Thursday, November 23, 2006

The case for trading Mark Teahen

Perhaps this should be called the case for shopping Mark Teahen. I really like him as a player and think the strides he made last year were real.

Let’s recap Mark’s season:

April: stunk—678 OPS
May: demoted—stunk for a few games and then got smokin’ hot
June: warmed up—816 OPS
July: smokin’—1135 OPS
August: hot—905 OPS
September: shoulder surgery

He finished with an 874 OPS—good for 2nd in the AL for third basemen and 8th for all third baseman. As we approach 2007, Teahen is being readied for the outfield because of Mr. Alex Gordon. Teahen’s numbers actually translate well to the OF as his OPS would rank 6th out of all LFers and 5th out of all RFers. However with the lack of pitching the Royals have, it seems prudent that they should listen to offers for Teahen.

What I would look for is: established young starters not close to free agency. Perhaps a pitching prospect might be accepted but it would have to be a great prospect. A couple of teams that need a third basemen are the Twins and Angels. The Twins have got a ton of pitching prospects: Matt Garza, Kevin Slowery, Anthony Swarzak…just to name a few. But it would be tough to trade within the division (even though I really like Garza and Swarzak). To me the perfect solution is the Angels—they have depth in positions we need. We provide them with a cheap third baseman which would allow them to go out and sign Alfonso Soriano this offseason. The Angels reportedly offered Ervin Santana and Erick Aybar for Miguel Tejada in the middle of last season. The Orioles foolishly turned it down. They apparently wanted Tejada to play 3rd. Tejada is a great player—but an expensive one also. I would target getting the same package from the Angels by pairing Teahen with Mike Sweeney and kicking in $8 million dollars to make Sweeney look more attractive.

The upside for the Angels is that they can acquire Teahen and Sweeney and still have money to Alfonso Soriano. They would then have one of the most potent lineups around and a great pitching staff with Lackey, Weaver, Escobar, Saunders.

Santana was 23 last year and went 16-8 with a 4.28 ERA. His WHIP was 1.23 and he struck out 141 with 70 walks in 204ip. He allowed a .265 average on balls in play (which means he was awfully lucky). He has an outside chance to turn into an elite pitcher but more than likely will settle into being a very good pitcher with an ERA that will hover around 4 or a little below. Santana has flyball tendencies that would fit in well at the K.

Aybar is sparkplug SS. His defense is still uneven and he hasn’t fully harnessed his speed. But he has shown the ability to hit. This past year, his OPS was well into the 800s for most of the year. He got called up and sat on the bench for awhile with the big club and then slumped horribly at the end of the year leaving his OPS at AAA at 740 as a 22 year old. I think he could develop into a good defensive SS with an above average (perhaps well above average) bat for the position.

I think the Angels are desperate to make some big moves and improve their offense. The Angels signing of Gary Matthews Jr. to a 5 year/$50 million contract shows that they might just be desperate. The signing of Matthews also seems to signal that they will not pursue Vernon Wells and I still doubt they want to take on Manny. Perhaps they will set their eyes again on Miguel Tejada. If the Angels are not as desperate for offense as I think they are, then we stick with what we’ve got—Teahen--a young player with outstanding offensive skills and the ability to play a premium position.


At 9:01 AM, Blogger Eric said...

If we are going to trade Mark Teahen, it would be best to do so while he is still a 3B. He would have less value to another team as an outfielder. I'm not opposed to trading him. We've had good offenses before, but unless you've got pitching, all is for not. If Teahen were traded, I'd think we'd need to keep Reggie Sanders around. I am in favor of trading Emil. He's a good, average major league outfielder. He's got more value than Sanders. If we could find a team in need of a 3B and a COF, we'd really be in business to net a #1-2 pitcher and maybe a top shelf prospect. Then we could have our OF of DeJesus, Gathright and Sanders (it is a contract year for Sanders, so look out). Our infield would be Gordon, (Berroa??), Grudzielanek and Shealy, with Buck/LaRue behind the dish. That is pretty good offensively and defensively. Where we'd be better would be in our pitching. With what we would have gotten in the trades, we could push Odalis back to #2 or #3 with Hudson, Greinke, and De La Rosa behind him.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Tom G said...

If the Phils could move Pat Burrell, Teahen would be a very good fit.


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