The “Trade Odubel Herrera” Take is the Dumbest Take in Philly Right Now
Hello, is this thing on? Yes, we’re talking about the Phillies.
There seems to be a sentiment around most Phillies fans, that haven’t watched the Phillies since tuning in at the beginning of the year, that the team should trade Odubel Herrera for whatever they can get for him at this point. Like he’s some sunk cost like Jahlil Okafor. Those people are idiots and their opinions are completely worthless.
Odubel Herrera, while he can be super frustrating and maddening at times, is a super valuable baseball player that had one horrific month that sent everyone into a tailspin about his play.
Yes, Herrera was unplayable in May and his average dropped to .213. It was also the first time he’s ever really swooned in a Phillies uniform.
Here’s why the people that say “trade Odubel for whatever you can get in return” are very dumb.
One, since June 1st, Herrera is batting .333 and has 27 extra base hits during that time. He’s raised his average up to .271 and even with his horrendous May, Herrera has the second most doubles in the league. His power has dipped a bit but when he’s rolling and staying consistent there’s no reason why he can’t pop 20. The fact of the matter is that Herrera has been a super valuable offensive player for almost two months now after the worst stretch of his life. It’s too early to give up on that upside.
Two, much like Jahlil Okafor, DEFENSE MATTERS. FanGraphs recently ranked Herrera as the best defensive centerfielder in the game and the eye test backs up that, he may not be the best centerfielder in the game, but he’s very good out there. He gets good reads and routinely tracks down balls that would be doubles on most centerfielders. He has the highest dWAR, the highest UZR, the highest UZR/150 and is among the leaders in RZR and Defensive runs saved. SABR released their first half defensive rankings last week, and ranked Herrera as the sixth best fielder in the National League in any position (h/t to Tim Kelly for this). That sounded really nerdy, but the fact still remains that Herrera brings insane value on the defensive side of the ball that alone would make him worth his contract. Luckily for the Phillies, the bat has come around now as well to make that contract look even better.
Now, I mentioned the contract. The contract is the last reason why trading Odubel Herrera is the dumbest take in Philly right now. Herrera is on one of the best contracts in the entire sport. You don’t just sell that at it’s low point because of a bad month. In a sport where money is thrown around all the time for bad players, Herrera is going to make $3 million next season and $5 million the year after. That’s insanely cheap for an elite defensive centerfielder with a large sample size of being a very good hitter. Trading Herrera right now would be selling low on one of the most valuable deals in baseball. If the Phillies do decide to move on from Herrera they should do so when the production is way up and the return on that contract will be way higher.
The Odubel Herrera takes are bad. The trade him for whatever you can get for him are the worst takes in the city. You just don’t sell low on one of the best contracts in the sport and on a guy that has shown consistent value on both sides.