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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Blue Jays - Acquire Santos
Toronto Blue Jays acquire DSA Sergio Santos from the Chicago White Sox for RHP prospect Nestor Molina.
I’d hate to think the logic behind this deal is on the order of—We had 25 blown saves and only 33 saves last year. With a Proven Veteran Closer we might have made the playoffs. Santos was 30 of 36 last year, Problem solved.
In the first place 83% is an unremarkable save conversion rate for a closer. (he had 2 holds in 2 opportunities as well. Count those and it’s 84%. Doesn’t change the point). Frank Francisco was at 81% last year just for a useful baseline.
Second, a blown save isn’t a loss. It’s more like 2/3 of a loss.
And of course many blown saves happen before the closer ever gets into the game. (Which is why it makes sense to include holds in calculating save percentage. The Jays had 50 holds)
Anyhow, I’m pretty sure that the deal has more to do with Santos’ strikeout rate, the fact that he gave up very few hits and that his control (5 of his 29 walks last year were intentional) is ... borderline acceptable all things considered. Given that he’s so raw as a pitcher (after spending years as a fairly highly regarded infield prospect he was converted to a pitcher in 2009), there is room for optimism.
After looking more closely at Santos, I can understand why you would want him. But I have to say I wouldn’t have given up Nestor Molina unless it was at gunpoint. And I might just have to take the bullet.
He’s been around for a while but he’s still only 23 (or will be in early January). Yes, TINSTAAPP (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect), and A ball numbers aren’t what you’d call perfect indicators of future major league success. Still, what I see is a young pitcher who seems to be able to handle starting, has excellent control and stuff that is very likely good enough (his strikeout rate took a nice step up last year, even as he faced better competition). You never know how things will go with a pitcher, but I like his chances. And I don’t mean to merely make it to the majors (unless he’s hurt it would be an upset if he doesn’t make the majors), but to be a successful, front of the rotation starter. And if that’s what he does turn out to be, the Jays will regret this deal for a long time.
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