Mariners to Acquire Aaron Harang

Dave · April 11, 2013 at 11:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I mentioned this as a pretty strong possibility yesterday, as Aaron Harang was hanging out in limbo after being DFA’d by the Rockies after they acquired him from the Dodgers in a cost savings maneuver. Harang was a pitcher without a team, and the Mariners are a team without good pitchers. The fit seemed fairly obvious. And so, today, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Mariners and Rockies are working through a deal that will bring Aaron Harang to Seattle, in exchange for an unnamed minor league reliever. You shouldn’t expect it to be anyone special — Harang is basically a salary dump.

So why would two teams dump a Proven Veteran (TM) that threw 180 innings with a 3.61 ERA last year? Especially after he threw 170 innings with a 3.64 ERA the year before?

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that ERA isn’t a very good way to evaluate pitching talent. And, so, while Harang has posted decent ERAs in pitcher friendly parks in the National League the last two years, the underlying data that projects his performance going forward is, well, not very good.

Here’s his career in a table of data that tells a more accurate story.

Season IP BB% K% GB% HR/FB LOB% BABIP ERA- FIP- xFIP-
2002 78.1 13% 18% 31% 6% 71% 0.302 110 101 116
2003 76.1 6% 13% 41% 12% 66% 0.307 120 104 102
2004 161 8% 18% 42% 13% 73% 0.301 111 105 97
2005 211.2 6% 18% 39% 9% 75% 0.303 89 85 92
2006 234.1 6% 22% 39% 11% 74% 0.312 82 79 82
2007 231.2 6% 23% 40% 10% 74% 0.288 81 79 80
2008 184.1 6% 19% 34% 14% 74% 0.307 109 108 95
2009 162.1 6% 20% 35% 12% 76% 0.331 98 96 92
2010 111.2 8% 16% 37% 10% 69% 0.338 130 113 111
2011 170.2 8% 17% 41% 9% 78% 0.302 103 118 109
2012 179.2 11% 17% 39% 6% 72% 0.277 96 111 126

And here’s a graph of the two most important numbers in that table, and Harang’s career trend in those two rates:

HarangKBB

Aaron Harang was once very good. He didn’t walk anyone and he struck a lot of guys out, so his HR problem wasn’t too big of an issue. But, then, in 2010, he stopped striking people out, and now he’s turned into a guy who nibbles at the corners of the strike zone. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate is down, and his success the last two years was almost entirely due to low HR rates. His career HR/FB rate is 10.3%, but last year, it was 6.3%, which allowed him to put runners on but not let too many score.

Unfortunately, HR/FB rate isn’t particularly predictive, and is nowhere near as predictive as BB% and K%, both of which suggest that Harang isn’t particularly good anymore. Mixed in with Harang’s below average ground ball rate, that put his xFIP-, which is park adjusted and relative to league average, at 126 last year. That’s basically replacement level. For context, Blake Beavan‘s career xFIP- is 117.

Now, that’s just one year, and Harang has been much better than he was last year before, so there’s a pretty good chance that Harang is better than Beavan. But, don’t be fooled by the ERA. Harang isn’t good, which is why the Dodgers dumped him and the Rockies had no interest in keeping him. He’s an innings eater trying to hang on to the remains of his career. As a #5 starter, he might be okay for a while, but he’s certainly not any kind of salvation. He’ll be better than Beavan, most likely, but not particularly good. If Erasmo Ramirez ever gets healthy, then Harang will also have to be better than Brandon Maurer to stay in the rotation. Harang might be better than Maurer too, the kid can’t figure out how to get his breaking balls to stop hanging in the middle of the strike zone, so maybe Harang sticks around for a while.

But, Harang is basically a worse version of Jon Garland, the guy who the M’s let go a few weeks ago. It’s the same idea, just without the same ability to throw strikes. Hooray veteran mediocrity.

In terms of the trade, I’ll withhold judgment until we know the financial aspects of the deal. Harang’s contract includes a $2 million buyout for 2014, which the Dodgers got the Rockies to be on the hook for in the initial swap. Hopefully, the Mariners got the Rockies to chip in on part of that, or else this move will end up reducing their payroll next year so that they can pay Harang to not pitch for them.

Update: The M’s gave up RHP Steven Hensley, a fringe prospect at best, who started the year in Tacoma’s bullpen. Because he wasn’t on the 40 man roster, they had to create a spot for Aaron Harang, so Kameron Loe was designated for assignment. That strongly suggests that a starter will be moving into Loe’s long relief role, and it makes far more sense for that guy to be Beavan than Maurer, given their development paths.

Comments

45 Responses to “Mariners to Acquire Aaron Harang”

  1. GhostofMarinersPast on April 11th, 2013 11:34 am

    I just don’t understand why the FO didn’t go after Capuano. He could of been had for cheap! He would have been a solid fit in the middle of the rotation. Disappointed I am.

  2. RaoulDuke37 on April 11th, 2013 11:45 am

    I’d trade him to Toronto for an outfielder.

  3. globalalpha on April 11th, 2013 11:45 am

    Maybe they did go after Capuano and maybe he couldn’t be had for cheap. How do you know?

  4. GhostofMarinersPast on April 11th, 2013 11:49 am

    Because I know. I know sooo hard.

  5. Gibbo on April 11th, 2013 11:54 am

    Yes Capuano would have cost more but at least he would have held up the back end of the rotation with some upside. It feels disappointing to me too. I had really hoped we could have gotten Capunao. I think these are bad moves by Jack. With Saunders hurting we are just an injury to Gutierrez away from being in big trouble early. Wells and Garland should have made this club…
    Bevan is an ideal long man and they are far too high on him. I imagine from here they get rid of Loe and move Harang or Bevan into that long man spot.

  6. rth1986 on April 11th, 2013 12:13 pm

    Count me in as another who was holding out for Capuano instead. Harang is pretty bad now.

    I’m sure there’s been at least some debate about bringing Hultzen up, but it’s probably for the better to give him more time. I’m sure Bonderman is frustrated now.

  7. djw on April 11th, 2013 12:18 pm

    This is probably wise, based on where we’re at right now, but also frustrating. I’m much rather have had Garland. Once it was clear Ramirez wasn’t healthy, the case for keeping Garland was pretty obvious, given Beavan’s badness and Maurer’s greenness. Argh.

  8. CCW on April 11th, 2013 12:18 pm

    It’s early, but interesting how the things that were sort of the obvious flaws in the off-season plan are already coming home to roost:

    - Starting pitching a major weakness. Why they didn’t sign Villanueva or some legitimate #4 starter, instead of throwing money at Ibanez and Bay and Morse, was always questionable.

    - Morse OBP: .300

    - Casper Wells’ key attibute: backup center-fielder. Mariners current need: backup center fielder.

    - John Jaso: .360 / .385 / .520 (.3 WAR so far). Morse: .4 WAR so far and $5,000,000 more expensive.

    - Jesus Montero as catcher: not looking good. Although to be fair, those numbers would look even worse at DH.

  9. GhostofMarinersPast on April 11th, 2013 12:31 pm

    -Djw-

    Any chance you could take a moment and wax poetic on Capuano and why, perhaps (obviously you would be speculating), the FO thought Harang would be a better fit? Thanks, love your posts

  10. raul_podzednick on April 11th, 2013 12:35 pm

    Is it to early to write this season off?

    Is it salvageable?

    We know the rotation was going to take a step back, but this much?

    The offense was supposed to be better but it’s all coming from Morse and Morales the kids are still not there.

    I guess we aren’t in the window yet, the rotation was gutted and the minor league pitching depth isn’t ready. Not enough offense to compensate.

    Is it even next year? We bring up Zunino, Franklin, Hultzen, Maurer(assuming he gets sent back down real soon), Paxton and maybe even Walker and Miller but are we going to have to write 2014 off as they get adjusted to the bigs? Maybe Zunino and Hultzen set the world on fire, but I am losing faith in Smoak, Ackley and Montero so those might be new holes to fill as they all get sent down or traded.

    I am assuming Morse and Morales get moved at the deadline for some nice prospects (maybe we re-sign one of the two) and that keeps the pipeline full but I think we are all getting impatient to see results at the big league level.

  11. terryoftacoma on April 11th, 2013 12:35 pm

    This went pretty much ss expected Harang for RP Steven Hensley and Loe DFA.

  12. jordan on April 11th, 2013 12:44 pm

    if the M’s had just made the right moves at the end of ST all this would be a non issue. Garland would be in our rotation and Wells a solid fill in fof Saunders. Didn’t take long fof all this to bite us in the ass.

  13. BackRub on April 11th, 2013 12:55 pm

    So are we going to be paying 6-7 million for Harang? Colorado is sending some money, but he also has a buyout for 2 million next year. If so, I guess we have money to burn for a pitcher that isn’t much better than Beavan. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were cheaper options available for only a slightly better prospect. In the increasingly less likely scenario that we are in contention come June/July, this trade might prevent the addition of any further expensive upgrades.

  14. Paul B on April 11th, 2013 12:57 pm

    Is it too early to write the season off? January wasn’t too early.

    If the Angels crash and burn, the best the Mariners could hope for is 3rd place. And the way they look right now,more like battling the Astros to stay out of 5th.

    We’ll see a lot more move and I’d expect a major trade flurry in July, assuming other teams need veteran grit.

  15. BackRub on April 11th, 2013 12:59 pm

    Actually, Baker is reporting that M’s will be on hook for a lot less. In which case, some financial flexibility might still exist. It will be interesting to see what final numbers are.

  16. NorthofWrigleyField on April 11th, 2013 1:02 pm

    Re: BackRub. Absolutely not! The Dodgers already paid $4.25m of his salary to swap him to the Rockies. MLB hasn’t yet approved the trade because the Rockies are sending MORE THAN $1m to the Mariners. The Mariners can’t be on the hook for more than $3.75m of the $9m he’s due this year including the $2m option for next year. It could be significantly less depending on how much more than $1m the Rockies are sending the Mariners.

  17. terryoftacoma on April 11th, 2013 1:05 pm

    I figured us at about 70-75 wins this year. Based on a slight increase in offence and questionable 3 throught 5 starters. Our current 4-6 record seems about right. I’m not near as down on this team as most. But I didn’t expect a whole lot either.

    We’ll have to wait and see if letting Garland go was a bad decision. He has only pitched one game so far. Remember he didn’t pitch at all last year and only started 9 games in 2011.

  18. BackRub on April 11th, 2013 1:08 pm

    Thanks NorthofWrigleyField. I saw that the number is lower, but good to have a more specific idea.

  19. JasonJ on April 11th, 2013 1:27 pm

    Too early to write the season off but the things that needed to go right for the M’s to contend are not even close to happening at this point.

    For me, this season hinged on the youngsters taking a step forward, but they all look really bad – including Seager. How bad?

    Seager .472 OPS
    Smoak .427 OPS
    Ackley .282 OPS
    Montero .267 OPS

    It’s only 30+ AB’s but that is pathetic. The only guys doing anything on this team are the vets and that’s great but this team isn’t going anywhere without at least 3 of the 4 guys listed above turning things around quickly.

  20. Westside guy on April 11th, 2013 1:40 pm

    Is Saunders a veteran? Because he was playing well so far.

    And frankly, putting Seager in that group based on 30 at bats rather than looking at what he did last year over 650 at bats is pretty silly. Even those vaunted veterans’ OPS have been swinging wildly so far this season, with the exception of Morse’s.

  21. bookbook on April 11th, 2013 2:06 pm

    This is still a .500 ish team. Smoak and Montero will have better stretches. I don’t anticipate Ryan and Morales spending the second half with the M’s.

  22. Dayve on April 11th, 2013 3:05 pm

    How embarrassing for this club to be two weeks into a long season and be scrambling like this. Piss poor decision making by all in the front office. That is clear to anyone with minimal baseball knowledge and it does not give confidence. No wonder they can’t sell out opening day and draw 10k for the next few games. What a waste of an offseason. What a waste of a spring training. What a waste of several miserable seasons of rebuilding to have what appears to be yet another. What a waste of time.

  23. MrZDevotee on April 11th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Really? We’re coming off TWO bad starts by our 4 & 5 starters and the season is over? Are our 4 & 5 starters really going to combine to go 0-50 or so?

    Is Felix gonna go .500?

    And why would anyone think these numbers are how these players seasons will end:

    Seager .472 OPS
    Smoak .427 OPS
    Ackley .282 OPS
    Montero .267 OPS

    We’re nearly .500 with bad things happening to us. ANY of these things get better and we’re OVER .500.

    So… Really? You guys see this as a season already over?

    (My fave is the token Morse/Jaso comparison… No no, it’s the we’d be better with Garland, who may not make it through the season, or month… Or the belief Wells would solve ANY of this…)

    Horrible BABIP by the yungins so far, and 3 really bad starts by our 4 & 5 starters…

    “Tuh-dah” (as my 2 year old likes to say). 1st week explained!

  24. Dayve on April 11th, 2013 3:17 pm

    I wish I could be as positive as you, but when I smell the same stench I’ve smelled for the past decade brewing, I tend to avoid the buffet. Or something like that.

  25. Gormogon on April 11th, 2013 3:51 pm

    Everyone chill the hell out!!! It is cliche, but it’s still early. Let’s just get the hell through April before passing judgement on this year, yeah? Geez, mon.

    Fwiw, I was/am predicting a .480 run through mid-June, followed by bump from Zunino and Hultzen giving us a .580 clip to get to the end, challenging for the second wild card. Of course, that’s optimism. But I’m happier than you pessimists right now!

  26. Gormogon on April 11th, 2013 3:59 pm

    My bad, I meant a .560 clip to the end. I don’t want to be insane about my optimism or anything.

  27. CCW on April 11th, 2013 4:01 pm

    I was just pointing out that it is exactly the things that people were pointing out as weaknesses at the time the underlying roster decisions were made that have in fact been the Ms’ weaknesses. The strengths (improved offense) have been there too. I’m not writing the season off or anything.

  28. eponymous coward on April 11th, 2013 4:31 pm

    It’s only 30+ AB’s

    You can stop right there.

  29. JasonJ on April 11th, 2013 4:33 pm

    Read my post again. I said specifically it’s not time to write the season off but that so far the youngsters look bad and that, to me, was going to be a huge indicator of how the season will go.

    I also said it’s only 30 AB’s and I never said that’s where their OPS will stay – way to put words in my mouth. But whatever, I guess you guys are encouraged by these numbers?

    SSS and BABIP are definitely to be considered, but pardon me if I don’t have a ton of patience for three players who have failed to live up to expectations for quite some time. More to the point, it wouldn’t be a big deal if one maybe two were struggling but it’s all three of our supposed future stars. It’s one thing if they were 5th year guys who have proven they were quality major leaguers but they aren’t and it worries me since this team’s success hinges a lot on how these low cost team-controlled players work out.

    I thought twice about including Seager since he did exceed expectations last year, but that’s precisely why I put him on the list because it’s possible that his true talent level falls somewhere in the middle since he wasn’t a hyped prospect like the others. I hope I’m wrong. I left Saunders out because he’s injured, but I do like what I see from him.

    Anyway, I sincerely hope they turn it around and get smokin’ hot for the next 10 games and these numbers become meaningless. I guess I was just hoping they would come out strong and look like the good/great major league players they were hyped to be. So far they look the same or worse.

  30. eponymous coward on April 11th, 2013 4:35 pm

    Anyway, I sincerely hope they turn it around and get smokin’ hot for the next 10 games and these numbers become meaningless. I guess I was just hoping they would come out strong and look like the good/great major league players they were hyped to be. So far they look the same or worse.

    You can’t say anything meaningful on their performance based on 30 plate appearances, so stop trying.

    Now, if Smoak is still useless at the plate and it’s mid-May, another story.

  31. Bodhizefa on April 11th, 2013 4:50 pm

    eponymous,

    While you’re obviously right to note small sample sizes for the statistics alone, it’s a different story as far as scouting is concerned. Smoak looks similar to what he always has — like a guy on the verge of figuring things out but never knowing how to cross the finish line. He puts together some decent at bats, but they always result in not enough power or an I opportune K. And Ackley and Montero have looked awful at the plate. Saying a small sample can’t be taken as any kind of evidence is only true if that’s your only data point. In this case, we have our eyes and the eyes of expert scouting analysts. And pretty much all of them agree that the M’s guys look awful.

    The org has failed to properly cultivate our hitting prospects, and I’m pretty much fed up with it.

  32. just a fan on April 11th, 2013 4:52 pm

    So on the ERA-, FIP- and xFIP-, what numbers correlate to the #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of an average pitching staff? I guess 100 probably marks an average #3, but otherwise what’s the range mean?

  33. tallcorn on April 11th, 2013 5:10 pm

    With the “Big 3″ coming up by next season, investing in a pitcher like Capuano long term makes no sense. Felix and Iwakuma are a legit Ace and probably a solid third starter, respectively. That means out of Hultzen, Walker and Paxton only one needs to be a solid number two to Felix. The other two just need to be MLB caliber pitchers. And those three are under control for much longer and at a much lower rate. Any pitchers past Felix and Iwakuma are nothing more than place holders for the great talent on it’s way. I’m tired of always waiting for next year too, but at least this time it feels really close.

  34. JasonJ on April 11th, 2013 5:33 pm

    Fine. 30 AB’s is too small a sample size. I agree and said as much. I posted those numbers mostly because I found it funny in a sad way and that based on their bodies of work (see below), those numbers are just another sign (as small as it may be) that these guys aren’t on the path to stardom that we believed they might. Watching the games and seeing how ineffective they look also came into play as well.

    Regardless, I won’t comment on the matter further.

    Seattle………………………….Career
    Montero .662 (583 PA’s) .697 career (652 PA’s)
    Smoak .678 (1183 PA’s) .670 career (1458 PA’s)
    Ackley .661 (1077 PA’s)

    Seager .716 (890 PA’s)

  35. Longgeorge1 on April 11th, 2013 5:46 pm

    If Smoak was just getting off to a bad start that would be one thing but he has sucked for years now. Ackley and Montero still deserve more time but neither is showing any sign of a “process” taking hold. I don’t think fear of injury is the reason that we let Garland go, shoulders are still not as fixable as elbows but he seemed pretty sound. I think Z did not want to be dictated to by any ballplayer and it was more of a power play. besides anyone can get hurt out there even just 4 pitches after your sub is picked up on waivers.

  36. djw on April 11th, 2013 7:59 pm

    Any chance you could take a moment and wax poetic on Capuano and why, perhaps (obviously you would be speculating), the FO thought Harang would be a better fit?

    No clue. Obviously he’s better. Perhaps not interest in giving up the quality of prospects they were asking? FO is increasingly mysterious to me (and not in a good way).

  37. djw on April 11th, 2013 8:19 pm

    For me, this season hinged on the youngsters taking a step forward, but they all look really bad – including Seager. How bad?
    Seager .472 OPS
    Smoak .427 OPS
    Ackley .282 OPS
    Montero .267 OPS
    It’s only 30+ AB’s but that is pathetic.

    Dave works so hard, year in and year out, to teach his readers how to deal with sample size and it just doesn’t work. It’s kinda sad.

    Protip: when you find yourself starting a sentence with “Sure, it’s only 30 PA but” go ahead and abort the sentence. It’s not going anywhere worth going.

  38. CCW on April 11th, 2013 8:38 pm

    You know, shut up already about the small sample sizes. I’m pretty sure everyone gets it. As far as I can tell, people are merely pointing out that, IN A SMALL SAMPLE, some guys have really sucked so far this year (the same guys who sucked last year, in fact), Morse has swung at everything, and a couple of starting pitchers have struggled. I’m not saying that’s any sort of brilliant analysis, but again, everyone gets the small sample size thing. There’s only one comment above that even implies those small samples are predictive, which is where the use of small samples can be a problem.

  39. GhostofMarinersPast on April 11th, 2013 9:18 pm

    I just was informed that Capuano and Harang are the same age. I was under the impression that Cap was several years younger. I’ll stop carrying the Cap torch and attempt to embrace the Harang move, even though his name sounds like a euphemism for your old lady. “The ol’ harang was all riled up about my drinkin’ again tonight”.

  40. JasonJ on April 11th, 2013 9:33 pm

    CCW wrote:

    “people are merely pointing out that, IN A SMALL SAMPLE, some guys have really sucked so far this year (the same guys who sucked last year, in fact)”

    Thank you. That’s all I was trying to say. Give it a rest SSS nazis. I’ve been reading USSM and fangraphs for many years, you’re not enlightening anybody.

  41. NorthofWrigleyField on April 12th, 2013 12:09 am

    Those bleating about small sample sizes would have a point if Smoak, Ackley and Montero didn’t spend the last year (or longer) sucking. Seager gets a little bit more of a break, but if he doesn’t take steps forward from what he produced last year offensively, he’s going to end up being replaceable in short order time. Now, he’s got work to do just to get back to what he did last year when he only had 2 good months with the bat… and he’s the only guy I have confidence… and the only one who has earned it. Good luck to all of them though.

  42. maqman on April 12th, 2013 5:20 am

    WOW! The hindsight here is astounding. Get a grip.

  43. djw on April 12th, 2013 6:02 am

    I’m pretty sure everyone gets it. As far as I can tell, people are merely pointing out that, IN A SMALL SAMPLE, some guys have really sucked so far this year

    Nope. JasonJ explicitly referred to them as “another sign” of the career path these players are on.

    I really miss the days when there were rules against these sorts of things, that were enforced: you didn’t get to come in here an make absurd claims that fly in the face of well established knowledge about baseball without at least making an argument.

    Those bleating about small sample sizes would have a point if Smoak, Ackley and Montero didn’t spend the last year (or longer) sucking.

    No one would deny that their poor performances last year are a significant part of our evaluation. That’s not what people are doing; they’re claiming that 30 ABs is some sort of confirmation. It’s not. I’ve personally have very little faith Montero or Smoak will amount to useful players, but that has nothing to do with 30 ABs this year.

    Seager gets a little bit more of a break, but if he doesn’t take steps forward from what he produced last year offensively, he’s going to end up being replaceable in short order time.

    Seager was a 3.6 WAR–well above average–baseball player last year. Are you seriously contending that if he merely continues to produce 3.6 WAR per year, he’s replaceable? To put it mildly, that does not make any sense.

    year when he only had 2 good months with the bat

    As Dave recently pointed out, for the purposes of projection, it doesn’t make a difference how one’s past performance was organized over the previous year. It just doesn’t matter, and there’s almost certainly nothing to be learned from it.

  44. eponymous coward on April 12th, 2013 6:55 am

    Those bleating about small sample sizes would have a point if Smoak, Ackley and Montero didn’t spend the last year (or longer) sucking.

    The point is that 30 PAs are irrelevant and shouldn’t change your evaluation of players.

    There’s plenty of evidence that Smoak’s a busted prospect (very, very few players have gone on to do much after 1400+ PA’s of being horrible), but nobody’s arguing that, unless they were taken in by spring training small sample size AND Cactus League offensive inflation (Seriously? Team OPS of .800? Yeah, right). Dave’s written a ton about how Montero is likely to be a long-haul up and down kind of prospect at best, guess what, he started down. Seager obviously shouldn’t be written off after a 30+ PA stretch of starting off slow, given that he has A YEAR AND A HALF as a productive player, and Dustin Ackley was a useful player last year, bad offense and all.

    So is the argument that we need to give up on Ackley already? Trade Seager because he’s obviously peaked? What, exactly? We already know that this team’s gone directions that have made people groan. 30 plate appearances don’t change that. We already know that Zunino is very likely to end up at catcher very soon now, especially if Montero is still in the down part of being up and down. We already know that the organization went for DINGERS!1!111!, one year deals and veteran grit instead of going for more longterm salary, boosting payroll and a more well-rounded team. There aren’t surprises.

  45. CCW on April 12th, 2013 10:51 am

    Guys, sometimes it’s just nice to come in here and vent to a like-minded group. By picking right up where they left off last year, and displaying the very weaknesses that many of us identified as likely problems (and to add to what I discussed above, bad OF defense), the whole situation is really… disappointing. And personally, starting with Baseball Prospectus in 2001 or 2002, and progressing through USSM, Lookout Landing, Fangraphs, etc., I’ve had a lot of exposure to this type of analysis. I’m not saying I don’t still have stuff to learn, but to have someone wave SSS in my face, particularly the way that djw did it, just feels condescending.

    And frankly, when you waive SSS around like that, you’re ignoring a lot of nuance. There *is* stuff to analyze in that small sample. Ackley’s swing, for example, which (I’ve heard) scouts have said still looks broken. Smoak’s swing has been the subject of a ton of discussion. The fact that Morse is swinging at everything *does* have meaning in a small sample. The fact I watched a ball go right over Morse’s head that a better OF would have caught does have meaning. Matthew, himself, even pointed out that the M’s OF defense is already lagging behind the M’s IF defense in terms of performance THIS YEAR. Heck, the M’s apparently believed the sample was large enough to send Kameron Loe down.

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