A quick post this morning on a interesting rumor that I read this morning from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal.
Quoting from an article entitled ‘First basemen hot deadline commodities’:
The Mariners, blanketing the majors with scouts in their pursuit of rotation and bullpen help, are drawing mild inquiries on first baseman Richie Sexson.
Trading Sexson would enable the team to move left fielder Raul Ibanez to first, opening up a spot for the team’s top outfield prospect, Adam Jones.
The Giants have expressed past interest in Sexson, who is owed the balance of his $14 million salary this season and $14 million next season.
The two teams apparently are not talking, but a Sexson-for-Matt Morris trade would make sense. Morris, also signed through next season, has struggled of late. Then again, Sexson is batting just .204.
This seems like the quintessential Brian Sabean trade. A player that the team has had interest in before? Check. A player that’s in his early 30′s, Sexson is 32, and has experienced big league success before? Double check. Mike Muprhy had better get cracking on a Richie Sexson jersey.
Rosenthal mentions that Sexson is only hitting .204 this year and has had a disappointing season. Sexson hasn’t even come close to approaching his career numbers of (.265/.347/.518) and he’s stunk just as badly on the road as he has at Safeco. Should the Giants try and make a swap for Big Sexy? Let’s take a look at some numbers.
In Sexson’s prime he was worth between 7-8 wins, in 2006 he was around 6 wins and this year he’s dropped to just to under 2 wins. PECOTA had Sexson projected at (.258/.352/.508) which were in line with his career numbers, but he’s greatly underperformed this year. He’s currently around his 10% PECOTA projection. Sexson’s highest diagnostic score in PECTOA was his collapse diagnostic, which was rated at 34%. For those unfamiliar with PECOTA’s diagnostics, heres what the BP glossary has to say about the collapse rate.
For hitters, Collapse Rate is the percent chance that the player’s EqR/27 will decrease by at least 20% relative to the weighted average of his EqR/27 in his three previous seasons of performance. For pitchers, Collapse Rate is the percent chance that a pitcher’s EqERA will increase by at least 25% relative to his baseline EqERA over his past three seasons. High Collapse Rates are indicative of downside risk.
What concerns me about Sexson is that his power he been dropping the last couple of seasons and when a player like Sexson who has only has one skill set, power, you become a little tense when that skill starts to fade. In his best years Sexson’s ISO, or isolated power which is (SLG – AVG), hovered around the mid .270′s.
Fangraphs has a nice chart of Sexson’s ISO right here, Sexon’s ISO is still above the ML-average but I don’t like the trend. Right now if you compared Sexson to our starting 1B Ryan Klesko, you would find that Klesko is actually more valuable. Sexson’s huge slump this year has really done a number on his stats. Comparing by VORP between the two, Klesko rates at (8.3) and Sexson at (-2.6) Sexson is performing under replacement for 2007.
So, is everything bad with Sexson? Mostly, I don’t like the chances of Sexson’s player-type aging well. I haven’t seen him on TV much this year so I don’t know if his swing has slowed down or whats happening to him. Maybe a Mariners fan or someone familiar with him could chime in? His LD% is down this year so maybe something is up with his bat? Line drives tend to fall for hits 75% of the time. I also don’t like the declining power in a one dimensional player who can’t do much else, he’s a bad fielder (costing you about 9 runs per 150 games according to the newest UZR) and a bad baserunner.
If Sexson has one saving grace this year it’s his super low BABIP. BABIP usually hovers around .300 for the average hitter but this year Sexson has a cellar dweller BABIP of (.210) more of Sexson’s hits theoretically should have found holes in the defense. In the context of BABIP he’s been very unlucky this year and should finish better than his current stats indicate. I guess also based on contract, Sexson would be a low-risk scenario if he came very cheap. After 2008 he’s a free agent.
Trading Sexson makes perfect sense for Seattle, with Adam Jones tearing up AAA, trading Sexson opens up a spot for him on the big club. A Sexson-for-Morris deal would have to include another prospect from Seattle because the salaries don’t match up between Morris and Sexson. Unless that prospect included something great like Clement or Balentien with SF sending back a relief arm, I would pass on this one. It doesn’t make sense for the Giants to take on another older player with question marks.
If the Giants plan on playing another guy at first this year I’d like to just see them call up AAA Scott McClain and just let him go. He’s not much of a prospect because he’s old at 35 but he’s been hitting a bunch of HR’s this year in Fresno. Maybe a Jack Cust-lite? I like seeing career minor league journeymen getting a chance.
Comment Starter: Thumbs up / Thumbs down to a Sexson for Morris trade?