The Jays just flipped recently acquired Mike Napoli to the Rangers for Frank Francisco. Rangers fans are yapping about how they won the trade, and I've read that many Jays fans disapprove of the trade. Here's the thing.
a) .238-26-68-.784 OPS in 140 G
b) .244-21-51-.787 OPS in 96 G
Player a is Mike Napoli last year, who played most of the year at 1B/DH. A right handed hitter who has a reputation for mashing lefties (.966 OPS last year).
Player b is Edwin Encarnacion last year, who played most of the year at 3B, and who is expected to play most of next year at 1B/DH. His performance against lefties? .914 OPS.
Statistically these players are pretty much even. The only other factor that remains here is that Napoli might be able to log 40 games at catcher this year. In 66 games last year, his Rtot/yr was a garbage -11. We have JP Arencibia waiting in the wings, with a very capable Molina backing him up, and down the road we have d'Arnaud and Perez in the minors.
SO all other things being equal...Napoli will make 5.3 or 6.1 million a year. Encarnacion has a 1+1 at just over 1 mill.
Having established that we have two of the exact same type of player, and that both aren't needed, we look at Francisco. He is a potential closer, he is dominant vs lefties, he commands under $5 million a year, and was/is a Type A.
We got rid of a player we didn't need in exchange for a closer/lefty specialist, a position I'd say we did need. Perhaps not as one sided as the Vernon Wells deal, but I still like it.