The Oakland A’s are reportedly shopping third baseman Ryon Healy, should the Pittsburgh Pirates be interested in the young slugger?
As was broken down here, third base was a problem for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017. Due to Jung Ho Kang‘s inability to get a work visa David Freese had to play on a daily basis at third base. At this point in his career Freese is no longer an everyday player.
With Kang’s future still uncertain, the Pirates need to address third base this offseason. This could come via free agency or the trade market. Regardless of how it is done, Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates need to add third base help.
In recent days it has been reported by multiple outlets that the Oakland A’s are willing to listen to trade offers for third baseman Ryon Healy. The 25-year-old Healy has been a huge power threat since making his Major League debut in the summer of 2016. On paper, Healy would seem like a great trade target for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The question then becomes, should the Pirates target Ryon Healy in trade talks?
In short, no, no they should not. Despite his 25 home runs, .181 ISO, and a .451 slugging percentage in 2017, Healy leaves a lot to be desired.
In his Major League career Ryon Healy owns just a 3.9 percent walk rate, he strikes out 22.7 percent of the time, and his on-base percentage is just .313.
Healy is also a defensive train wreck at third base, which is the biggest reason why the A’s are shopping him. Oakland would like to move Khris Davis to designated hitter next season and they do not view Healy as a viable option to play third base.
This is very understandable on the part of the A’s. In his Major League career Ryon Healy has logged 897 2/3 innings at third base and the defensive results have been disastrous. He is responsible for -4 defensive runs saved, he has a -19.4 UZR/150, and an awful .926 fielding percentage at third base. This includes an unfathomably bad .857 fielding percentage at third base in 2017.
While the Pirates need help at third base, Ryon Healy is not the answer. This past season he owned a .320 wOBA and a wRC+ of 100. For comparison, David Freese had a .326 wOBA and a 100 wRC+. When you factor in Freese’s defensive ability at third base, he owned a 1.6 fWAR in 2017 to Ryon Healy’s 0.2 fWAR. While Freese’s offense leaves a lot to be desired, he is still a better all-around player than Healy is.
While the Pirates need to add third base help this offseason, the answer is just Ryon Healy. Even though the A’s are shopping their slugging third baseman the Pirates should not be interested. Healy is a poor man’s Pedro Alvarez, and David Freese would be a better third base option than Healy.