Henry Schulman is reporting that the Giants have traded RHP Tim Alderson (the #4 Giants prospect by BA before this season started) for Pirates 2B Freddy Sanchez. Salary details are a little sketchy, but for what the Pirates are getting in Alderson they’ll probably be kicking in the rest of Freddy’s 2008 salary.*
*Looks like I was wrong on that one. Ugh.
What The Giants Get
An immediate upgrade at second base. Sanchez owns a career .328 wOBA while playing above-average defense. In 3,700+ career innings at 2B Sanchez has rated around +5 runs per 150 games fielded. Sanchez’s game is based around making contact. His career Contact% of 87.4 indicates as such. Nearly 25% of Sanchez’s balls hit into play for his career have been of the line drive variety. He doesn’t walk a whole lot (BB% of 4.8) and he doesn’t K much either (K% of 11.4).
ZiPS’ rest-of-season projections peg Sanchez as a .327 wOBA hitter for the remainder of this season.
What The Giants Lose
A Top-5 prospect in a deep farm system. The 20-year-old Alderson projects as a mid-rotation starter with solid control, a plus-curve, and a developing changeup. After being drafted in the 2007 First Year Player Draft, the Giants threw Alderson straight into the fire to start his first full minor league season. In 2008, the Giants started Alderson off as a 19-year-old in the California League. Alderson responded to the challenge by posting a 2.64 FIP in 145 innings pitched. If that doesn’t speak to Alderson’s polish, I don’t know what does.
Alderson’s K totals have been slightly down this year in AA but he’s still very young for his level and a top prospect. Some people will debate what Alderson’s true ceiling his, but as a young player that’s been aggressively promoted, he’s held his own at each level. The Pirates are getting a very good player in this deal.
At first glance, I think it’s a steep price to pay for Sanchez. Injury issues aside, he’s a quality player that’s been worth between 3-4 wins these past four years. In the matter of the last few days the Giants have traded away two Top-10 pitching prospects from their system. Outside of Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler (who is still unsigned), the Giants probably don’t have another pitcher in their Top-10.
The difference between Sanchez and Juan Uribe over the remainder of the season probably varies between 0.5 – 1 win(s). The Giants fix a major hole on their team and do improve themselves. But I’m not sure I like the price that they paid.
Tentatively, I’d call this a Pirates win. Welcome to the team, Freddy.