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Lahair's trade value


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Cubs Dude

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:15 PM

With LaHair leading the universe in OBP and hitting near .400 I can't help but wonder to myself what the market would be for him? Personally, I love this guy and his approach at the plate. Sure his babip isn't maintable, but he seems to very much be a legit bat. With the front office's initiative for run prevention I don't see LaHair manning the outfield once Rizzo gets the call. Could we get a decent young arm for Lahair? Would teams such as the A's, Rockies, and Orioles give the Cubs a solid prospect back?

#2 Dumpgobbler

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:47 PM

Tough question. Its really hard to gauge how much trade value this guy has. I'd imagine a top 100 MLB prospect and an interesting high upside guy. But who knows. Lots of questions on Lahair if I'm the opposite GM to Epstein.

#3 JustSwain

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:05 AM

Are you talking about his trade value right now? Or his trade value if he continues to hit this way until August? To me the biggest question, is how will he respond once the league responds to him. So here are some things that will really help his value; 1. Continue hitting home runs at near his current rate; this is the big one, bigger than his batting average which I expect to drop (Along with his .OPS, but only down to human numbers) 2. Make the All-Star team as a starter; All-Stars under team control for a long time are worth taking a flyer on for any team...and they'll depart with bonifide prospects to get them. 3. Hit .300. It might not be the best stat for measuring success, but it pretty much takes a legit player to hit .300 for an entire season (or until the trade deadline even). So if at the end of July, Lahair's numbers look something like .308/.365/.600 with 28 HRs, 70 RBIs, in 100 games, 350 PAs, NL starting 1B AllStar, <100 ks and assuming there is a team who is a borderline contender with an opening either at 1st base, or DH, we should be able to trade him for a teams #1 prospect, with 2 more top 25's or a successful big league reliever thrown in, assuming that #1 doesn't have the last name Harper or Trout. From a scouting standpoint here is my personal take on Lahair: He covers the plate well, he has a good level swing, and that plus power that is in the elite class in baseball. He can hit both fastballs and breaking pitches well, he can hit for power to all fields. He has good bat speed. He does not see lefties well, but is comfortable against them. He is a - defender overall at first base, but he has good enough hands to play the position competently, its his range that is an issue. He would probably be a -- defender in the outfield, but I haven't seen him out there so thats just a guess. His greatest value is to an AL team who can DH him. He's not a first pitch fastball hitter, or a pure pull hitter so he is much more unlikely to flame out after his first year. He has thus far shown the ability to adjust to big league pitching; in ST, he was getting burnt by Major League breaking pitches low inside now he lays off them. He won the PCL triple crown so he has nothing left to prove in the minors, even if he did it at 26. The biggest question mark on him was always whether or not that success would translate to the big leagues. If his success continues into July that will prove that it has. At that point my opinion is that he'll have the same trade value as any other legitimate big league power hitter under low cost team control for 5 years...in other words he'll be the sort of guy you usually can't trade for. All of this is predicated on one factor, continuing his current success.

#4 Brett

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:40 AM

Agree with Swain. Though there are quirks to LaHair's value, if he's got a 1.000 OPS come early July, and scouts are still raving about his approach, his value will be extremely high, despite his age and limited defensive ability. He's not even eligible for arbitration for three years.

How much was Michael Morse worth two years ago? A ton, right?

#5 DocPeterWimsey

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

Assuming that LaHair keeps slugging and walking at his current rates (and allowing for the fact that his crazy BABiP has to come back to Mars, if not Earth), then his trade value still will be repressed a bit until Vlad and Abreu are signed or finally dismissed as unusable. Why trade a prospect when you can get one of those two guys for just money?

What would change this is if a contending team loses its 1Bman for a long time. Vlad & Abreu cannot play first (and they can barely play OF: but some people might say the same of LaHair on that score!), and a guy with 25-30 HR pop in his bat can make the loss of a 1Bman a bit more bearable.

I, myself, am actually climbing on board this guy's bandwagon. Quite frankly, what the <crude reference to fornication> were the Mariners doing letting this guy go? It's not like they were exactly loaded with DHs, even.....
Gods don't play dice with the universe, they are the dice of the universe: our job is to figure out how many sides and dice!

#6 JustSwain

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

I don't think Abreu or Vlad are part of this equation. LaHair is a different sort of commodity. If someone is looking for an end of the season rental, you might consider one of them, but neither is really an elite hitter anymore. Teams that would be willing to part with a package to get Lahair would be looking for a long term solution. Part of what makes him such a commodity, and something that Theo and Jed would take into consideration when fielding offers, is his age and the length of team control. He's not going to be on the market for late season rental player prices, so anyone looking for one of those wouldn't want to part with what it would take to land Lahair...once again if he continues his success.

#7 DocPeterWimsey

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:28 PM

Wel,l Abreu isn't anymore: he just signed with the Dodgers yesterday. However, I look at this the other way: the fact that an NL team signed him tells me that there is not much of a market for a DH-type hitter right now.

That, trioed with LaHair's age (his type of player usually has peaked already: he's not going to be a long-term solution for anybody) and the new CBA (prospects just went up in value hugely), makes me think that LaHair's value is not going to be great.
Gods don't play dice with the universe, they are the dice of the universe: our job is to figure out how many sides and dice!

#8 JustSwain

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:24 AM

I'd offer up Josh Hamilton as an example of a premier power hitter who didn't peak until his age 27 season, and still carries considerable value. His age means he isn't as valuable as say a 24 year old rookie, but it doesn't relegate him to the trash heap. The market will affect things more than his age. Abreu's numbers were slumping even before he was put in a backup role, and Vlad is nearly a decade older than Lahair, and only hit 13 Homers last year. He simply isn't the same type of commodity. Teams that might not be looking for a short term solution, or who have talent to spare, but not payroll to spare will look at a player like Lahair as having potential to contribute offensively for years to come. Lahair is under team control until he is 33. Those years aren't peak, but they also aren't the years in which you see a sharp and sudden drop in hitting. He could be a perenial all-star for years to come...if he keeps hitting like he has. I keep saying that because what we have seen from Lahair so far is too small of a sample size to judge what he will be in August. Look at the stats that I posited as a possible extension of Lahairs hot start. You tell me, what would you be willing to give for that player? 27, under long term low cost club control, with those numbers. Like I said its hard to answer, because its unusuall that those players are traded rather than used as the foundation for a solid lineup. His age effects his value, but so do his production numbers.




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