The Foundation sends: LF/CF Rajai Davis ($5), 2017 5th Round Pick
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Christian Friedrich ($5)
Andrew’s thoughts: I begrudge both of these teams for making this deal because I will never get the time back that I have spent creating this post. Seriously: Christian what, Rajai who?
Anyway, I like this one for HLR, I guess. Both guys seem like they probably would have been cut if they weren’t traded and it’s possible they both still will be. Rajai Davis posted a 1.196 points per plate appearance last year and 1.202 the year before. That is good. He’s old and pretty much just a platoon guy, but at $5, eligible at two positions, and with 30 man rosters, he’s a solid bench piece. I mean… cutting him is whatever, you can replace lefty mashers like this. But if you win a guy like him right back at auction for, say, $3, does it really leave you noticeably better off? Getting him now saves some energy later.
Friedrich pitches in a pretty good NL ballpark, so what he lacks in obvious skill he makes up for in circumstantial benefits. Yay, he’s akin to the crappy third string running back that is suddenly valuable because the two guys ahead of him got hurt.
He kept homers down at 0.90 HR/9 last year, so that’s decent. He also struck out fewer than seven per nine and had a BB/9 of 3.62. The 4.16 FIP is about league average, but his xFIP of 4.75 says he could regress in the wrong direction. And his profile is one where regression takes him from useful to useless real quick. Of pitchers with 120 IP last year (hooray arbitrary cut offs), Friedrich’s xFIP ranked 98th out of 110 guys. He ranked 63rd in FIP. He’s a pitcher though, and every pitcher that has ever pitched is in an all-way tie for the #1 ranking in Jordan’s heart.
A fifth round pick is essentially the difference between filling a minor league spot at the end of the draft, after 64+ prospects have already been taken, and just waiting until free agency opens to fill the spot. The former is slightly more valuable than the latter, but I’m wasting keystrokes blabbering on about it.
If you have read this far, I regret to inform you that this is it. The post is over. There is no grand pay-off. No, unfortunately, you have just spent your time reading about Christian Friedrich and Rajai Davis.