Wednesday, May 02, 2007

See Ya Later, Mate!

The Nationals just traded Chris Snelling, the under-used left-handed hitter for Ryan Langerhans, formerly of the Braves, lately of the A's.

Initially, my reaction was to get sick. But when I thought about it, it's really not a terrible deal... if he's used the right way.

Langerhans, who really needs more As in his name -- Laangerhaans, is a tremendous defensive outfielder in the corners, and likely is a pretty fair defensive center fielder.

Offensively, he's not going to carry a team, but at his best, he's a league average hitter.

When you're a league average hitter who plays tremendous defense, you're a valuable player.

Now he's struggling terribly this year, but so are lots of players. And he's likely to improve.

The reason why I sorta like the deal is that Snelling wasn't going to be an asset on this team with the way they were using him. He was clearly behind Casto on the LF depth chart. And with Nook Logan set to come back, he'd be behind Church in the LF depth chart as well. At best, he'd be used as a fifth outfielder (even if he's a better player than that).

If they play Langerhans in center -- or even platoon him with Logan -- the Nats will have gained a starting outfielder for a fifth outfielder, a player they weren't going to use.

So on a talent basis, it's probably a wash. Snelling for Langerhans alone is a fair deal. But on a resource basis, Langerhans is likely to contribute more to the team than they would allow Snelling to.

And that has lots of value.

We didn't really get a chance to see Snelling in action, and I wish they had given him a better chance. But they didn't. So welcome Langerhans, and wish Snelling well. And the good folks at USS Mariner now get to see their favorite player back -- just not in the uniform they were expecting.

  • Right on queue, our friends at The Book blog, have a discussion about Langerhans and his value. Check out the first few comments. Short version: at worst, he's a league average performer.


    • So, what else is new? The "hitless wonders" get themselves another weak stick. Way to go JimBo!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/02/2007 11:15 PM  

    • Chris, I submitted your story here to Ballhype. Check it out:

      I don't think this trade hurts the Nats at all, at worst it is six of one, half a dozen of the other. It's probably the old "change of scenery" idea. Hey, at least Langerhans has seen most of the pitchers he's going to be facing the rest of the season.

      By Blogger Joe Riley, at 5/02/2007 11:22 PM  

    • I honestly think the trade was made to save $40k in salary. I'm pretty sure Bowden wasn't planning on making any trades to make this team better(even marginally so) this year so if he can cut salary(anywhere) and not make the team worse on paper it fits into "The Plan". I hope everyone saw the mid-inning interview on MASN, where he both mentioned "The Plan" and expressed his(also possibly Kasten's) long time interest in Langerhans a tendency that might come back and bite them during their off season "Fire-buys"

      By Blogger Dave O'Leary, at 5/02/2007 11:27 PM  

    • Does anyone know if Langerhans has options left? Wasn't Snelling out of them?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/02/2007 11:46 PM  

    • Read this AM that Langer... is out of options.

      Can't believe that Beane would go after a guy who has a pretty high number of Ks to BBs. OBP is not that great either...

      As for the Nats, we need offense. Period.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/03/2007 8:12 AM  

    • I wonder if Langerhans is insurance in case Nook doesn't hit?

      The Nats still would not have a true space-eating, ball-hawking CF if Nook goes. But with Church, Kearns, and Langerhans--and with Escobar and Casto all in the mix out there, the ground could maybe be covered well enough until Nats can pick up a CF.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/03/2007 10:37 AM  

    • Anyway you slice it, the Nats SUCK. Plain and simple. They're an AAAA team playing in the major leagues.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/03/2007 11:27 AM  

    • Yeah? So? What's your point?

      Take that to the forums, please.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2007 11:29 AM  

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