I’m here to present the facts and stats of the swap. We know what kind of pitcher Sanchez was with the Giants his whole career; a inconsistent, strikeout pitcher with control problems who is always that one season awy from reaching his potential.
The Giants front office couldn’t wait any longer as he has yet to prove himself as a reliable pitcher and he is due some big money (over $5 million for a #4 pitcher) after his arbitration hearing.
As for Cabrera, I can only form an opinion once he plays more than 200 at-bats as a Giant to get some idea of what kind of player he is.
Last year he played his best season at the young age of 26 (turned 27 in August), but he showed signs of struggle while with Atlanta in 2010 and was somewhat average for the Yankees where he started his career in 2005.
Here are the Pros:
Okay, not a bad season. If he was on the giants last year, he would have been one of the top-3 producers on the team. He passed 200 hits, which is impressive for any player not named Ichiro. He also scored 102 runs while stealing 20 bases showing his speed.
He averages 13 steals a season while being caught only 5 times. Being a switch-hitter, Cabrera can provide some speed the Giants greatly missed last year.
He can play left, center or right field, providing flexibility in the outfield. But that also leads to his cons: he cant play defense.
I added his dWAR (defensive wins above replacement) on the chart just because. Its a terrible stat, probably the worst one for him because he cant play defense. He had a dWAR of -1.9 last year, which seems like the worst thing in the world after having a defensively decent Aaron Rowand and a super defender in Andres Torres.
In his career, his best dWAR he has ever posted was 1.5 (above average), and another year of 1.2. Since those two seasons, he has not seen a number above zero, which is a concern.
His offense has seen flashes, but he has only put together two decent seasons with a WAR above two.
He has a history of small injuries. Nothing major, just missing from 5-20 games a season due to little sprains or tweaks. Again, I realize all athletes injure themselves, so there is no real concern here yet, but it is something to keep an eye on.
Now lets focus on the value Sanchez, did we pay too much?
Most Giants fans find it hard to believe we traded away our “best” pitcher in 2010, or the same man who threw the Giants first no-hitter in 40 years in 2009. The fact is, he is that inconsistent.
He has shown flashes of brilliance as he strikes out 11 in an eight inning outing, then he will step on the mound five days later and give up five runs in four innings.
In 2010 he was excellent with a comfy 3.07 ERA to lead the Giants starters as well as a 13-9 record. He also put up over 200 strikeouts in less than 200 innings. Great, so what’s the problem?
He walks guys like crazy.
In 2009 he was 4th in the NL with 88 walks sporting a cool 4.8 walks per nine innings. The next year he tallied 96 walks in 193 innings to lead the NL. That’s a cool 4.5 walks per nine innings. He increased that number to 5.9 walks per nine in his 101 innings in 2010.
Sanchez has had terrible control, as he was also 3rd in the NL in wild pitches with 15 in 2010.
Sanchez has been known to frustrate his coaches due to his inconsistency on the mound. He couldn’t pull it together in time, as he will have to improve for a struggling royals starting rotation.
As for the prospect Verdugo, I have never heard of him. In AA Richmond, he posted a 8-6 record with a 4.35 ERA. He had a high amount of walks, but he almost doubled them in strikeouts. In a way, last season reflected the one of Sanchez.
All, in all, I am not worried too much about this trade. Sanchez had to go, as his trade value was falling by the minute, and Cabrera showed signs of strong offensive abilities that the Giants desperately need.
What do you think?