Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Keith Ginter On the Move!!!

I must be some kind of geek, nerd, or what have you, because when I saw the Keith Ginter trade I thought it was a blockbuster. The A's traded Justin Lehr and Nelson Cruz for Ginter. Lehr is a decent reliever but not something the A's needed. Cruz is an outfielder who struggled in the minors for years but had a breakout season in 2004 at age 24, and could be a late bloomer. Ginter is a poor fielding, solid hitting infielder who has played mainly second base and third base.

There are two ways to read this trade for the A's. The first is that they've solved their whole at second base by picking up a player who can provide above-average offense and substantially below average defense. As an everyday second baseman, his bat is worth about 1-1.5 wins above the average offensive player and his glove should be worth about two wins below average, making him slightly below average overall; not bad for the league minimum.

The second way to read the trade is that Ginter, whose defense doesn't at all match the A's apparent 2004 philosophy (good defense, not a lot of strikeouts from the pitching staff), provides offense that is good enough for him to be an excellent right-handed platoon caddy, even with his poor fielding. That's something the A's obviously could use, as they have more lefties than the entire nation of Elbonia. At the same time, however, one wonders if this could signal an impending trade for a left-handed second baseman. Someone, perhaps, who does what the A's typically look for in a player, namely reaching base and playing good defense.

Being even more speculative, perhaps our southpaw glove man with on-base skills would be someone who could be relinquished by his current team fairly easily, perhaps if they have a young second baseman waiting in the wings or have recently acquired a second baseman. And heck, it would certainly help if that second baseman was relatively cheap and property of a GM that Billy Beane liked to deal with.



But what do the A's have that the Dodgers would want? If memory serves me, there were some rumors about a trade between the two franchises over the weekend, but I just can't recall the name of the young gentleman Oakland was reportedly offering. One wonders if Mr. DePodesta could acquire said gentleman for Mr. Cora and a pitching prospect of some sort. One wonders.

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