Jack Hannahan, New M’s Third Baseman

Jay Yencich · July 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Do you remember a front office that would take months to make obvious personnel moves? Because I’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 Chavez’ back exploded for the nth time. He didn’t hit much, posting a .218/.305/.342 line and somehow managed to be even worse this year. The A’s tired of his not-hitting and so he’s been in triple-A for the past ten games, putting up a .333/~.411/.533 line in that limited span. There’s not much to indicate at the age of 29 that he’ll ever be major threat at the plate, as he’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 he’s often an out, he’s at least a pesky one.

On the field, it’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 isn’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, he’s among the best mortals to play the position.

Souza, a 9th round pick by the Mariners in a really productive ’06 draft, was one of our better arms in the high minors. He’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. He’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 that’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…


23 Responses to “Jack Hannahan, New M’s Third Baseman”

  1. Mariner Melee on July 11th, 2009 3:02 pm

    As much as I love the defense of Cedeno and Hannahan, I can’t help but cringe at the thought of both of their bats in the line-up.

    I like the move, but it is going to be painful to watch them at the plate.

  2. Joe on July 11th, 2009 3:05 pm

    I don’t think Cedeno is going to be the starting shortstop for the entire rest of the season. And (cross fingers) Beltre may be back for September as well.

    And we’ve been living with Cedeno, Johnson, and Woodward so we’re already numb to that pain.

  3. naviomelo on July 11th, 2009 3:12 pm

    Hannahan hit .279/.379/.423 in 1,070 AAA at-bats, and .223/.311/.347 in 708 MLB at-bats.

    Woodward: .244/.300/.373 in 1,647 MLB at-bats.

    So, it’s not like we’re going to be suffering through any more pain at the plate by replacing Woodward with Hannahan, and Hannahan comes with the added benefit of being an above-average defender. I’m sure it will add less than 1 win for the rest of the season, but we need every bit we can get. Great trade.

  4. Adam B. on July 11th, 2009 3:12 pm

    My question is whom do the Mariners target at SS? I’ve heard mention of JJ Hardy and Freddy Sanchez, but do the M’s really have enough pieces to land Hardy in a market short on talent at the position and long in potential suitors?
    And is Sanchez any kind of answer at Short, or does he simply shift Lopez to Third or play there himself?

  5. Tek Jansen on July 11th, 2009 3:19 pm

    I don’t think Sanchez is a SS who should be playing for a prolonged time. If the M’s want Hardy, and why wouldn’t they, they would have to find a way to give the Brewers good starting pitching. That would mean either sending Wash or Bedard to Milwaukee, or, say, doing a three way where they send, lets say a Pittsburgh, three prospects, Pittsburgh sends Milwaukes Sanchez, Dukes and/or Snell, and the Brewers send the M’s Hardy. The Brewers want to win the NL Central this season, and they need another starting pitcher or two. Either the M’s send them one themselves, or ply a team with other goodies to send the Brewers that pitcher.

  6. jordan on July 11th, 2009 3:26 pm

    I really think that GMZ’s plan is to fill the SS hole at the line in a deal including Bedard or Washburn.

  7. scottiedawg on July 11th, 2009 3:34 pm

    Because of his defense, Hannahan was a 1.3 WAR player in 2008 and a 1.2 WAR player in 2007, in pretty full seasons. Much better than the -0.7 WAR Cedeno has give us thus far this year.

  8. scottiedawg on July 11th, 2009 3:37 pm

    Although I don’t know if I should be comparing Hannahan to Cedeno. He is definitely an upgrade over Woodward too.

  9. henryv on July 11th, 2009 3:42 pm

    My question is if Hannahan is a good enough eye candy replacement for Yuni, in Lauren’s eyes.

  10. Gomez on July 11th, 2009 4:29 pm

    Anyone else surprised that we made a deal with a division rival?

    Good luck to Justin Souza, who showed some promise in AA as a starter but was more of a work in progress in that role than most starters.

  11. DAMellen on July 11th, 2009 4:31 pm

    And Hannahan’ll be team owned for the next couple years, right? At the very least, he’s not a bad guy to have on the bench. He can pinch hit if Ronny or Rob (or Jack, God willing) are facing a righty in a key situation and he’s probably got some versatility. He can definitely play both corners and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he can handle second base too. Maybe even the outfield (although that’s pure speculation). Sure, I’d prefer Greg Dobbs or Willie Harris, but what would they have cost? I’m guessing more than Souza.

  12. Adam B. on July 11th, 2009 4:32 pm

    I don’t think inter-division deals are that surprising given the nature of the players involved, and the relative position of the two teams.

    If this were Roy Halladay to Boston I might be a little more surprised.

  13. hejuk on July 11th, 2009 4:37 pm

    This also gives us a passable (1.5 win) third baseman going forward, and so the flexibility to spend free agent dollars on other positions, if we so desire.

  14. 300ZXNA on July 11th, 2009 4:49 pm

    My question is what are Hannahan’s platoon splits? If he could transition to playing 2b (Dave had an article on 3b and 2b conversions usually going well from a defensive standpoint) would it possibly be a good idea for him to platoon with Lopez once Beltre comes back?

  15. Jay Yencich on July 11th, 2009 5:00 pm

    My question is what are Hannahan’s platoon splits?

    They’re not generally all that significant.

    Last year vs. RHB: .223/.307/.369
    Last year vs. LHB: .204/.298/.259

    Career vs. RHB: .217/.310/.352
    Career vs. LHB: .241/.316/.333

  16. Bilbo on July 11th, 2009 5:02 pm

    Ok, Z is a great guy and talked to me for about 10 minutes. He wa with wife so didn’t want to bother him too much. He told me about this deal as it hadn’t broken before takeoff. He was coming early for the futures game. He said the guy he really wanted at ss was zobrist in the offseason, but couldn’t get him because of uptons injury. What could have been. Pretty sure he isn’t done yet. I said cedeno is hitting what .180 and he said he wishes. LOL. Very glad he is our GM!

  17. djw on July 11th, 2009 5:07 pm

    Zobrist? Oh, man that would have been sweet!

  18. G-Man on July 11th, 2009 5:13 pm

    Last year when the Twins were interested in Wash, it was said that he wanted to go there, as it was near his Wisconsin home. IF that was so, he’d probably love to go to the Brewers. Could there be a chance of one of those conditional trades in which the player’s new team gets 2-3 days to sign him to an extension? That would make him more attractive to Milwaukee.

  19. Jon on July 11th, 2009 5:30 pm

    If that’s true about Zobrist then that would have made 4 breakout players acquired on the cheap for Z this year. The guy has a great eye for talent. I can’t wait to see what he does over the offseason.

  20. Utis on July 11th, 2009 5:46 pm

    And now Morrow has been sent down to Tacoma (a good move).

    It looks like the Ms are pointing towards being sellers at the trade deadline. I don’t see how they can remain competitive with the lineup they are running out there offensively. OTOH the improved defense will make Washburn and Bedard look better. Does it make more sense to trade Washburn and Bedard for prospects than for a medium term fix at short in a futile attempt to remain in the race?

  21. DAMellen on July 11th, 2009 6:01 pm

    You know he almost got us Edwin Jackson too, right? He was about to get him and Fernando Perez for Putz when the Rays and Tigers got in a fight over what the Tigers were giving up and the Rays backed out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have Gutz, Olson, Carp, Carrera, Vargas, and whoever instead of Jackson and Perez, but that’s one more guy that everybody had given up on who Zdurnicek correctly viewed as on the verge of a breakout. Plus, that trade wouldn’t have cost us Valbuena. That would’ve been nice.

  22. Kazinski on July 12th, 2009 1:04 am

    Isn’t anybody else worried that other GM’s are going to quit making trades with Zdurincik if he keeps this up?

    We’ll have to bring back Bavasi as a special assistant to get any action.

  23. The Ancient Mariner on July 12th, 2009 9:17 am

    Kazinski: nope. As long as other GMs feel that Zduriencik is making them a fair offer at any given point, it’s not going to matter to them that other GMs have thought so in the past and lost those deals.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.