Tuesday, June 2, 2009
With June upon us the MLB Hot Stove is beginning to heat up. I'm going to take a look at some of the names that will be on the market, and compare them. Today we are going to take a look at a pair of outfielders who are widely rumored to be on the trading block, Luke Scott and Brad Hawpe.
Teams looking for an outfielder: Braves and Giants (there are a few more but these two teams have a serious lack of production from their outfielders).
You know whats amazing? When you look on message boards and blogs, there is so much hype for Hawpe. But when you bring Luke Scott's name into the conversation, Braves and Giants fans don't want him. They are perfectly content to trade away solid prospects for Hawpe, but don't want to give up anything of value for Scott. WHY? That is a very good question, because when you break it down Scott is the better option than Hawpe.
Take a look at the numbers and you can make the case that Scott is easily more valuable than Hawpe. Age is negligible, as Scott is only one year older than Hawpe. The contract situation is distinctly in Scott's favor as well. Hawpe is making $5.5 million this year, $7.5 million next year and has a $10 million club option for 2011. But he can void the option and become a FA if he is traded. Scott is making $2.4 million this year and as a Super Two player is under team control for another 3 seasons.
Fielding is also in Scott's favor by a large margin. Now I know most people will think that since Scott is a DH he can't field. But that is pretty far from the truth. He has posted a positive UZR/150 rating (which is one of the best defensive indicators) every season (yes it is negative this year but he's only played in the field a few times). His career number is at 7.8 for left field, and 4.8 overall. Hawpe on the other hand has been truly awful in the outfield. He has been in the negative column for every year with the exception of 2006. He has a career rating of -20.8. That's a 25.5 swing between the two outfielder, that is insane.
On offense it is widely considered that Hawpe is the bigger threat, but that is not entirely true either. Hawpe's career numbers sit at .287/.378/.502, while Scott has a career line of .272/.358/.512. A .009 difference in OPS is not a significant factor. What's even more surprising is that Scott out hits Hawpe vs. LHP .817-.762, despite usually being considered a platoon player. Both players are off to hot starts this year, but Scott has done his damage in seven less games than Hawpe.
I think Braves and Giants fans should take a real long hard look at Scott, because to me he seems like the perfect fit for their respective outfields. Scott is the more complete, cheaper and more controllable player. If your team needed a power bat in the outfield who would you rather trade for?
** Contract information is from Cot's Baseball Contracts