In case you missed parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, wherein we explored the reasons for and against trading Manny Parra and Nyjer Morgan and George Kottaras and Corey Hart and Randy Wolf and Rickie Weeks and Kameron Loe, respectively.
Hi! My name is MARTIN MALDONADO. And ... hey, I just got here! Why are you talking about trading me?
2012/Career vitals: Aside from a three-game cup of coffee in 2011, this is Martin Maldonado's first big league season. He's been toiling in the minors since 2004, and he's spent the last five seasons (2007-11) in the Brewers' system. Maldonado's never shown much with the stick down on the farm: before 2010 and 2011, when he got to enjoy the friendly confines of the PCL for 91 combined games, he'd never managed an OPS above .603 in any of his minor-league stops. And he was off to a lackluster start at the dish this year, hitting just .199/.270/.347 in 35 games at Nashville before The Curious Case of the Suitcase and the Hotel Bed knocked Jon Lucroy out of commission in late May.
Since his call-up, Marty's been something of a revelation with that bat, to the extent that someone with an OPS+ of 83 can qualify as a revelation: Maldonado has already clubbed five homers in 123 plate appearances, which is one more tater than he managed in 138 plate appearances in the bar softball league that is the PCL in 2012. He's shown a solid arm behind the plate and hasn't been charged with any passed balls in 269 innings, but he's only nabbed four potential base-stealers in 20 attempts.
Contract sitch: Maldonado had a mere 0.028 years of service time before 2012, so, in all likelihood, he's got two more years before he gets to arbitration for the first time.
DEAL ME NOW! Everybody could use another catcher, right? And if you're in the market for one, you could do a lot worse than a 25-year-old who will be under team control for the next five seasons, who looks more than competent defensively and has shown an impressive amount of pop at the dish, to boot.
And as a special BONUS to those of you believe in clubhouse chemistry, and at no extra cost: HE CUTS HAIR! If we've learned anything in 100+ years of baseball, it's that nothing builds camaraderie better or faster than a man giving another man a tight fade.
Please don't read this part, opposing GMs: Small sample size and everything, of course, but maybe -- MAYBE -- Marty's hot start at the plate was something of a fluke. Since a three-hit game against Toronto on June 20 (where he homered, doubled and drove in two runs) that boosted his OPS to .832, Marty's gone .245/.275/.245. You can do the math, I'm sure, but just in case it's taking you a minute to process it: in 53 plate appearances since June 20, Marty's got 12 singles and a couple of walks, sinking his season OPS to .693. The truth, as per usual, is probably somewhere in the middle, but it might lean closer to his recent results than the big(ish) numbers he put up over his first 21 games.
Fill in the blank: Martin Maldonado is worth his weight in: N/A. As a light-hitting catcher, Marty's value is measured in KUGs. I'll need a science guy to run the numbers, but I have him pegged at 0.04 KUG, which ain't bad for a young man in his first extended MLB action.
Gratuitous note about dinosaurs: I'm intrigued, but I've got one eyebrow cocked w/r/t this Jurassic Park 4 business. Since there aren't a lot of film franchises that have gone four deep, the bar for success wouldn't seem to be extraordinarily high for JP4, but keep in mind: Rocky ended the Cold War in Rocky IV. I'm just saying: if the new movie features soldiers riding raptors (or dilophosaurs, they're a little taller and probably easier to saddle) and battling Al Qaeda, I'd be OK with it.
Why Doug Melvin probably won't trade him: Because, best case scenario, Marty is a young Henry Blanco. That's not insanely valuable, of course, but it's not worth giving away, either. Worst case: he's a young Wil Nieves, and we've already established that the exchange rate on Wil Nieves is one player = one dollar.
How desperate should we be to move him, on the Rubie Q Patented Trade This Slug-O-Meter: If we're in the mood to deal a catcher when Lucroy gets back, I think you could fetch more (maybe not a lot more, but more nonetheless) with George Kottaras than you could with Maldonado. Let's give Marty a 4, then.