After watching Gregor Blanco's play yesterday (via Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports) to save Matt Cain's perfect game, and read that he went 2-5 with a home run and three RBI's I couldn't stop thinking about when I wrote about him being a possibility for the A's.
As a Venezuelan, I can honestly say that I know how good of a baseball player Blanco is. His numbers in Venezuela are great, and could be considered one of the best players in our local winter league. He actually won the MVP award last season.
I remember saying that the A's could give him a shot at winning a spot on the team. He was a cheap acquisition for the Giants, and look at his production right now. I'm not saying that Blanco would have been the answer for the A's. They would probably still be in last place with him anyway, but Blanco could have been a good trading chip for the A's down the road.
Blanco became the Giants' insurance against an Alfonso Soriano trade. He is hitting .280/.374/.453 with 4 HR's, .365 wOBA and a 135 OPS+, and Soriano is hitting .280/.328/.509 with 12 HR's, .351 wOBA and a 124 OPS+. Defensively, both players are pretty similar in 2012. Soriano's UZR is 6.8 and Blanco's UZR is 5.4. So by having Blanco, a $516,000 player, the Giants don't need to trade for Soriano.
Let's say the A's had signed Blanco to a Minor League deal, he earns a spot in the A's active roster and makes $516,000 for this season. Now, let's look for players with similar wOBA's like Blanco (.365), maybe .02 more points and .02 less points. Here's a list with the players with wOBA's between .367 and .363:
– Curtis Granderson .367 wOBA ($10,000,000)
– Dan Uggla .367 wOBA ($13,200,000)
– Andre Ethier .366 wOBA ($10,950,000)
– Josh Reddick .365 wOBA ($485,000)
– Joe Mauer .364 wOBA ($23,000,000)
– Jose Altuve .363 wOBA ($483,000)
– A.J. Pierzynski .363 wOBA ($6,000,000)
According to this numbers, the average salary for a player with a wOBA between .367 and .363 would be $9,159,714.29, or $8,643,714.29 more than what Blanco makes. Obviously, the A's wouldn't have been able to “sell” Blanco for $9 million, but I think they could have sold him for at least twice his original value.
Image by J. Chris Vaughan under the Creative Commons License Agreement.