I figured getting Adam Eaton out of the division would be a good thing. Oh, that pesky law of unintended consequences. Eaton's presence means the White Sox are shopping Alejandro De Aza. Guess who's calling?
If you buy into WAR, note that De Aza was below replacement last year. That is, he was less valuable than Brett Pill, Francisco Peguero, and Kensuke Tanaka. Hector Sanchez and Joaquin Arias, too. That takes work.
Of course, the majority of that poor showing had to do with single-season defensive metrics, which is like making a decision based on two months of batting average. We make fun of people who make decisions based on two months of batting average. Let's keep it consistent.
Forget the wonky 2013 WAR, then. Let's examine the case for Alejandro De Aza:
- He isn't Gregor Blanco
- He hit 17 homers last year
The first point is irrelevant because Blanco is better than a lot of folks think. Over the last two years, he's been a positive contributor to the team, so a change just to make a change doesn't make sense.
The second point is more compelling, except it's the first time in De Aza's 11-year professional career that he's hit double-digit home runs. Hands up if you think he's going to match that performance as a left-hander in AT&T Park. He'll hit four or five more home runs than Blanco. Heck, push it to 10 if you're feeling froggy. For those 10 home runs, you're giving up a little defense, you're giving up a decent amount of OBP, and you're giving up a prospect.
Not the droid we're looking for. No way, no how. Even if you're convinced -- absolutely convinced -- he's more like the player he was 2012, that's still not much better than Blanco's been in either of his two years as a Giant. U.S. Cellular is one of the better hitter's parks in the AL and AT&T is the most extreme pitcher's park in the NL, so don't compare their numbers as apples to apples. It would be a change to make a change, and the only thing making it palatable would be that new-player smell.
I'd rather the Giants sign Mike Morse or Corey Hart and make them six-inning Pat Burrell types than trade for De Aza. I'd rather the Giants give up a much better prospect for Brett Gardner than a decent one for De Aza. I'd rather give Juan Perez the starting job outright rather than trade a decent prospect for De Aza.
If the White Sox are just giving him away, sure. The White Sox are not just giving him away. As such, this seems like a bad, bad fit.
Bad, bad fit.
What a stupid fit.
Down, fit! Down!
Look for a right-hander with a little bit of power, Giants. I would, no joke, rather see the Giants trade for Scott Hairston before De Aza. In case you thought I was messing around. Getting a new, exciting name isn't always so exciting once the new wears off. And it's not like De Aza is much of a name, either.