The Mets Acquire Infielder Brandon Hicks

Ezra Shaw

In a move that will hopefully serve as the pinky toe in the pool that is that is this year's player acquisition frenzy, the Mets sent cash considerations to the Athletics for a backup middle infielder.

What are cash considerations anyway? The Mets sent some to the Athletics for Brandon Hicks, that much we know. But how much, and even if it was cash and not just the mutual pondering of our monetary system as a whole, that we don't know. Hicks is certainly worth the latter, but how much of the former should he require?

He's 27 and he's only managed 98 Major League plate appearances. This is because he can't make contact. His strikeout rates in the high minors are mostly between 25 and 30%, which suggests a major league talent level over 30% (hint: that's not a sustainable strikeout rate for a middle infielder). Strikeouts do come with power, and Hicks slugged .506 in Triple-A Sacramento this year, but the power is a newcomer. He regularly slugged below league averages before 2011. And Sacramento is in the Pacific Coast League, which augments slugging numbers.

Nobody is too excited about his defense. He probably won't make much major league contact. But you can stick him in Triple-A if he clears waivers, and he can serve as Justin Turner's backup on a team that does need some organizational depth up the middle on the infield. He can take a walk and run into the occasional double or homer off the bench in August once someone has gone down with a hammy strain.

Just how much cash that is worth, we'll have to consider.

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