Opinions on the Mike Jacobs Trade

There are differing opinions on the Mike Jacobs trade.

ESPN’s Keith Law has a very strong view on the Jacobs trade:


Jason (NJ): Thoughts on the Jacobs for Nunez trade?

Keith Law: I am officially off the Dayton Moore train. Mike Jacobs stinks. A .299 OBP from an everyday corner infielder? They gave up a decent relief arm AND they’re going to pay Jacobs arb salaries when Kile Ka’aihue (of whom I am no huge fan) is sitting right there and could provide equal or better production for free. To say nothing of Shealy or the out-of-favor Billy Butler. It’s just a bad move for KC, and hey, a free reliever for Florida.


I addressed this briefly in chat Thursday, but it’s worth reiterating: The Royals’ trade for Mike Jacobs was a profoundly wrongheaded move.

Jacobs should not get regular playing time from a major league club, period. The fact that the Royals looked at him and thought, “Wow, everyday first baseman!” is terrifying, because it’s so wrong.

Dave Cameron of FanGraphs adds:

The Marlins, always in cost-cutting mode, weren’t particularly interested in taking Jacobs to arbitration this winter, and with a team full of bad defenders, opening up first base to hide one of them seems like a pretty good idea.

He runs some numbers:

But from the other perspective, why on earth does Kansas City want Jacobs? Yes, his power is appealing, and he’s better than his .299 OBP in 2008 would suggest, but even as a .270/.330/.490 guy (which is basically what Marcel has him projected at for 2009), he’s just barely better than a legue average hitter. If we call him +5 runs offensively, then subtract 10 runs for the position adjustment, he’d be a -5 run player if he played league average defense. But he doesn’t – he’s one of the worst defensive first baseman in the game, racking up +/- ratings of -12, -10, and -27 the last three years. Even if we consider 2008 to be an outlier, we’d have to estimate his defensive value at around -10 runs compared to an average first baseman, which we then add to his previous -5 rating, and all of the sudden, Jacobs is about 15 runs worse than a league average first baseman.

And, he also suggests:

Nunez’s sparkly 2.98 ERA and 94 MPH fastball have them thinking that he could be a potential late inning reliever. Even though they’re wrong on that count (Nunez’s combination of lots of fly balls and no strikeouts make him a pretty lousy reliever), moving Jacobs before he costs them too much money makes sense for Florida.

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