Nov 5, 2009, 11:44 AM EDT
Nothing is official yet, but Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports that the Royals have agreed to trade Mark Teahen to the White Sox for Chris Getz and Josh Fields.
According to Madden the White Sox plan to use Teahen in right field as the replacement for free agent Jermaine Dye, who’s not expected back in Chicago. Teahen made $3.575 million this season and has two more years of increasingly expensive arbitration eligibility ahead of him, so the Royals were smart to cash him in now for a pair of young, cheap players, although neither Getz nor Fields is particularly promising.
Despite having a reputation in some circles for being an impact player, Teahen has a modest .269/.331/.419 career hitting line, including .271/.325/.408 this season, and has topped an .800 OPS once in five years. And for all the talk of his supposed defensive versatility, in reality he’s a sub par third baseman who’s logged all of 23 career innings at second base. In other words, he’s basically a corner outfielder or first baseman with a .749 lifetime OPS, which just isn’t very valuable in a 28-year-old making good money.
Getz and Fields aren’t exactly stud prospects, of course, but they have a chance to be solid contributors for the Royals and just as importantly they’re both cheaply under team control for years. Getz hit .261/.324/.347 with 25 steals in 107 games this season as a 25-year-old rookie after batting .301/.369/.442 in 116 games at Triple-A. His defense graded out poorly according to Ultimate Zone Rating, but he should be able to hit .275 or so with a decent on-base percentage, a handful of homers, and good speed.
Fields is tougher to figure, because after a solid rookie season in 2007 he spent nearly all of 2008 in the minors and then struggled between Triple-A and Chicago this year. He’s hit just .229/.302/.416 through 204 games in the majors, which isn’t very promising when combined with the fact that he’ll be 27 years old next month and may not have the glove to stick at third base. Fields has hit .281/.370/.485 in 282 games at Triple-A and has 25-homer power, but he strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk much.
By adding Getz and Fields to the mix the Royals have raised questions about Alex Gordon and Alberto Callaspo while perhaps setting up another trade. Getz doesn’t have much upside beyond “decent all-around second baseman” and Fields is a coin-flip to have even that much value at this point, but he’s not without potential thanks to his power. Plus, parting with Teahen has very little impact on the Royals now or in the future, because he’s a mediocre 28-year-old about to make too much money.
I’m not particularly high on Getz or Fields, but to me this is still a pretty clear win for the Royals, which isn’t something that has been said much since Dayton Moore took over as general manager. For the White Sox, while Teahen wouldn’t be particularly valuable in right field moving Getz could allow Gordon Beckham to shift from third base to second base while clearing the way for general manager Ken Williams to make a major run at free agent Chone Figgins.
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