Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ryan Jackson for Jesus Guzman Swap

The Astros pulled off a swap yesterday with the Padres, exchanging Ryan Jackson for Jesus Guzman. Ryan Jackson, you might remember, was claimed off waivers after being DFA'd by the Cardinals on November 20, 2013. Almost, but not quite, made it a month with the Astros. He is considered a defense first shortstop, who has not hit very well in AAA the past couple years, putting up a 89 wRC+ each of the last two years. He was projected to serve as Villar's backup and handcuff. That job will apparently be handed back to Marwin now.

In return, the Astros got Jesus Guzman. Guzman is a 29 year old 1B, who had a lot of success in his first season in the majors, putting up a .312/.369/.478 line in 2011, but has struggled to hit consistently in Petco. In 2013, he hit only .226/.297/.378 in total, but put up a .279/.339/.526 line on the road. In addition, he has a career .286/.358/.460 line against lefties (on the road, he has crushed lefites to the tune of .321/.383/.505), and Luhnow hinted yesterday he could serve as a platoon partner with Wallace, who is useless against lefties (and not so great against righties either).

This is not really a major move, and there was real value in having Jackson bolster the shortstop position. However, Guzman's bat has shown promise, and might just need regular at bats away from Petco to really blossom.