Why Boston Already Won the Ryan Hanigan Trade

ryan hanigan

In search of a backup catcher this off season, the Boston Red Sox did not intensely pursue David Ross, but instead they took a broken player and traded him for a defensive minded backup catcher.
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Swapping third baseman Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Hanigan, the Red Sox and Padres each filled a void on one another’s rosters, but it already looks like Boston won on the deal.

ryan haniganReceiving just what they needed, the Red Sox got a catcher to mentor rookie starter Christian Vazquez and spend a good chunk of time behind the plate. While his bat lags behind, Hanigan is excellent behind the plate as he has gunned down 38% of runners who have tried to steal off of him in his big league career. Also, he rarely boots a ball— committing just two errors in the past two seasons.
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The Andover, Massachusetts native has two more years left on his contract, but Boston has the luxury of dealing him if they are confident in top catching prospect Blake Swihart since Hanigan is relatively cheap for a veteran backup catcher.

On the other hand, Will Middlebrooks just does not have the plate discipline necessary in order to sustain a successful big league career. Striking out roughly five more times than he walks, there is no way pitchers will be able to respect Middlebrooks enough to throw him decent pitches to hit.
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He is way too aggressive at the plate and pitchers discovered his Achilles’ Heel in August 2012. Since then, he is a .212 big league hitter with an atrocious .266 OBP. No matter how many home runs he can hit, there is no way Middlebrooks will be able to sustain himself as a full-time big leaguer.

Working against Middlebrooks will be his home field disadvantage. Playing half of his games at Petco Park, the most pitcher friendly park in the league, hitting home runs will be more difficult for him than it was before. He’s not in Boston anymore.
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Middlebrooks Gone, Red Sox Get Ryan Hanigan

ryan hanigan

In need of a backup catcher, the Boston Red Sox were able to kill two birds with one stone.
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First of all, Will Middlebrooks posed a bit of a problem for the club. He hit .254 in his first 169 big league games and smacked 32 home runs, making it clear that he was going to be one of the best power hitting third baseman in the game.

In 63 games in 2014, Middlebrooks hit just two home runs in 63 games with a dismal .256 OBP, putting his future with the Red Sox organization in peril.

Also, the Red Sox needed a backup catcher and were able to get one by trading Will Middlebrooks to the San Diego Padres. In return, the Boston Red Sox will obtain catcher Ryan Hanigan who the Padres will get in the Wil Myers deal when it is all said and done.ryan hanigan

Hanigan, who never has and most likely never will play in a big league game for the San Diego Padres, spent 2014 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and hit .218 with a .318 OBP in 84 games and clipped five home runs. It was a down year for Hanigan and the Red Sox will bank on him being better than he was this past season.
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Plate discipline has always been a big part of Hanigan’s game. He has walked 220 times and struck out on just 198 in his career, showing his knowledge of the strike zone. As a result, Hanigan puts a lot of balls in play and is good for a few sacrifice hits a season.

Defensively, Hanigan has thrown out 38% of attempted base stealers in his career and lead the league gunning down 48% in 2012 and 45% in 2013.
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Typically, Hanigan serves his team as a platoon catcher, playing more than a backup but less than a starter. Expect Red Sox rookie catcher Christian Vazquez to catch at around 60%-67% of the time next season while Hanigan will see around 33%-40% of the reps if all goes well.

Now that the Red Sox have Hanigan who is signed for the next two years, trading Blake Swihart is a definite possibility. Although many people may not want to trade him, the return would be rather large and could set the Red Sox up for a championship next season.
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The 34-year-old Hanigan is a graduate of Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts. Welcome back Ryan Hanigan, welcome back.