Earlier today the Blue Jays and Astros completed a ten player deal that send J.A. Happ, Drew Carpenter and Brandon Lyon to Toronto in exchange for Ben Franciscio, Francisco Cordero, minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Carlos Perez, as well as a player to be named later.
Obviously, no one will be able to tell which team was the winner of this deal, because the majority of the players involved in the trade are minor leaguers who’ve yet to make an impact for a big league team, not to mention it’ll be at least until the end of the season until we see how well the Major leaguers performed for their new teams. But strictly looking at the numbers at the time of the trade, which team came out on top? Let’s take a look:
Cordero, who spent a good chunk of his career with a different N.L. Central team, the Cincinnati Reds, has been atrocious this year in Toronto. Pitching in 41 games for a total of 34.1 innings, he’s compiled a 3–5 record with 2 saves. Okay, looks decent enough right? Wrong. Over those 34.1 innings he’s collected a 5.77 ERA, 1.806 WHIP, 12.6 H/9, 3.7 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, with 7 home runs allowed and an opponent batting line of .340/.404/.539. His Wins Above Replacement were –0.8.
Ben has only played 27 games this year for the Blue Jays, mostly due to his time on the disabled list, and also the fact that he was only ever a fourth outfielder in the first place. In 54 plate appearances, he hit .240/.296/.380 with 2 runs batted in, 0 home runs, 0 stolen bases and 1 caught stealing. He also hit .190/.261/.262 in 11 minor league rehab games. His grand total Wins Above Replacement: –0.3.
The Houston Astros sent three pitchers our way: two righty relievers and a left-handed starting pitcher. All three of them are pretty close to average pitchers, although they’re having a somewhat sub par year. Let’s take a look at the three of them:
The starter is 29 year old lefty J.A. Happ. His whole career has been more or less league average stats, with a 4.16 ERA in 549.2 Major League innings pitched. This year he’s been not so great, and I highly doubt he’ll suddenly become good for the Blue Jays, especially since he’ll now be pitching in the American League East. His numbers this season include a 7–9 record in 104.1 innings, with a 4.83 ERA, 1.447 WHIP, 9.7 H/9, 3.4 BB/9, 8.5 K/9—all either league average or a little below. His Wins Above Replacement this year is 0.3, so even if it was just him we got in the trade, it’d already look better on paper.
The first reliever is 32 year old veteran right-hander Brandon Lyon, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1999 and also made his debut with them in 2001. He’s put up some respectable numbers this year in Houston, with a 3.25 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 9.3 H/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.8 K/9, and I’ll expect he’ll be around those numbers for the remainder of the season, maybe even better. I really like having as many veterans in the bullpen as we can, and even more so when said veteran is at 0.6 Wins Above Replacement on the year.
David Carpenter, the final player the Jays received in the trade, is a 27 year old in his second year of pitching in the Show. He made his debut last season with the Astros, and put up great numbers as a rookie, with a 2.93 ERA, 1.482 WHIP, 9.1 H/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 9.4 K/9 in 27.2 innings. This season—his sophomore year—hasn’t been so great. He’s pitched 29.2 innings and collected a 6.07 ERA, 1.921 WHIP, 13 H/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 8.2 K/9, adding up to –0.5 Wins Above Replacement.
And the winner is…
The Blue Jays—at least on paper, and not including the minor league talent given up. Toronto parts with Ben Francisco and Francisco Cordero, who together collected –1.1 Wins Above Replacement, and welcomed J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter, who together had almost half of a Win Above Replacement—0.4 is the total.
In closing, I can’t wait to see these guys pitch for the Blue Jays. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about their character from fans of the Astros, and they’re all very professional. I’d also like to wish all the minor leaguers the Jays gave up a good long career in the Show. It sucks they won’t be with the Blue Jays, but they should all have good careers nonetheless.