Marlins Trade Backup Catcher For Backup Pitcher

In what will forever be remembered as The Trade That Happened Two Days Before Thanksgiving, Tuesday the Florida Marlins swapped catcher John Baker to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Wade LeBlanc.

According to the piece linked above, "One of [San Diego general manager Josh] Byrnes' primary goals this offseason is to improve the offense, especially against right-handed pitching."

Now, you might be wondering how John Baker is going to improve anyone's offense, especially if you've never heard of John Baker. But Baker does bat left-handed, and he does have a .284/.365/.417 line against right-handed pitching as a major leaguer. He's been hurt for most of the last two seasons. But if he's healthy, he'll rank among the better backup catchers in the league.

Baker's also one of the forgotten products of "the Moneyball draft", as the Athletics grabbed him with their fourth-round pick in 2002.

Meanwhile, LeBlanc's got a 4.54 ERA in the majors, over 293 innings. That doesn't seem too bad, except he's done half his pitching in petco PARK and away from petco PARK he's posted a 6.14 ERA and given up 27 home runs in 143 innings.

It's hard to see how that doesn't end badly, if LeBlanc gets more than a few starts for his new club.

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