Jack Zduriencik was at it again today, moving a Class AA pitcher to Oakland for a slick-fielding third baseman that should improve Seattle’s infield defense.
Jack Hannahan, 29, isn’t a third baseman who’ll make anyone forget Mike Schmidt or George Brett, but he’s better than the .193 he was hitting with Oakland.
Built on pitching and defense, the Mariners have felt the loss of Adrian Beltre at third. Hannahan isn’t a stop gap, as Chris Woodward was – he’s a third baseman by trade, and a good one. If you can’t improve the offense immediately, help the pitching by improving the defense.
The key to this deal was almost certainly the fact that manager Don Wakamatsu and bench coach Ty Van Berkleo knew Hannahan and his potential. They liked his makeup, his approach to the game and yes, his upside.
A left-handed hitter in Safeco Field is never a bad thing, and in the past few weeks Jack Z. has added two – outfielder Ryan Langerhans and now Hannahan.
On the perfect team, both would likely be bench players. On a team trying hard to hang on in the American League West, they’re viable pieces who fill holes.
Is Trader Jack done? No. In fact, he’s not even resting. There are deals to be made this month – large and small – and the Mariners will be building again, piece by piece, soon.