Continuing in our periodic look at potential trade targets that have been reported by other media sources, let’s turn our attention to a recent piece by Ken Rosenthal for Fox Sports. In this post, Rosenthal discusses how the White Sox are receiving a lot of interest on two of their top pitchers — John Danks and Gavin Floyd. Within the piece, Rosenthal has this specific quote:
Floyd, who turns 29 on Jan. 27, is not as accomplished as Danks and lacks the left-hander’s upside, but his price is right. Even a low-revenue club such as the Pirates could afford Floyd’s salaries in 2012 and ’13, and fit him nicely into the middle of their rotation.
Gavin Floyd would be a great “transitional piece” for the Pirates. The right-hander’s contract is $7 million in 2012, with a $9.5 million team option in 2013. In essence, his 2012 salary would replace the salary allocated to Paul Maholm in 2011, with the added benefit that Floyd is a superior pitcher at this point in his career than Maholm.
In 2011, Floyd threw 193 innings with rates of 8.4 hits/9 innings, 7.02 strikeouts/9 innings, and 2.09 walks/9 innings. His ERA was 4.37, but his FIP and xFIP both hint at a pitcher that deserved a better fate (3.81 FIP and 3.73 xFIP). For the year, he was worth 3.6 WAR.
Floyd’s arsenal consists of a 91 mph fastball, an 85 mph cutter, a 79 mph curve, and an 85 mph changeup. In looking at his pitch type values, Floyd had the most success with his cutter (1.86 runs/100) and the least with his changeup (-4.80 runs/100). Most likely, it is due to his changeup being thrown too firm, as there is only a 6 mph gap between his fastball and changeup. The interesting item in looking at his pitch types is that it appears he abandoned a slider in 2011 in favor of his cutter. Whether he has always thrown a cutter and it was just never categorized properly is unknown to me.
Even though Rosenthal mentions above that Floyd would fit nicely into the middle of Pittsburgh’s rotation, he would instantly vault to the head of the line and be considered our top pitcher in 2012. With the potential for Floyd to be here for 2012 and 2013, it would help stabilize the pitching staff until Cole and/or Taillon hopefully arrive in 2013. With Floyd anchoring the staff in 2013, it would take the pressure off of those two and allow them to acclimate to the majors.
With all trade speculations, it is anyone’s guess what the White Sox would want and what the Pirates would be willing to provide. The White Sox are in desperate need of youth and athleticism on their team and in the minors. They’re stuck with terrible contracts like Dunn and Rios, so they can’t completely rebuild, but they also can’t realistically expect to contend in 2012 either. It appears as if the Sox are looking to shed some payroll, as per Williams speaking recently to the Chicago Tribune. When asked about if a payroll number had been set for 2012 yet, Williams responded, “Yes. And it’s a little bit less than what we had last year.”
Gavin Floyd Trade Value
written by Tim Williams
To get an idea of Floyd’s trade value, let’s take another look at the trade value charts:
Explanation: Floyd will make $7 M in 2012 and $9.5 M in 2013. His WAR is set at 4.0, after putting up a 3.6 WAR in 2011 and a 4.3 WAR in 2010. The total brings his value to $23.9 M over the two year period.
What He’s Worth: As usual there are lots of combinations to get to the $23.9 M that Floyd is worth. A combination that makes the most sense would be centered around Robbie Grossman. Grossman profiles as a top 76-100 prospect, giving him $12.5 M in value. That, plus a Grade B pitcher (Kyle McPherson) at $7.3 M would take up the bulk of Floyd’s value. From there, you’re probably looking at a major league relief pitcher as the third piece in the deal, or two Grade C hitting/pitching prospects. Another possibility would be trading Alex Presley straight up, as Presley’s six years of control at his 1.2 WAR from 2011 equal Floyd’s value. It seems unlikely that the White Sox would take this approach, since they look set in the outfield in the short term.
Analysis: It will require at least one top prospect to land Floyd. I don’t think it would make sense for the Pirates to deal one of their pitching prospects, as they’d be dealing a potential six years of control of someone like Jameson Taillon in exchange for two years of control of Floyd. Dealing from a strength (outfield), they could afford to make Grossman the primary piece of the deal, although they’d also have to give up a Grade B pitcher, such as a Kyle McPherson. If the Pirates were looking to deal some prospects for an established player, this is the type of move that would make sense. They have the payroll to add Floyd, and I’m not sure they’d miss guys like Grossman or McPherson. Based on Floyd’s xFIP, he’d become the ace of the staff, and would be a big upgrade over what the Pirates had in Paul Maholm.