Saturday, November 7, 2009

Teahen: Sox shouldn't expect Giambi, more than Fields and Getz

"Everyone stares silently at Teahen's name for about thirty seconds. [Scouting director] Erik [Kubota] says, "I hate to say it but if you want to talk about another Jason Giambi, this guy could be it." -Moneyball 

Well, you can't be right about everyone (see also: Jeremy Brown). Credit to the Moneyball guys, however, because Teahen wasn't even supposed to be a first-rounder until Billy Beane came along. Nonetheless, he's had a couple of pretty good seasons, and I would bet most baseball fans--even those who haven't read Moneyball--know his name. 

I'm not sure if the Sox traded away potential for production on Friday or the other way around. This is because shipped off a guy (Josh Fields), who was supposed to be great but has looked perpetually lost, for a guy (Teahen) who was supposed to be decent, then was assigned Giambi-like potential, but has lived up to and possibly beyond his original (pre-Moneyball) potential. We also can't forget Chris Getz, the scrappy second baseman who had a knack for stealing bases and hitting triples. 

Still--and be warned I've been called overly optimistic before--I've decided it's a good trade. This is because we acquired both better production now and more potential. If Teahen is able to replicate the average of his last four seasons (.275 AVG, 13 HR, 29 doubles) he'll still probably be giving you more than Fields and Getz will. This is because I have come to firmly believe that Fields will never give anyone more than a strikeout every third at-bat and a sharp pain in the butt. Getz, on the other hand, had an encouraging rookie season last year. The only downside is that pitchers learned how to get him out halfway through the year. And even with his first half numbers included, Getz gives you about the same batting average as Teahen with less power.

Then you've got the Giambi theory. I don't think anyone should expect Teahen to be Giambi. If he was Giambi, he probably would have shown it by now. However, his 2006 season did show what he's capable of (.290 AVG, 18 HR in only 109 games), and that's still pretty exciting. If he could consistently hit .290 with 20 or more home runs, I think the trade would be a steal. Because, as much as I love Getz, I think we've seen everything he is capable of. He's never going to give you more power, and he doesn't look like a batting champ either. And Fields, as I said earlier, is a lost cause. Even if Fields does all-of-a-sudden start putting up the numbers he was destined for, I would still be happy he is gone, because something tells me he wasn't going to do that here anyway. 

From the team perspective, it should be an improvement as well. Teahen, who has played up to four positions in a season for the Royals, will take over the hot corner. According to the Sun-Times, he plays a lot better when he can stay in one place, and should hopefully be an upgrade (not that Beckham didn't do pretty well, despite playing out of position all year). This puts Beckham at second base (still not his natural position), where he will most likely improve upon Getz's up-and-down play from last year. Lastly, Teahen brings a good, hard-nosed attitude that will either go over well with A.J. or will start an entertaining rivalry for biggest hard-ass. I'm excited to see what happens. 

1 comment:

  1. I still love Jeremy Brown.

    The Teahan trade, I do think that it will help the Sox, Fields is worthless and Getz will realistically only be an average player.


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