I feel like I could wrap up this article in one sentence: Andrew Friedman is the best general manager in baseball. I truthfully don’t even think it’s a competition. The things this guy goes is simply astonishing. Friedman added another notch on his belt, acquiring Yunel Escobar from the Miami Marlins for a 23-year old shortstop Derek Dietrich, who recently just reached Double-A.
After it was rumored that Escobar was available, it was pretty obvious that the Marlins were going to move Escobar on the cheap. But to dump him for an inconsequential prospect? That’s so Marlins.
The Tampa Bay Rays were in desperate need for a shortstop, considering Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez aren’t very good. Things got so bad at shortstop for the Rays that Ben Zobrist, who is primarily a second baseman/rightfielder, finished the season at the 6-spot.
Even as bad as Escobar was last season, he would have been an upgrade for Tampa, and I doubt he will be that bad in 2013. Escobar’s BABIP was about .30 less than his career average, meaning more hits should fall for him next season. I would say a .275/.340/.410 triple-slash isn’t out of the question for Escobar. The only real issue – on the offensive side of things – is his dramatic decline in his BB%, but I’m willing to bet that will change being with a team that loves to draw walks.
All I want for Christmas is Andrew Friedman in my team’s front office. And if there is one thing I have learned from the 2012 Winter Meetings, it’s that Friedman is simply the best there is.