The first in a series of one. Maybe two:
Why Ain't Sabean Done Inquired About Him?
The first player in this groundbreaking series is Mark Teahen. He came through the minors as a third baseman, but the Royals will have Alex Gordon there for the next decade. As a right fielder, Teahen doesn't have enough power. His 18-homer season in 2006 might have been for real, but any time a guy almost hits as many home runs in one season as he did in his entire minor league career, you can't automatically assume that's his new power standard. A team trading for Teahen would be wise to assume they're trading for the seven-homer Teahen from last year, and not the 18-homer Teahen of 2006. A team trading for Teahen as a right fielder would be better off looking at minor league free agents.
As a third baseman, though, the bat isn't a problem. More importantly, Teahen would be the on-base percentage god of the 2008 Giants. A .350 on-base percentage? OMGWTFGIDP! Move over, Randy! There's a new on-base sheriff in town!
Bill Mueller with less OBP and more speed? That's about right, but there's a chance he could develop Fenway Mueller's power, too. Teahen's only 26, so what you see isn't necessarily what you get. And Teahen's under contract for four more years; he'll be arbitration-eligible after this season. That makes a pretty significant difference.
The usual sabermetric consensus applies to Teahen's defense. Mitchel Lichtman has Teahen as one of the worst infielders of the past few years, and Chris Dial doesn't rank him much higher. David Pinto has Teahen as an average third baseman, as does Baseball Prospectus. Glad that's cleared up.
Teahen would be a nice player to have, but he wouldn't turn around the franchise. As such, what should the Giants give up for him? The Royals want starting pitching, and the Giants happen to have an available starter locked up for three years at below-market rates. In a neutral context, Noah Lowry's mediocrity-with-possibility-for-more is too much to give up for Teahen's mediocrity-with-possibility-for-more . Cost certainty for mediocrity means a lot more for pitchers than it does for hitters to money-pinching franchises. In the Giants' context, though, a Teahen-for-Lowry deal could make sense. The Giants haven't developed an everyday player in ten years, so overpaying for a controllable position player might make sense. Kansas City wouldn't trade Teahen for a grab bag of kinda sorta decent prospects, so it would probably be Lowry or bust.
I'm not sure if I'd make that trade, mostly because Teahen probably wouldn't ever hit for power in Mays Field. It'd probably be more prudent to hope for Lowry to have a fine 2008 season, which would increase his value substantially. Brad Hennessey, though? Whaddya say, Kansas City? Former first-round pick with an ERA of 3.42? Shiny, shiny.
Open Teahen Acquisition Thread.