Ask Nash: A Second Base Blockbuster


NASH!  I have a potential huge trade, I get Robinson Cano for Dustin Pedroia and Matt Moore, I have plenty of pitching, but is this too much for Cano?  

 

The quick response:

I am the biggest Pedroia fan out there, just ask Clave and Dixon, However if you can spare the pitching, then I say pull the trigger, especially if you’re in a keeper league. I think Cano is that much better than Pedroia rest of season, as Robbie should put up MVP-caliber numbers this season.

Nash

The explanation:

Much like last week’s question when the reader was giving up Josh Hamilton for Matt Holliday and Shelby Miller, I am still on the side of wanting the best player in the trade. However Robinson Cano for Dustin Pedroia and Matt Moore is a MUCH tougher trigger to pull than holding onto Hamilton at the sake of netting Holliday and Miller.

Matt Moore is the real deal, right behind guys like Madison Bumgarner and probably in front of Jordan Zimmermann. So if this guy did not specify that he has plenty of pitching I would have asked for his pitching situation. For me, any pitcher is the perfect deal sweetener, whether it be a starter, closer or middle relief guy. Most of the time those stats can be found in free agency or made up by streaming, even with a rising elite pitcher like Matt Moore.

Now if the trade would have been Dustin and Clayton Kershaw, you decline and say, “as if…” circa the mid 90’s.

However we have to look directly at the two second basemen here to really dissect this trade. Pedroia is either 2nd or 3rd at his position. Ian Kinsler may or may not fall in front of him year in and year out, but Cano is undoubtedly the number one guy at the spot. So when dealing with a trade up, you have to truly know what you are getting in return.

Cano is about as durable as they come, while Pedroia will most likely find his way onto the DL at some point. Or even worse he will try to play through a minor injury, compounding the issue and hurting your statline in the process. Pedroia will certainly steal more bases and probably finish with a higher average but Robbie will challenge there more than you think. Cano will easily match or beat Dustin’s run production, and homers he should beat by 10 and RBI won’t even be close, even with Dustin hitting in the 3 spot.

Cano is mashing so far and that Yankees’ lineup is brutal. If, and that is a BIG if, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera can come back strong to fill in around Cano, then Cano will really make a run at the AL MVP.

Preseason floor projections for Pedroia and Cano were something around:

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Cano

85

20

90

5

.265

Pedroia

85

15

65

15

.275

Now their ceiling projections were around:

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Cano

110

40

120

10

.300

Pedroia

115

25

95

25

.320

In my opinion is would be about a 10% probability that Dustin would hit his ceiling numbers, even if the pieces around him (Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury) continue to swing good bats and stay healthy (another big if). Cano hitting his ceiling is far more likely.

I just think these two players are at different places in their respective careers. Cano is truly still rising to his top years, and unfortunately for Pedroia, he peaked early. Or rather, unfortunately for Pedroia’s fantasy owners, as they are still hoping for his former MVP self to return.  

As a real baseball player Pedroia still offers so much. But as as a fantasy 2B, he offers much less. This does not mean that he is not the 2nd or 3rd best 2B, just that the disparity between he and the top 2B, Cano, is great enough to need to sweeten the deal to obtain Cano to your fantasy team.

Tags: 2B Dustin Pedroia Matt Moore Robinson Cano