Ran across this article over at Yahoo! Sports; Doug Poe, a Yahoo contributor doesn’t see much to rave about in the trade that brought Scott Rolen to the Reds:
During his three full years with Cincinnati, Edwin Encarnacion averaged nearly 20 homers, 72 RBIs, and hit about .270. The player they acquired in exchange for him, Scott Rolen, had similar numbers in RBI and BA, but averaged only 14 homers during that same three-year span.
Besides the power factor, the younger player has had just a few short stints on the DL in his professional career. He played 139 and 146 games during his last two years with the Reds, while the older player has spent time on the D.L. for the last five seasons. In fact, he has already suffered a hand injury that shut him down for much of spring training.
I’ve said many of these same things myself and still am no big Rolen fan. But one of the biggest advantages (other than the unproveable “leadership” he supposedly brought to the team), and one not mentioned by Mr. Poe, is that he’s much, much better defensively. Rolen won a Gold Glove last year and while I don’t think he was a Gold Glover, he was leaps and bounds better than the inconsistent Encarnacion is at 3B.
Later in the article he talks about Rolen’s horrible second half, but Rolen did still put up an OPS+ of 129 and a WAR of 3.9, to Encarnacion’s 111/1.6 (though Rolen’s was with 170 more PAs).
Another question he asks:
How much credit should Rolen’s leadership be given for the Reds success last year? Cincinnati did improve by 13 games with Rolen, aided by an MVP season from first baseman Joey Votto.
The Blue Jays improved nearly as much with Encarnacion on the team, winning 10 more games than the previous year. Actually, Toronto’s 85 wins playing in the tough AL East against the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, were more impressive than Cincinnati’s 91 victories playing in the weak NL Central with Pittsburgh, Houston, and Chicago.
What do you think, going into the 2011 season…good deal or bad deal? And why?