Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jeremy Hermida trade

The Sox just picked up Jeremy Hermida from the Marlins for Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez. Neither prospect the Sox gave up is all that interesting. Jones is a 25 year old lefty reliever who has posted a 3.02 and 4.25 ERA in AAA the last two years. In a brief appearance with the Red Sox last season he was shelled (9.25 ERA). Jones could have some future as a LOOGY as he held lefties to a .210 average in AAA last year, but his home run tendencies (1.17/9 IP) and his poor control (4 BB/9 IP) this year makes him fungible. He did post much better numbers in 2008 (8.96 K/9, 2.12 BB/9). He might be a useful reliever for the Marlins, but his ceiling is a 6th or 7th inning guy.

Jose Alvarez is a 20 year old left handed pitching prospect. He has a very limited pitching track record in the minors, but put up a 1.52 ERA primarily as a starter in A ball last year and a 4.25 ERA as a reliever in high A. It looks like he is being groomed as a starter, but with a tight leash on his innings, although I'm not certain. He was listed as the Red Sox 44th best prospect by Sox Prospects, one spot ahead of Hunter Jones.

This looks like a something for nothing type situation for the Marlins. Given their payroll, and Hermida's looming raise (arbitration eligible after making $2.25 million last year) he was a candidate to be non-tendered. After a spectacular 2007 as a 23 year old (.870 OPS), Hermida has been a massive disappointment posting an OPS of .740 and .729 in 2008 and 2009 respectively. A former top prospect, and still only 25, Hermida is a bit of an offensive lottery ticket, although right now it is hard to see how he'll get regular playing time if the Red Sox sign a left fielder. He could be a fall back option for Theo, although I view him as a likely 4th outfielder for the Sox in 2010. With Drew it pays to have a second tier starter as your 4th outfielder, and the Red Sox are a team with the finances to make that happen. I wouldn't read too much into this trade Hermida is a player that has often been associated with the Red Sox in trade rumors. This may have simply been Theo taking the opportunity to buy low on a very talented, yet underperforming player who will be under team control for an additional two years.
For those that wish to be optimistic, Hermida's woes have largely been due to soft tissue injuries, so there are no chronic injuries to worry about. Also, his walk percentage and fly ball percentages ticked up this year. While it didn't translate into better performance in 2009, it could be a sign of good things to come, especially with a move to a smaller park.

For those who aren't familiar with what is a good K/9, BB/9 etc - perusing Fangraphs is useful. They what is "poor" and "good" for all the stats they graph. It is a great place to start when trying to understand unfamiliar stats.

Here is Theo's take on the trade from Baseball Prospectus Unifiltered, now with hyperlinked goodness (thanks for the link, Andrew).


  1. For those who are interested in Theo's take on the trade, it's posted on Basball Prospectus Unfiltered.

  2. another lottery ticket trade. I like it but sick of seeing these not really work out (see Baldelli, Rocco and Smoltz, John)

  3. I see no problem with a lottery ticket trade. If Hermida doesn't make it, he's a very solid 4th OF. Is there a downside to that? The only one I see is that he can't play center, so it takes away some of the 25 man roster flexibility.

  4. Unlike Smoltz or Penny, at least this lottery ticket won't hurt the Red Sox one of every five games while rostered.