Strikeouts per nine, walks per nine, homeruns per nine. ERA, FIP, xFIP and SIERA. Homeruns per flyball, WAR, ERA- and FIP-. Groundball-to-Flyball ratio and fastball velocity.
Those are the stats, and there could me more, where Marco Estrada has progressively declined in each of the past three seasons. I’m not positive, but I don’t think that’s good.
And yet that’s exactly who the Blue Jays acquired for DH Adam Lind. The same Adam Lind whose wOBA versus right handed pitching the last two years is better than Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt and a ton of other really good hitters.
This one’s a bit of a headscratcher. Sure, Estrada could be a decent back of the rotation starter. He had a 4.36 ERA in 150 innings last year after two straight sub-4 ERA years. He could also be a bullpen piece, having split time between the bullpen and rotation in 2014.
But for a righty-mashing DH/1B on a very friendly deal? I mean, I was all for trading Lind, but for the sole reason that he seems valuable and would net a strong return.
Marco Estrada is not a strong return.
So what does this mean? One, it could mean Alex Anthopoulos jumped the gun. Perhaps he was itching to get a deal done quick. It could also mean that the coaching staff/front office soured on Lind, his injuries and what could have been considered lazy and apathetic attitude.
Perhaps it’s the first of a chain of moves. There were rumours about the Jays and Angels getting together for a trade, maybe AA has a deal to send a pitcher to LA for Howie Kendrick, meaning he’ll need Estrada as a replacement?
Maybe AA’s scouting staff identified something in Estrada that could be easily fixed.
Perhaps Lind’s defensive liabilities, need for a platoon partner, and complete lack of power in 2014 lowered his value? But if so, why not just keep him?
There’s also the money thing. Estrada made $3.3 million last year, and will be going through arbitration this year for the third and final time. He’ll get some sort of raise, and if you add what Estrada is likely to get with what fellow new Blue Jay Justin Smoak is going to get in arbitration you have basically what Lind will be making. Does AA have to be payroll neutral with everything he does?
I’m not sure what’s going on here, but unless something else happens in the next few days I don’t really like what’s happening here.