Premature Judgment

I didn’t like the Brett Wallace for Anthony Gose trade when it happened last summer, and I’m not sold on it now, but pointing to Wallace’s success at the Major League level and Gose’s failure at the Double A level so far this season as reason to evaluate the deal harshly is partially premature and wholly ridiculous. It’s like comparing the first page of a grade nine essay to the first page of an essay written in your first year of university, and then deciding who’s going to be the better writer in grad school.

For the record, here are the comparative numbers.

Anthony Gose, at 20 years of age is playing in his first season at Double A: 103 PA, .232 AVG, .291 OBP, .274 SLG, 6.8 BB%, 21.1 K%, .042 ISO, .279 wOBA, and 76 wRC+.

Brett Wallace, at 24 years of age is playing in what he hopes will be his first full year in MLB: 110 PA, .367 AVG, .431 OBP, .520 SLG, 9.1 BB%, 21.4 K%, .153 ISO, .420 wOBA, and 165 wRC+.

That’s a big difference, but it’s also only around 100 plate appearances, and as Drew Fairservice brought up earlier this week, Wallace’s numbers do benefit from a ton of singles and some rather outrageous BABIP numbers. It should also be remembered, that in all three seasons as a professional, Gose has started out slowly at a higher level before finding his groove.

Besides, there are plenty of other reasons not to like the trade beyond the two players’ respective starts to the season. Despite Alex Anthopoulos’ claims that he had been after Gose for a long time prior to the trade, it’s unrealistic to suggest that the Phillies would hold out on moving the young center fielder as part of the Roy Halladay trade (in place of Michael Taylor), then turn around and include him in a deal to acquire Roy Oswalt.

While not being afraid to cut bait on a mistaken cast is admirable, somewhere in the Taylor to Wallace to Gose flip flop, value was lost. And this value went missing after only six months. If, as Anthopoulos claimed at the time, although in nicer words, that the defensive limitations of Wallace played a role in the deal, why was he acquired for Michael Taylor in the first place?

It’s difficult to criticize the Jays newest general manager after orchestrating what could prove to be two of the best deals in franchise history (although I suppose nothing will ever compare to McGriff and Fernandez for Alomar and Carter), but if you’re going to do it, at least do it for the right reasons.