsma, Damian Moss, etc. This is a chance of guaranteed improvement for our squad at a position of need with no clear replacement in sight while giving up a player who’s merely a projection.

Final analysis: This is a clear indication that the Sanchez trade is a win-win trade for both squads. The Giants get their hitter, while keeping their Big 3 intact (Bumgarner, Posey, Villalona). And, of course, the Pirates flip one of their best players into a quality prospect.

Alderson is not the player Giants fans wanted to give up. But I guess all we can say is that it’s just a shame Dave Littlefield isn’t around anymore.

Otherwise he might've taken Sadowski and Velez instead.

Go Giants.


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