Sunday, July 30, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, July 28, 2023 -- "Mailbag (Trade Deadline's Version)"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

Given the lack of starters/pitching on the trade market, maybe the Giants can get Sean Manaea and/or Ross Stripling off the books--both are signed for another season at $12.5 million each. Farhan Zaidi has had up till now good success buying these types of players, but these sure haven't worked out.

Assuming the return is a PTBNL or a non-prospect prospect, is this a sound strategy? Would anyone trade for them with the hope of getting them back to where they were performance-wise last year?  

-- Bryan D.

I understand this thinking as a fan, though I would separate the two pitchers. Stripling has never been that far above an up-and-down guy, and full credit to his agent for turning the second good season of his career into $25 million guaranteed over two years. I think Stripling has negative trade value, even in a rough market for pitching. 

Manaea, though, has a 27% strikeout rate and a 3.98 FIP (albeit a 4.98 xERA per Statcast). The hype on him this spring set expectations a bit high -- I was absolutely part of that problem -- but he’s been an asset for a team that has had to patch together the rotation for much of the season. He’s picked up nearly three ticks on his fastball this year, and I would hate to end up paying a team to pitch him against me when it comes together. If I hear this weekend Manaea has been traded to the Guardians or something, I’m all in on him. 

Realistically, I think it’s hard to trade either. Stripling isn’t good, Manaea is valuable to this roster, and both come with good salaries in 2024.