State Of The Trade: Volquez For Hamilton

It is a useful exercise to take a look back at trades that were made, to help evaluate exactly how they are going for both teams. With the news of Edinson Volquez receiving a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, now seems like a good time to evaluate the deal that sent Volquez and Danny Herrera from Texas to Cincinnati in exchange for Josh Hamilton.

As Tim pointed out earlier this afternoon, the suspension itself does very little to impact Volquez's value to the Reds. His 50-game suspension begins tomorrow, with Volquez on the DL. He had Tommy John Surgery on August 3, 2009, so even the most optimistic projections wouldn't have had him back before the 50 games is up.

As to who is ahead in this deal, it is hard to say. Both Hamilton and Volquez have had one fantastic season with their post-trade teams. Hamilton posted a .304/.371/.530 line with Texas in 2008 during his age-27 season. Volquez, during that same season, put up a 17-6, 3.21 ERA line in his age-24 season.

By Baseball Prospectus' Wins Above Replacement Player, Volquez was worth 5.3 WARP in 2008, Hamilton checking in at 5.5. As per Fangraphs.com's WAR, Volquez was slightly ahead, 4.3 to 4.1. Both had injury-marred 2009 seasons, and have posted roughly equivalent value for their two teams so far.

Moving forward, Hamilton is off to a rough start in 2010, at .222/.333/.390 through his first 48 plate appearances. Volquez, of course, won't be able to help Cincinnati until later this season if at all.

With his litany of injuries, it is hard to count on Hamilton to recapture his 2007 form. Volquez is coming back from Tommy John surgery, a fairly common occurrence. Volquez is also significantly younger; Hamilton turns 29 on May 21, Volquez turns just 27 on July 3.  However, projecting pitchers is almost always harder than projecting hitters.

This challenge trade seems too close to call right now, but Volquez seems likelier to regain elite player status. More money, however, is due to Hamilton. He earns $3.25MM in 2010, as he was arbitration-eligible this past offseason, while Volquez makes just $445K (and the Reds won't need to pay him for the next 50 games, or roughly a third of that salary).

In the meantime? Danny Herrera keeps on keeping on, following a 3.06 ERA in 61 2/3 innings in 2009 with a strong start in 2010. Just 25, Herrera may be the difference-maker in this deal after all.


18 Responses to State Of The Trade: Volquez For Hamilton Leave a Reply

  1. Bravoboy10 5 years ago

    “With his litany of injuries, it is hard to count on Hamilton to recapture his 2007 form”

    Could be wrong, but did you mean his ’08 form?

  2. baycommuter 5 years ago

    What are the odds that the substance abuser in that trade would turn out to be Volquez?

  3. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    its amazing how some 5″6 guy can be so effective. that screwball is nasty.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      he is a beast.

    • penpaper 5 years ago

      Its a treat to watch him pitch. I watch Reds games just because of him. Its a shame not many people know about him. He could be one of the best set up/middle relievers in a few years.

      • redsfan7147 5 years ago

        do you know anything about baseball? im a huge reds fan and you say you watch the reds games and you honestly think herrea is good?? he throws 84 at the most, hitters wait on his “junk” all day and kill it he sucks he doesnt belong passed double A

        • Herrera is not great, but he is definitely good. And he has definitely pitched well this year and is likely only going to get better as his walks go down. He pitches to contact and gets twice as many ground balls and fly outs which is exactly what you want out of a middle reliever. He’ll never be a set up guy but its hard to get a whole lot better for a 6th and 7th inning lefty.

  4. Hamilton still was more valuable over the 3 years, Hamilton’s total WAR is 5.8 since coming to TEX and Volquez & Herrera’s is 5.1 since 2008.

  5. fpz 5 years ago

    Analyze the Dan Haren trade, damn I love that trade.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      which one? cards to oakland or oakland to arizona.

    • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

      Cardinals fans have tried to forget he exists for hope of not thinking about our rotation with him in it….

  6. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    seriously? He gets drugs from a foreign country and expects to pass drug tests?

  7. Ethanator99 5 years ago

    Volquez and Danny Ray. Two of my favorite Reds.

  8. tmoney352 5 years ago

    personally, i’d say the rangers won in the deal and my opinion is solely based on exposure and popularity. Hamilton’s ’08 season helped give the Rangers a ton of positive exposure, with the biggest exposure Texas has had in the past decade being the A-Rod debacle. So while Ham may cost more salary wise, I think his worth to the franchise has far exceeded that.

  9. Exactly what I have been saying for a long time. D-Ray wins this trade for us. Danny Ray is a great guy and a hell of a pitcher! DRH makes the Reds a better team.

  10. redsfan7147 5 years ago

    how does anyone think that danny herrea is actually good? do you watch him pitch ever?

  11. AB 5 years ago

    Even though I agree that Hamilton is a higher injury risk and is owed more money, it’s tempting to wonder what the Reds’ chances would look like with an order including Rolen, Votto, Hamilton, Phillips and Bruce and pitching that would be largely unchanged, sans the recovering Volquez and effective Herrera.

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