Just like always, it looks like Yunel Escobar has been traded. The object of desire for a few teams over the past week or so, Escobar finds himself moving to another Florida team in a trade that sends him from Miami to Tampa in exchange for prospect Derek Dietrich. We haven’t received word yet on whether or not Escobar’s gay friends will be making the journey with him, though we totally believe he has gay friends. I mean, come on, it totally justifies the eye black incident!
Escobar has been a quality shortstop at multiple junctures in his career, but it’s difficult to name him such at this particular point in time. Obviously the Rays stake their existence on claiming players at rock bottom and building a kick-ass farm system, so this deal isn’t that surprising for them to make. Escobar hit a pithy .253/.300/.344 a year ago, but his track record has a few gold stars strewn about it. Wait, I’m sorry, did I say pithy? The adjective I meant to use was “Loney-esque.”
Escobar is the owner of a career .743 OPS and UZR has consistently deemed him a solid defender, so there are still things to like about the guy even if he’s a total douchebag. I almost, a la Louis C.K., used a different word but thought better of it. Anyway, Escobar has twice been a 4-WAR player, and he’s a pretty safe bet to be at least a 2-WAR player even if his bat remains missing. He is exactly the kind of player a franchise like the Rays needs to take a chance on, and I like that they’re looking to solidify the shortstop position.
What about this Derek Deitrich character? Other than having a given name Spencer doesn’t like very much, we know that this guy is a 23-year-old infielder who probably won’t end up sticking at shortstop. He has some power, though, and his consistently-high slugging percentages and ISO marks point to that skill. FanGraphs had him pegged as the 15th best prospect in the Tampa system before the 2012 season started, and he’s interesting, but I don’t mind this move for the Rays. Given Miami’s need (at this point) to start from scratch, I guess I don’t mind the move from their perspective either.