Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Phillies Trade Deadline Review: Part 1(Shane Victorino)

Phillies trade: Shane Victorino

Dodgers trade: Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin, and player to be named later or cash

Shane Victorino has always been an underrated player in this city and in the national media. Despite being a dark horse MVP candidate until the final month of the season last year and one of the most valuable outfielders in the league since he became a full-time starter, he was never

rumored to garner a high price tag in return. Part of the reason, being a free agent at the end of the season, is understandable. Amidst his worst offensive season since 2006, it was going to be difficult for Ruben Amaro to pawn him off as the same player in previous seasons, even as more general managers this day and age are aware of luck factors(.278 BABIP).

The ultimate goal for Amaro was attaining more value than draft compensation would have yielded in the off-season(assuming Amaro would have extended the qualifying offer). With the previously rumored trade of Victorino for the Reds' Logan Ondrusek and maybe a prospect, it was beginning to sound like Amaro was inevitably on track to fail. Despite progressively better ERAs the past three season, Ondrusek's fielding independent metrics were heading on the opposite track. Trading for a 27-year-old reliever amidst a 5.22 xFIP season is not what I'd call good.

Fortunately the Dodgers bailed him out as Lindblom is better and younger than Ondrusek. I'm a big fan of building cheap, team-controlled bullpens, assuming the relievers are halfway decent. Lindblom, 25, is a big righty with good swing and miss stuff(78.2% contact) and a 92-93 MPH fastball. On the downside, he's a fly ball pitcher(career 34.3 GB%). He's also not as good as his ERA thanks to a low .266 BABIP and unsustainable 93.3% strand rate. His true skillset is more of a mid to high 3s ERA pitcher, which is still better than the majority currently in the bullpen.

Along with Lindblom, former 1st round pick Ethan Martin,23, comes over. Plagued with horrible control throughout his first three seasons(13.6-16.5% walk rate), he's managed to bring it down slightly in 2012(12.5%). He's got decent velocity and strikeout rates(22.9% in 2012) along with an almost even ground-out/fly-out ratio in the minors. If he makes it, chances are it'll be as a reliever.

As for the player to be named later or cash, I'm not expecting much. I don't imagine an Amaro-esque PTBNL for the Phills.

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