Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chris Young vs. Randy Johnson

I wanted to take a moment to comment on the recent trade of pitcher Chris Young, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Terrmel Sledge from the Rangers for starter Adam Eaton and middle reliever Akinori Otsuka from the Padres.

Most people who follow baseball know that the Rangers are desperate for pitching and that Gonzalez was their top minor league prospect. A number of people have dubbed Gonzalez "the next Mark Grace" (and I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good or bad thing). The Rangers got a decent reliever and Adam Eaton who at age 28 has a career record of 47 and 44 with a 4.34 ERA. I don't get it.

Eaton has never had an ERA under 4.00 despite pitching in pitcher friendly parks (career ERA+ of freakin' 92). Young is two years younger and has a career 4.59 ERA (which translates into an ERA+ of 106). Young is the better pitcher and he was much cheaper salary wise. Why would the Rangers make this trade?

The other thing that sticks out about Chris Young is the fact that he's 6'10". Now I'm not sayin he's the next Randy Johnson but come on - the fact that they are both 6'10 makes a comparison natural. Here's how Young's first big league season stacked up against the Big Unit's:

Young - 12-7 / 31 GS / 4.26 ERA / 164.7 IP / 137 SO / 45 BB
Johnson - 7-13 / 28 GS / 4.82 ERA /160.7 IP 130 SO / 96 BB

Johnson's first full season came at age 25 while Young was a year older this year. Very interesting how closely they match up. Just sayin'.

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