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Seo Trade

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Stats from Lee Sinins' Around the Majors report today at Hardball Times (Hardball Times).

SEO
YEAR AGE RSAA  ERA     G  GS   IP    SO   SO/9 BR/9   W   L   SV  NW  NL  TEAM
2003 26    9   3.82   32  31  188.1  110  5.26 11.71   9  12   0  11  10  Mets         
2004 27   -8   4.90   24  21  117.2   54  4.13 14.15   5  10   0   7   8  Mets         
2005 28   16   2.59   14  14   90.1   59  5.88 10.06   8   2   0   7   3  Mets         
CAREER    17   3.85   71  66  397.1  224  5.07 12.03  22  24   0  25  21 
LG AVG     0   4.28           397.1  294  6.66 12.80  22  22 

HAMULACK
YEAR AGE RSAA  ERA     G  GS   IP    SO   SO/9 BR/9   W   L   SV  NW  NL  TEAM
2005 28   -5  23.14    6   0    2.1    2  7.71 30.86   0   0   0   0   0  Mets         
CAREER    -5  23.14    6   0    2.1    2  7.71 30.86   0   0   0   0   0 
LG AVG     0   4.23             2.1    2  6.57 12.76   0   0 

SANCHEZ
YEAR AGE RSAA  ERA     G  GS   IP    SO   SO/9 BR/9   W   L   SV  NW  NL  TEAM
2003 23   -8  16.50    6   0    6      3  4.50 27.00   1   0   0   0   1  Pirates      
2004 24    7   3.38   67   0   80     44  4.95 12.83   3   1   0   2   2  Dodgers      
2005 25    3   3.73   79   0   82     71  7.79 12.51   4   7   8   6   5  Dodgers      
CAREER    -1   4.19  161   0  174    124  6.41 13.40   8   8   8   8   8 
LG AVG     0   4.27           174    129  6.66 12.79  10  10 

SCHMOLL
YEAR AGE RSAA  ERA     G  GS   IP    SO   SO/9 BR/9   W   L   SV  NW  NL  TEAM
2005 25   -5   5.01   48   0   46.2   29  5.59 13.89   2   2   3   2   2  Dodgers      
CAREER    -5   5.01   48   0   46.2   29  5.59 13.89   2   2   3   2   2 
LG AVG     0   4.23            46.2   34  6.57 12.76   3   3 
Four pitchers changed teams, with two righties coming to the Mets and a righty and a lefty heading westward to the Dodgers.

The Hamulack-for-Schmoll portion of the deal is mostly an afterthought, but the Mets were clearly trying to get a bit younger and, for whatever reason, more right-handed. Both pitchers were below average last season. In fact they were equally below average: both saved -5 RSAA (Runs Save Above Average), though it only took The Hammer 2.1 innings to achieve what Schmoll spent 46.2 innings accumulating.

Seo was a much more valuable pitcher than Sanchez in 2005, but he was also a starting pitcher, so he had more opportunities to accumulate value. Once again the Mets get a bit younger, though their starting rotation gets a bit thinner. I mentioned this yesterday, but the real question here is whether Seo's performance last season was an outlier or if it represented his true level. He dominated the Minor Leagues at AAA last season,s triking out more than eight batters per nine innings. He wasn't nearly as overpowering with the Mets, but his walk rate was very good and he allowed just 10.06 baserunners per nine innings, a very good mark. If a runner doesn't reach base he can't possibly score. Seo's K/9 and BR/9 were the best of his career in 2005, so there's certainly reason to believe that he will remain a productive starting pitcher.

As Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts pointed out yesterday (Dodger Thoughts), the key for the Mets in this trade is whether Duaner Sanchez' much improved strikeout rate from last year represents a new established level of performance or just a statistical aberration. His K/9 improved from 4.95 in 2004 to 7.71 in 2005, a big leap. He is just 25 years old, so it's very possible that he is still figuring things out.

Right now it looks like the Dodgers got the better end of the deal, though it's certainly not lopsided. A decent starter (Seo) is almost always more valuable than a decent reliever (Sanchez). A Seo-for-Baez deal would have been better for the Mets, but it's clear that Tampa Bay was looking for more (Heilman) so the Mets made the best trade that they could. Seo will almost certainly be worse next year than he was last year, but his past performance tells us that he'll probably have an ERA around 4.00, a solid walk rate and a below-average strikeout rate, all at a salary of less than $1 million. I think both teams will benefit from this trade, and if Aaron Heilman is left in the bullpen then Sanchez/Heilman/Wagner is a pretty good 7-8-9 triumverate.

UPDATE: Dan Scotto has posted an analysis of this trade over at Beyond the Box Score, so definitely check it out for a second opinion (Beyond the Box Score).