Saturday, 9 November 2013

When a Half-Measure is Close Enough

Ryan Hanigan appears to be available, given that the Reds have signed Brayan Pena to a two-year deal, and have Devin Mesoraco kicking around as well.  Some juice on Hanigan.

  • Ryan Hanigan is a career .262/.359/.343 hitter, with a walkrate of 12% and a strikeout rate of 10.1%.  He hits for very little power (.081 ISO career), but gets on base and makes contact at a pretty good rate.
  • Ryan Hanigan is pretty good defensively, and has some nice insights on pitch framing.
  • Ryan Hanigan is set to make $2.3MM through arbitration, which is actually less than JP Arencibia.
  • Ryan Hanigan is not JP Arencibia.
  • Ryan Hanigan is not a free agent-- a team interested in his services would need to come to an agreement with the Cincinatti Reds on a cost, which is probably easier than coming to an agreement with a player/agent on how much money it would take to bring him in.
That stuff all seems pretty good.  If you can't get Brian McCann, you could certainly do worse than Ryan Hanigan on a 1-year deal (i.e. JP Arencibia).

I guess the main issue here is that Hanigan is 33 years old, and is coming off a season where he hit .198/.306/.261 over 275 plate appearances.  The Reds will certainly be selling low on Hanigan, which makes taking a flyer on him an attractive option.  He still walked more than he struck out, he still put up some pretty good defensive numbers, and he had a babip that was about 65 points lower than his career mark without any significant change in his batted ball profile-- his IFFB% rose by 4%, which is certainly a bad sign, but his 2013 LD%, GB% and FB% are all within a percentage point of his career norms.

For a team in need of catching help, Hanigan and Thole could certainly split time for a relatively inexpensive price.  If there is any kind of payroll restrictions in Toronto this year, acquiring Hanigan for a prospect or bullpen arm will allow the Jays to allocate money elsewhere, such as 2B or the rotation.  Acquiring Hanigan, in and of itself, would probably be a sort of half-measure, but as part of the big picture, Hanigan is a cheap alternative that would plug a hole and allow AA to go focus on the bigger parts of the offseason.

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