FanPost

Trade Target: Ryan Hanigan

USA TODAY Sports

LL's Offseason Plan was recently dealt it's first blow when Geovany Soto re-signed with the Rangers. The Mariners badly need some depth at catcher, and a potential value just became available. The Reds signed Brayan Pena to a two-year deal, leaving them with three catchers in Pena, Devin Mesoraco, and Ryan Hanigan. Mesoraco, a former top prospect, is still seen as the catcher of the future, so the 33-year-old Hanigan seems a sure bet to be moved. This suspicion is supported by Ken Rosenthal. Hanigan is something of a stathead's dream. So, is he a fit?


Offense

Hanigan, for his career, has a 90 wRC+, with a .262/.359/.343 slash line. By far his biggest strength is his 12.0% walk rate, compared to his 10.1% K rate. He hasn't supplied much power, but his on-base ability makes him a fine hitter for a catcher. The bad news is, he's coming off by far his worst season, at .198/.306/.261. This is mostly due to a low BABIP of .216, much lower than his career average .283. Most other peripherals are right in line with his career averages


BB%

K%

BB/K

ISO

BABIP

wRC+

LD%

GB%

FB%

2013

11.20%

10.40%

1.07

0.063

0.216

53

21.50%

49.20%

29.20%

Career

12.00%

10.10%

1.19

0.081

0.283

90

21.90%

49.60%

28.50%


It's possible his true talent is dropping off as he leaves his prime, but he seems to be a good candidate for a bounceback. He also owns a .398 OBP against lefties for his career, so he's a good fit for a Mariners lineup desperate for hitters who can handle lefties.

Defense

This is where Hanigan truly shines. Catcher defense is notoriously hard to quantify, but by all estimations, Hanigan is among the best in the game:

-For his career, he's thrown out 40.4% of baserunners

-Mike Fast's excellent pitch framing studies have rated him among the best pitch framers in the game

-StatCorner's Catcher Report shows that he has gotten nearly 2 extra calls a game since he joined the league, further lending evidence that he's an excellent pitch framer

-RPP, a metric attempting to quantify runs above average at blocking pitches, puts Hanigan among the best in the game since he joined the league in 2008, despite logging way fewer innings than most of his peers

Cost

The Reds cost can't be too high given Hanigan's poor 2013. Other statistically-inclined teams are bound to be in on him, so there might be a little competition. However, he shouldn't cost much more than a mid-level prospect. His salary for 2014 will probably be around $2 million, and he will reach free agency after the season.

Fit

Acquiring Hanigan on the cheap allows the team to pursue other catchers. He can serve as a backup to Zunino, or to another acquisition while Zunino is in Tacoma, and he's easy to dump if need be. As a phenomenal defensive catcher, he's a good guy for Zunino to have around. As stated above, he hits lefties well, something this lineup desperately lacks.

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