Andrew’s thoughts: All else being equal, I’d probably take Abreu over Carlos Santana. It’s not a slam dunk though. And things aren’t equal.
Santana is $35 (!!) cheaper than Abreu, outscored him by 106.9 points last year, and is projected by Steamer and ZiPS to finish with a higher wOBA in 2017. (I know it’s easy to poo-poo projections systems because “OMG they aren’t 100% right all of the time and sometimes they get a player really, really wrong,” but data is data and data is valuable, so…) Even if Abreu’s better, he has to be pretty significantly better to justify the extra $35 in cost. To date, Abreu has a career wOBA just .018 higher than Santana.
I’d much rather have Santana than Abreu straight up at their respective prices.
Plus, HLR added a cheap innings eater in Ervin Santana. He’s not awesome, but he was above average last year and definitely has standalone value. And because the cap savings between Abreu and Santana is so big, he’s basically just a free player for HLR. Even with Santana, HLR’s netting $26 against the cap with this deal, which means buying himself the option of keeping a guy like Garrett Richards.
The other two pieces, the pick and Riley, are whatever. Riley’s interesting and Haddy’s a Braves fan, so I get it. The pick is forever away. They don’t matter much in the grand scheme of this trade.
Jordan’s thoughts: I’m really going to disagree with Andrew on the main point. I’d rather have Jose Abreu, even with the higher price tag. While his points still ring true and make a certain amount of sense, I think Abreu’s ceiling is significantly higher still, and that’s worth paying for.
However, I do think Ervin Santana on top of the price tag difference, makes the trade a little sour to me. I really enjoy watching Jose Abreu, I like the potential, but its hard for me to part with a useful starting pitcher as well. I like the trade for Haddy, but the price was high.
I feel like Haddy bailed out Iosim here, and paid to do so. Come August though, it is not hard to imagine seeing Haddy as a clear winner here.