Saturday, December 22, 2012

Garrett Jones: "A Poor Man's Josh Hamilton"

Neal Huntington should not be allowed to make any more trades for the Pirates. Just stop it. When Huntington swings a deal, the problem always is the return. He rarely gets true value in return. Huntington's track record speaks for itself.

This post is not to decry the Joel Hanrahan trade to the Boston Red Sox, although we're tempted. We simply don't know enough about the two suspects prospects the Pirates received in return, but you can't blame us for being skeptical about minor leaguers Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimintel, whom the Red Sox seemed to proffer with a shrug.

Rather, let's just say we simply don't trust Huntington and Frank Coonelly to do the smart thing, let alone the right thing. We just don't trust them. Period. Whether their actions are driven by perfidy or stupidity, we just don't trust them.

Which brings us to Garrett Jones.  Before Huntington-Coonelly do anything stupid -- like, say, include Jones as part of the rest of a deal with Boston -- humor us this query: Why do the Pirates under-value Jones?

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls consider Garrett Jones a "Poor Man's Josh Hamilton."  Don't laugh. Clearly, Hamilton's the better player, and we're not even comparing the two -- just suggesting that for the money due Jones this year, the Pirates should keep him, especially in terms of relative value.

Taking a closer look ...
  • As a second-time arbitration-eligible player, Jones's contract might be $2.25 million this year.  
  • Hamilton will make more than 10 times that: $25 million (in the first year of a five-year contract worth $125 million).  
  • Both Jones and Hamilton are 31 years old. 
  • Both are left-handed batters.
  • Jones is listed at 6'4, 30 lbs.
  • Hamilton is 6'4", 240 lbs. 
  • In 2012, Jones appeared in 145 games with 515 plate appearances and 475 at-bats, 33 walks (2 intentional) and 103 strikeouts.
  • In 2012, Hamilton appeared in 146 games with 636 plate appearances, 562 at-bats, 60 walks (13 intentional) and 162 strikeouts.
  • Jones posted a .274 batting average, a .317 OBP, .516 SLG and .832 OPS with 245 total bases.
  • Hamilton posted a .285 batting average, a .354 OBP, .577 SLG and .930 OPS with 324 total bases.
  • Jones scored 68 runs, had 130 hits, 28 doubles, three triples, 27 home runs and 86 RBIs. 
  • Hamilton scored 103 runs, had 160 hits, 31 doubles, two triples, 43 home runs and 128 RBIs.

Clearly, Hamilton is the better player. All we're saying is that for the production -- assuming we can project it to continue along similar lines -- Jones is a bargain at one year for $2.25 million -- especially when considered vis-a-vis Hamilton's $25 million (as the first installment of a $125 million commitment over five years).

At Jones's salary, ironically, the Texas Rangers (Hamilton's former team) come to mind as a club that would probably love to get him; or the Red Sox, or the Yankees, or just about any other "real" team.

And the Pirates are giving all indications they can't get rid of Jones fast enough, just like they couldn't get rid of Hanrahan fast enough. Stupid.

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