Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WB2PB Trade Deadline Evaluation: Chris Iannetta

Over the next nine days, we will take a look at one player who is in the rumor mill to join the Pirates leading up to the trade deadline. Today's installment is Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta.
The batting order with the addition of Iannetta: 
1. Presley/Tabata/Paul, LF;  2. Jones, RF; 3. Walker, 2B;  4. McCutchen, CF;  5. Alvarez, 3B; 6. Pearce/Overbay, 1B; 7. Iannetta, C; 8. Cedeno, SS; 9. pitcher.

  • For a guy with a .223 batting average, a .377 on-base percentage is pretty outstanding. He's drawn 58 walks in 301 plate appearances
  • Well, he's a healthy catcher and after watching Michael McKenry take a bat to the glove in Monday's game, that really can't be understated, despite Doumit's scheduled return this week.
  • The best hope for him at the plate is usually a walk. Iannetta is simply atrocious away from the friendly confines of Coors Field, sporting a .154 batting average and just 3 of his 10 home runs.
  • OK behind the plate, but has allowed 5 passed balls this year. He has thrown out 24% of the runners trying to steal on him, about the same as Doumit and McKenry.
Iannetta would come with a $3.550 million in 2012 and a team option of $5 million (which the Bucs would buy out for $250K). The Rockies are sellers in the trading market but the pieces they are offering aren't much to shop for. Jason Giambi was on the block until last night's injured quad made him a likely candidate for the DL. Ty Wigginton has familiarity with Pittsburgh but his road batting avg. in 2011 is almost identical to the .237 average he put up in 337 abs with the Pirates in 2004-05.

The one good thing about Iannetta is that he is a catcher. The Pirates have limped through this season at the position and currently would have a rushed-back Doumit, a needing-to-be-promoted Jason Jaramillo or Travis Fryer behind the plate if McKenry had been injured on the play on Monday. All, including Iannetta, are not big helps offensively but with the uncertainity at catcher, it may just be worth it. Forgotten in this is Chris Snyder, who could return by not likely until rosters are expanded on Sept. 1.

Getting Iannetta might be more of a necessity for GN Neal Huntington that a want. Maybe a package that could also land a pitcher but the only attractive arms for the Rockies are either too young for Colorado to trade or too expensive for the Pirates to pay for.

Likely chance of acquisition: 25 percent

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