Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE
The Reds may have found their useful utility infielder in Jack Hannahan.
The 2013 Reds roster continues to take shape as Cincinnati signed third baseman/utility infielder Jack Hannahan to a two-year, four million dollar deal yesterday. Hannahan spent the last two seasons in Cleveland, but has also played in Detroit, Oakland, and Seattle. Although he has made more than 300 plate appearances in four individual seasons, Hannahan fits the mold of a standard part-time player.
If you believe the defensive metrics, Hannahan is an outstanding third baseman. He has posted an rField of zero or better every year in the major leagues, even in seasons with limited playing time. His total zone and plus/minus numbers are also excellent. UZR likes Hannahan as well, but he did post a slightly below-average number for the first time in his career last year. That blip should not be cause for concern though as he only played 741.1 innings in the field (a small sample size, especially for defensive metrics).
Offensively, Hannahan leaves something to be desired with a career slash line of .234/.316/.355 (.300 wOBA; 85 wRC+). However, that line looks like Silver Slugger material compared to some recent Reds bench fodder:
|Miguel Cairo||2012||156||.187||.212 (!)||.280||.214||26|
|Wilson Valdez||2012||208||.206||.236||.227 (!!)||.209||22|
Hannahan's career offensive numbers are similar to how Zack Cozart (.298 woBA; 83 wRC+) and Ryan Hanigan (.305 wOBA; 87 wRC+) performed last season. The offensive profiles of Cozart and Hanigan do have "different shapes" than Hannahan's line. Hannahan gets on base more frequently than Cozart, but not as much as Hanigan. The third baseman has a bit more pop than Hanigan, but does not slug like Cozart. In addition, Hannahan bats left-handed, which is something else Cincinnati's bench lacked last season.
Hannahan's Bill James projection at Fangraphs has him hitting around his career averages. I am not sure we should expect quite that level of performance. (The Bill James projections are similar to what your team's numbers would look like if you played a season of MLB: The Show on all-star mode.) What should we expect then? I think Hannahan's defense at third will compare favorably to Janish's at shortstop with offensive production similar to Orlando Cabrera in 2010 (.292 wOBA; 75 wRC+) or Edgar Renteria in 2011 (.292 wOBA; 79 wRC+). Remember when we complained about those guys starting?
John Fay passes along some quotes from Walt Jocketty about the Hannahan signing, the Shin-Soo Choo trade, and the playing status of Scott Rolen. Jocketty remains open to Rolen returning to Cincinnati next season. At this point though, when would Rolen play? Hannahan is not much of a stepdown (if at all) defensively at this point in time. Rolen would probably hit a bit better while healthy, but how healthy will he be in 2013?
Fangraphs' Mike Newman examines the two key prospects from the three-way trade between Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Arizona. He believes Gregorius is "an extremely valuable commodity" that is a long-term solution at shortstop for Arizona. I am not sure I buy that Gregorius is a sure-fire starter given his bat. Maybe Newman just really likes shortstops though, as he mentions that he took Elvis Andrus over Joey Votto in Fangraphs' "franchise draft" from this past summer.
Zeldink at Red Hot Mama lauds the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo as many others have done in the past few days. The article features a projected lineup free of low-OBP, speedy centerfielders (or middle infielders). I just hope no one mentions "Dusty-Proofing" around FordhamRam.
Oh, so getting Dusty an actual leadoff hitter for the first time is called "Dusty-Proofing?" Clever.— Scott Hoberg (@Scoberg) December 13, 2012
I think the Indians' substantial cash payment ($3.5 million) to Cincinnati in the Shin-Soo Choo deal calmed the worries of all but the most pessimistic Reds fans. I thought the trade was a very good one regardless, but the subsidy for Choo made the move even better for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati's 2013 opening set against the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim looks even more interesting now as Josh Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Halos yesterday. No other series in 2013 might bring as many stars to Cincinnati as the first one. The chance to watch Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, and Mark Trumbo in addition to the Reds is well worth the price of admission.. The Angels might even pick up another big name this offseason. Interestingly, Hamilton has never played against Cincinnati. Game Two is going to be fun.
MLB.com's Cash Kruth presents some figures to illustrate that Redsfest was once again a smashing success. The Reds raised $11,000 for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in October of this year. The announced attendance was 22,683.
While early reports of the Cubs signing Anibal Sanchez have been withdrawn, Andrew Simon reports that Chicago is one of the two final teams in the running for the righty free agent. Presumably, Mike Ilitch continues to yearn for that elusive World Series title in Detroit. As a result, I think the Tigers will match/exceed any reasonable or moderately crazy offers by Chicago, but that is pure speculation on my part.