Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flapjacks Trade - Manny Ramirez for Jason Isringhausen and Todd Jones

Dissect Yourself (Micah) traded Manny Ramirez to the Summer Fox (Jon) for Jason Isringhausen and Todd Jones. Micah has a season record of 1-9-0 in the Saves category, so it makes sense to add closers to help J.J. Putz and C.J. Wilson.

It seems like Micah could have gotten better closers for Manny Ramirez, or at least closers with better job security. Jason Isringhausen has been on the DL for the past few weeks, recovering from lacerations on his hand suffered from pushing a TV, though it's not hard to imagine the Cardinals wanting to give him some time to get his mojo back. Isringhausen has blown 6 saves this year, and his ERA in 21 appearances is 8.00. His problems are due to a lack of control, an inability to strikeout batters, and a propensity for giving up home runs. There are signs that Isringhausen's luck might change, evidenced by a high BABIP and a low strand rate, but it's not even certain that he'll be the Cardinals' closer for the rest of the season when he comes off of the DL in a week or two. The Cardinals have other options available (Ryan Franklin, Chris Perez) so Isringhausen may not have the luxury of a long leash.

Todd Jones has continued to defy expectations by consistently putting up high save totals with very little in the way of pitch speed. Over the past three seasons, Jones has averaged 38 saves despite an ERA of 3.36, which doesn't tell you how shaky he pitched in 2006 and 2007. Jones doesn't strike anyone out, and he won't help you in WHIP or ERA, but he gets the job done. If Jones holds onto his job, which seems likely as the other Detroit candidates are pitching their way back from injuries, he should post another 30 save season, which is valuable if you can stomach the lack of production in other categories.

By getting Manny Ramirez, Jon upgrades his outfield and gets to move Adam Jones to the bench. Manny's on pace for another 30 HR, 100 RBI season, which should help Jon win a few weeks in those categories. Over the past three years, Manny has tended to heat up after the All-Star break, posting an OPS nearly .100 points higher than in the first half, so there shouldn't be any worry about Manny failing to continue his good start.

By giving up Jones and Isringhause, Jon is left with Billy Wagner as his only closer; unless he makes a move to acquire another closer, it would appear that Jon is punting the saves category. I commend him on his strategy because it enabled him to upgrade his offense significantly. Micah probably could have gotten more value for Manny Ramirez, maybe trading him for a top-ten closer like Matt Capps or Joakim Soria, but he did improve his ability to gain saves. Micah will miss Manny's production, but with Matt Holliday back from the DL, he does have a good outfield.

Vote in the poll which side of the trade you would have wanted.


micah said...

haha, that one vote for jones and izzy was mine.
I would agree with your analysis Ben, perhaps I could have gotten a little better for Manny.
With Jay Bruce getting called up and Holliday coming off the DL that left me with 7 solid outfielders. I tried and tried to trade Church or Nady but got nowhere (Church's concussion certainly didn't help). Since I don't see myself keeping Manny I figured I'd shop him out and see what I could get. Its a risk but if Izzy and Jones put up some numbers then I've solved my save slump. And I can't see anyone else giving up two closers. Perhaps I should have gone for just one solid closer.
Bottom line is I don't need Manny to win my offensive categories but I have to start turning the pitching categories around. Jon got the better deal, yes, but I think my team will benefit from this trade.

Ben Westrup said...

I know what you mean about getting no where with trade offers. Sometimes you have to take the best deal you can get, especially if you're trying to upgrade a need. You're outfield will still be good, and I bet Jones gets to 30saves this year. I'm not sold on Isringhausen until I see him pitch again, but he could get another 15 saves this year if he holds onto the job.