Jack Hannahan, New M’s Third Baseman
Do you remember a front office that would take months to make obvious personnel moves? Because Iâ€™m quickly forgetting that. Zduriencik has apparently tired of the defensive antics over at the hot corner and has made a trade with the Athletics for 3B Jack Hannahan. RHP Justin Souza is sent to play for what I think would be his hometown team, unless he was a Giants fan.
You may remember Hannahan as the starting third baseman for the Athletics all of last season, after Eric Chavezâ€™ back exploded for the nth time. He didnâ€™t hit much, posting a .218/.305/.342 line and somehow managed to be even worse this year. The Aâ€™s tired of his not-hitting and so heâ€™s been in triple-A for the past ten games, putting up a .333/~.411/.533 line in that limited span. Thereâ€™s not much to indicate at the age of 29 that heâ€™ll ever be major threat at the plate, as heâ€™s only ever topped ten home runs in a season once. Handedness aside, his only real strong suit is that he can work counts, and saw 4.1 pitches per plate appearance this season, so even though heâ€™s often an out, heâ€™s at least a pesky one.
On the field, itâ€™s a different story. Hannahan ranked between Ryan Zimmerman and Pedro Feliz in UZR this season, and last year it was Mike Lowell and Chone Figgins. That isnâ€™t on the Beltre level of defense, not that many are, but after you get out of that elite tier that seems to hover around the double digits, heâ€™s among the best mortals to play the position.
Souza, a 9th round pick by the Mariners in a really productive â€™06 draft, was one of our better arms in the high minors. Heâ€™s an undersized right-hander who could light up the gun now and then. His main asset has been his command, as he only had eighteen walks to sixty-two strikeouts in 78.0 innings this year. Heâ€™s someone that we may have ended up talking more about later, but his loss is not a big one. Cortes fits into that West Tenn rotation spot rather nicely.
So there Mariners got better defense, more left-handed, and more patient in exchange for something they might not have used in the first place. As temporary fixes go, and thatâ€™s exactly what Hannahan is, we can and have in the past done a lot worse. Now, on to solving the real need at shortstop…