Rumour du jour - Jeremy Guthrie

One of the latest trade rumours – Jeremy Guthrie to the Jays.

I know what you are all expecting – I am usually the one who points out the red flags / negatives about a Jays rumouree. So, just to cross you up, here are 7 things that I LIKE about a potential Guthrie trade.

He likes the Dome

In 266 PAs at the Rogers Centre, JG has an ERA of 2.77 and a batting line against of .206/.242/.371/.613. That is good. D*mn good. Just for context – Roy Halladay’s lifetime stats at the Dome are 3.23 and .243/.283/.376/.660.

Solid overall AL performance

In the 5 years he was with Baltimore (2007-2011), JG had an ERA of 4.12 despite playing his home games at Oriole Park, ranked as the 6th best hitter’s park in the majors. The difference between his career ERA on the road of 4.02 and his career home ERA of 4.63 reflects this park factor.

Innings eater

In the last 5 years (to 2011), JG has pitched 983 innings (or just under 200 IP per year). That is 7th best in the AL.

Plays better against good teams

JG’s career ERA against teams with a winning percentage < 50% is 4.55. His career ERA against teams with WP>50% is 4.20. So he is not a SP who maintains a good ERA by feasting on the weaklings.

Doesn’t fade in the second half

His career ERA in the first half of the season is 4.39, and his career ERA in the second half is 4.25. Speaks well of his conditioning?

Colorado factor

His ERA this year in Colorado is a <ahem> “less than outstanding” 6.68. But that is composed of a 9.53 ERA in Coors and a 4.28 ERA on the road. Hard to fault JG completely for having an atrocious ERA in the single worst park for pitchers in MLB.

Intelligent, veteran SP

Guthrie is 33 years old and a Stanford graduate. 2012 is his 9th year in the bigs. In the current Jays rotation, the “old man” is Brandon Morrow at 27, with 3 years of starting pitching. A knowledgeable veteran like JG could be of great benefit to the Drabeks, and Alvarezes and Hutchisons.

As always, the caveat. Guthrie is currently earning $8.2 million per year and is set to become a free agent in 2013. Both of those factors decrease his value to the Jays, and the price that A-squared would likely pay. But at the right price …. !

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