A Ryan Lavarnway Trade To The Astros HAS To Happen
This week, MLB Trade Rumors mentioned both a potential Ryan Lavarnway trade and the Astros being in the market for a first baseman. With Lavarnway taking reps at first base, striking a deal makes sense for both teams. This isn’t to say Lavarnway hits enough to start at an infield corner. He does not. But the rebuilding Astros have a history of acquiring players like the Red Sox catcher/first baseman as reclamation projects for pennies on the dollar.
Ben Flajole’s first piece at ROTOscouting discussed this as his, “5 Reasons To Love The Astros In 2013 And Beyond” piece found nine players projected to make the Astros opening day roster had been ranked in a major prospect publication’s top-100 in recent years while with another organization. So what’s one more? A Ryan Lavarnway trade would allow him to join Chris Carter, Matt Dominguez, Robbie Grossman, Alex White, Dexter Fowler, Jonathan Villar, Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Brad Peacock. An even 10 is a nice, round number after releasing Brett Wallace.
In all seriousness, it’s not as if Carlos Corporan is anything more than a warm body posing as a backup catcher. Now 30, his 144 games of scratch baseball in terms of WAR is the definition of replacement level. Of course Lavarnway has been worth -0.9 WAR in just 88 games, so maybe it’s not the best argument, but a Ryan Lavarnway trade means acquiring the 26-year old at a low point. Plus, both Oliver and ZIPS projections expect Lavarnway to outperform Corporan in 2014.
At first base, Jesus Guzman is keeping the position warm for top prospect Jonathan Singleton. Now 29, it appears opposing pitchers have found his weakness and are exploiting it. How else can one explain a 2011 wRC+ of 140, 2012 wRC+ of 105 and 2013 wRC+ of 92. Based on projection systems, a Ryan Lavarnway trade would also present an upgrade at first base by about half a win.
Chris Carter is the designated hitter and his 29 home runs and 12% walk rate resulted in an above average MLB hitter. However, even players whose best defensive position is the bench can tire over the course of a grueling season. And if Carter goes down, Marc Krauss is expected to assume the bulk of designated hitter at bats. As with Guzman and Corporan a Ryan Lavarnway trade presents an upgrade.
Will A Ryan Lavarnway Trade Revitalize His Career?
In an era of any minimum salaried big leaguer having value, as well as the need for versatility with teams keeping 12 pitchers instead of 11, a player like Ryan Lavarnway isn’t worthless. If released, he’ll be claimed, maybe even by the Houston Astros.
As a big believer of promoting players once they dominate the level of competition in the best interest of player development, it’s difficult not to wonder if Lavarnway being held in Triple-A for too long ultimately hurt the catcher’s ceiling.
Having scouted him with Greenville, the top-100 ranking was a head scratcher considering the iffy defense and old player skills. However, a Ryan Lavarnway trade provides him a second chance to become a backup capable of chipping in 350 league average plate appearances per season. I’d be happy with that outcome considering he was my last player picked in the TDGX Experts League fantasy baseball draft.
19 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: MLB Analysis
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