Today the Diamondbacks dealt Kelly Johnson to Toronto for Aaron Hill and John McDonald. D-Backs GM, Kevin Towers, said the goal of the trade was to get better this season and upgrade on defense. In other words, the D-Backs are all in for winning the NL West.
This trade, however, does not accomplish that goal. Yes, Kelly Johnson has a sub-.300 OBP and has not been that good this season. But, he’s played solid defense and does have a 1.6, which is close to that of an average player. On the other hand, Hill has hit even worse, has been “only” just as good as Johnson with the glove, and his WAR is -0.5. Ouch. So the D-Backs traded an average player for a below average player according to performance, in order to get BETTER? Yeah, I don’t think so.
I mean, Hill did have a solid season in 2009, but that was 2009. He was bad last season, and has been worse this season. His glove is okay, but not good enough to be an upgrade. I really don’t get this trade for Arizona. Johnson was also a FA at the end of the year and would have netted them a draft pick. Hill, if his option isn’t picked up, will get a pick as well, but I can only imagine Arizona will pick it up. Then when his options expire, he’ll no longer be type B free agent.
Yeah, Arizona did upgrade at SS with McDonald, especially in terms of defense. But it’s a very small upgrade compared to the downgrade at second. This is just a lose-lose for Arizona- in the short run and long run.