Monday, June 6, 2016

From Our Partner Site MLB Sweet Spot: Trade Deadline Tracker

Baseball MTJAG is pleased to announce a collaboration with MLB Sweet Spot, a baseball blog by Alex Vacca. The numbers-savvy baseball fan from the East Coast will provide a fresh perspective of the sport compared to my West Coast insight, so be prepared for some interesting articles to come. Below is Vacca's trade deadline tracker, with an analysis of the recent James Shields trade.
Baseball Prospectus


by Alex Vacca

Now that the baseball season has entered June, teams are at the point where they need to begin evaluating how they would like to proceed with the rest of the year, and more specifically, in the next two months leading up to the *trade deadline. As trades begin to materialize, I will be summarizing them here. I will give my take on the trade as a whole, as well as winners and losers in both the short term and the long term.
*2016 Non-waiver Trade Deadline: August 1st at 4:00 pm ET
June 4th, 2016:
San Diego Padres trade RHP James Shields to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Erik Johnson, INF Fernando Tatis Jr. and Cash
Initial Reaction: When the trade was first announced and I was unaware of the cash involved, I felt that the return for Shields was right along the lines of what I would have expected. After seeing that the Padres would be paying $29 million of the remaining $56 million on Shields’s contract (as reported by Bob Nightingale of USA Today), it hit me that maybe the Padres forced a trade too soon, as I felt they could have gotten more had they waited.
Analysis: Shields, of course, is the primary piece being moved in this deal. While he is no longer the ace that helped bring the Royals to the World Series in 2014, he is still as durable as pitchers come (over 200 innings each of the past 9 seasons), and will be slotting into a rotation that already includes Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. At the age of 34, and having a big fly ball/home run tendency, Shields is probably more of a mid-4s ERA pitcher than a top of the rotation option he once was, but this is all that the White Sox will need from him to contend, and at the price of approximately $10 million over the next two years, it is well worth it.
Through his first 98.0 career innings, the now 26-year old Erik Johnson has not looked like anything more than a number 5 starter in the majors. Even that may be a bit too much to expect, as his 4.50 ERA and 5.98 FIP do not bode well for his future. The Padres will likely use him as a spot starter with the hopes that he can maintain just enough success to take the ball every fifth day in the future.
To read about the other component of the deal, Fernando Tatis Jr., as well as many other insightful articles on his blog, continue here.

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