Results tagged ‘ Trade ’
Here is what I thought the D-backs could get from four teams for Justin Upton on Dec. 3.
Here is what the D-backs actually got from one team, the Braves, for Upton on Jan. 24.
Scout-turned-scribe Keith Law of ESPN.com wrote this of the trade today: “Arizona’s return boils down to this: One year of Martin Prado, six years of a fifth starter in Randall Delgado, two fringy prospects and one non-prospect. If that sounds like a good deal to you, I have some beachfront property in Phoenix to sell you.” An ESPN baseball editor by the name of Matt Meyers then Tweeted: “In anticipation of Willie Bloomquist’s eventually [sic] retirement, the D-backs have acquired Nick Ahmed, his minor league equivalent.”
Of all the expert opinions you may see today on this seven-player, yet-to-be-official trade, I think those two are the most illuminating. The D-backs just didn’t get very good ballplayers (even if you think the world of Prado, who is signed only through 2013). In addition to Ahmed, Arizona also received right-handed starter Zeke Spruill (a No. 4 or 5 starter) and first baseman Brandon Drury (the aforementioned “non-prospect”). It’s very likely that none of the three will be impactful, everyday big leaguers, in my education opinion.
That explains why I’ll quickly propose three woulda-coulda-shoulda ARI-to-ATL proposals. Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter what you think.
Analysis: If you’re going to trade a star like Upton, you SHOULD acquire a potential star like Simmons. And Graham (or the further-away Lucas Sims) is a better prospect than Spruill, and Terdoslavich, who can play first or third base, can do something Ahmed can’t: develop into a very good hitter.
Proposal Two: Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson for starter Julio Teheran, Prado, Graham and Spruill as well as Terdoslavich.
Analysis: OK, if Simmons was truly untouchable in Atlanta’s mind, the centerpiece of the deal COULD have been Teheran, who despite his Triple-A struggles, will end up being a better starter than Delgado.
Proposal Three: Upton and Johnson for Delgado, Prado, catcher Christian Bethancourt, Graham and Terdoslavich.
Analysis: OK, if Simmons and Teheran were both off the table, I would recommend walking away from said table. The D-backs, however, backed themselves into a corner, and therefore WOULD have insisted on the inclusion of Betancourt, an outstanding defensive catching prospect.
Prospect Flashback: Picturing Justin Upton of The Double-A @Mobile_ BayBears Before He Became A Sought-after Slugger
Welcome to a new series on the blog. We’re calling this one, “Prospect Flashback.” It’s very simple: At least once a week you will be treated to an archived photo of a Minor League prospect-turned-Major League stud. Leave your feedback in the comment section.
Player: Justin Upton (MiLB career stats)
Date: June 4, 2007
Caption: Upton, the first overall pick in the 2005 Draft, spent his second Minor League season at Class A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. in 71 games for the BayBears, he batted .309 and hit 13 home runs.
Photographer: Jerry Hale/MiLB.com
Squeezed Out … of The Outfield: Are Angels, Red Sox, Reds and Giants Bridging to/Blocking Prospects?
When word broke of the Angels swooping in and signing former Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton this hour, his soon-to-be-official teammates in Los Angeles were Tweeting to their heart’s content. A small sampling:
- @Trouty20 (CF Mike Trout): “Wow”
- @NickMaronde (LHP Nick Maronde): “Glad I don’t have to face the
@Angels lineup! #Halonation“
- @GRichards26 (RHP Garrett Richards): “I am so excited for this year!!! Welcome
- @CCron24 (1B C.J. Cron): “Welcome the newest member of the Halo family
All pretty standard stuff, though it’s easy to appreciate Trout’s genuine surprise.
Personally, I was struck by a Tweet from Randal Grichuk, however. Remember him? He’s the guy the Halos drafted a slot ahead of Trout in 2009 (even though they rated Trout ahead of him). Here is what Grichuk sent out from his social media account (@RGrich15): “Wow phone will not stop going off about the Angels signing
@thejoshhamilton !!! No team better than the @Angels #ALWest“.
Either Grichuk is just the ultimate team-first guy or he is so much a cliche-clenching ballplayer that he is taking it one day at a time and not worrying about whether Hamilton just limited his Major League chances in the coming couple years.
Whatever the case, if you’ve been reading this blog since day one or are just stumbling upon it this afternoon, you probably know PROSPECTive has a different mindset about such things. There’s plenty of room for hypotheticals here. And, here and now, I wonder aloud how teams’ offseason splashes could affect their pools of prospects. We’ll start this with the outfielders. (Look for infielders and pitchers sometime next week.)
Briding to/Blocking: This is clearly a blocking of Brentz, who depending upon who you ask is either Major League-ready of very close to it. This is a bridging to of Bradley, who is developing into a on-base machine/strong defender in center. Victorino can shift to a corner and Jacoby Ellsbury will likely be gone by the time of Bradley’s first callup. Jacobs, while talented, is far enough away that he doesn’t have to worry quite yet.
Briding to/Blocking: This is a clear bridging to, and a smart one. Cincinnati will count on Choo to man center field next spring, then watch him leave and have either Hamilton or LaMarre, both potential leadoff men who can steal bases and cover a lot of grass in the outfield, replace him ably in the lineup. Hamilton is likely to get the gig in ’14, meaning LaMarre would be a nice fourth outfield option behind Ludwick and Jay Bruce.
MiLB prospects: Gary Brown (has played AA ball)
Briding to/Blocking: Another bridging to, even if this case isn’t as obvious. Yes, the Giants gave Pagan too many years (four) and dollars (40 million), but he can move to left when Brown is ready for big league ball in 2014. Brown has similar skills (leadoff ability, gap power, a lot of range in the outfield) and is still looked at as an impact player in the Giants organization despite his less-than-spectacular season at Double-A this year.
MLB veterans: Josh Hamilton (signed through 2017)
Analysis: With Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells, Hamilton and Mark Trumbo (who can also play the infield) all in the mix, I wouldn’t want to be a fringe Angels outfield prospect in the next five years. Calhoun is probably a bench player and Witherspoon is a question mark at this point, while many believe Grichuk can develop into a starter so long as he stays healthy. But it’s hard to imagine him breaking into this outfield anytime in the next couple years. Score this one a blocking.
Last Saturday, I wrote this blog post, soliciting prospects-related questions from you. I’m writing this post here and now to fulfill my end of the bargain and answer those questions as best as I can. Before we get to the Qs and As, I would like to thank you for participating — or, for just reading along — and also encourage you to use the comment section below in the future. As I wrote in this post (the first in this blog’s now 77-day history), this platform is for you. So if you want to see more chats like this one (or an actual-live chat in which we are conversing real-time) or have other ideas, please let me know. Without further adieu…
Andrew: Ryan, Starling (now the Royals’ No. 1 prospect) has a higher overall ceiling than Arcia (the Twins’ seventh-ranked farmhand), but it’s not quite that simple. For one, we have larger sample sizes of Arcia — he has played parts of five seasons in the Minors versus Starling who finally completed his first Short-Season in 2012. Therefore, we know a lot more about Arcia. He has, for example, proven he can hit Double-A pitching. Starling hasn’t. That should explain why Starling has greater potential but Arcia has a greater chance at realizing his. And that’s as a hitter. As a defender, there’s less debate: Arcia will top out as an average corner outfielder while Starling is already an outstanding center fielder. If you’re asking me which player I would in my organization, I’d take Starling if only because his talent is too great to pass up.
Andrew: Interesting question, Charlie. If you followed the Drillers in 2012, you already know that Arenado was solid but not spectacular in the way that his ’11 season in the Minors and Arizona Fall League suggested he might be. Dickerson, meanwhile, continued his quick ascension in the Rockies’ system. With that said, my educated guess would be that Arenado has the better season in ’13. His ability to make contact at all costs, plus his cerebral approach at the plate will give him a better shot against the advanced pitching he will face at Triple-A. I know less of the approach used by Dickerson, who will also play for the Pacific Coast League’s Colorado Springs Sky Sox for the first time next spring, but it’s obvious that he is more prone to striking out. Both are well equipped to produce, but my money is on Arenado. I would not be at all surprised to see him jump back into the conversation of best Minor League hitter.
Andrew: This is actually a very easy choice for me, Pierre. I firmly believe Smyly is and will continue to be the best of the quartet you mention. As long as he can stay healthy, Smyly is the one of the four that, in my mind, can be a No. 2 starter in a good Major League rotation. When pitching their best, the other three, are no more than No. 3s. I have seen (and written about) Griffin and Straily the most of these hurlers and that helps inform my opinion here: Griffin will be challenged to repeat his 2012 results (2.82 ERA in the Minors, 3.06 in the Majors) given his lack of a truly plus offering; he will always need to be mixing his pitches well to stay a mental step ahead of hitters. And Straily led the Minors in strikeouts but then found out that fanning Major Leaguers is a different task altogether. He has an excellent slider and a strong changeup, but he consistently leaves his fastball up in the zone, which is hard to get away with in the Majors. I know less of Chen but simply based on age, past numbers and future projections, Smyly comes out well ahead.
Anonymous: How do you evaluate the most recent trades: Myers and Odorizzi to Tampa Bay and Bauer to Cleveland?
Andrew: Well, this question would fall under this blog’s While You and I Were Out category. I was not scheduled to work the last four days and here is what I (and perhaps you, missed):
Our story Sunday: Royals send top prospects to Rays
My take: I understand why Kansas City felt it had to acquire starting pitching, but I completely disagree with how they went about it, yielding three top prospects (and a solid fourth) whom Tampa can control contractually for six years. I’m also on record as a strong believer in the bat of outfielder Wil Myers, who is the best player going to the Rays. Jake Odorizzi will be better than Wade Davis, too. And it seemed like the Royals just threw Mike Mongtomery into the deal. I’m not a believer in Montgomery, but he has the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the trade and is yet another example of KC underselling on the value of its own farmhands.
Our story Tuesday: Bauer sent to Tribe in three-team deal
My take: This deal didn’t involve as many elite-level prospects and wasn’t as lopsided, but it also leaves me wondering about one team’s decision. No matter how highly the D-backs rated Didi Gregorius, the shortstop prospect they’re getting from the Reds, and how much they have soured on pitcher Trevor Bauer, the pitching prospect they’re sending to the Indians, this trade makes little to no sense. It boils down to trading baseball’s No. 5 prospect (Bauer) for the No. 5 prospect in Cincinnati’s system (Gregorius). I realize Arizona was shortstop-starved, but will Gregorius hit that much more than in-house option Cliff Pennington, who is also a very good defender? I’m not so sure.
If Arizona was set on 1) getting a shortstop, 2) unloading Bauer and 3) involving three clubs, I would have explored this one a week or so ago:
D-backs get: Mike Olt (3B from TEX), Luis Sardinas (SS from TEX), Wil Myers (OF from KC), Christian Colon (SS from KC), Mike Montgomery (SP from KC)
Royals get: Trevor Bauer (SP from ARI), Martin Perez (SP from TEX)
Rangers get: Justin Upton (OF from ARI)
What do you think?
These are the facts as I know them. Eight days ago, the Minnesota Twins’ had just three starting pitchers on their Major League depth chart. The Twins also didn’t have a single ready-made option in the Minor Leagues — no one who had pitched consistently enough at Triple-A to move on up without first asking questions.
Eight days later — and without a significant free-agent signing in between — the Twins have acquired three starters in two trades. The headlines:
Top prospect Meyer shipped to Twins — 11/29/12
Twins add Phils’ May to prospect haul — 12/06/12
The one-week transformation from pitching-poor falls under my purview — and interests me — because all three are young, controllable assets and two are what we around here call top prospects. Alex Meyer was No. 2 in the Nationals’ system, and Trevor May was No. 2 in the Phils’; they are now the Twins’ third- and fifth-ranked farmhands by MLB.com’s standard. (The third pitcher, another twenty-something right-hander in Vance Worley, has already pitched in the Majors and pitched well.)
With that said and set up, here is what the Twins’ five-man rotation could like in 2015. As you can see, it could be quite formidable (and long-lasting, as none of the pitchers below can become a free agent before 2018).
2. Trevor May: A peg below Meyer, has a fastball-curveball combo that is very good, just not as good. Likely to start ’13 a step ahead, Triple-A Rochester.
3 .Scott Diamond: Proven commodity out of my purview.
4. Vance Worley: Proven commodity (as long as he can stay healthy) out of my purview.
5b. Kyle Gibson: Once a more high-profile prospect (before undergoing elbow surgery), Gibson should be entrenched two seasons from now. Scouts differ on his ceiling, but he should slot in nicely here.
5c-g: 2011 first-round pick Hudson Boyd and 2012 first-round pick Jose Berrios won’t truly arrive before ’16. Right-handers Matthew Summers and Madison Boer could end up as middle relievers. And then there’s Cole De Vries, who will find a job harder to come by in the years ahead.
For all the analysis and educated opinions I didn’t fit into that piece, read … well … what is below: three reasons why Meyer was a huge one-man haul for the Twins (OK, aside from the fact that he stands 6-foot-9, 230 pounds).
- The tangibles: The Twins don’t produce starting pitchers with this kind of repertoire on their own. For the full details of Meyer’s three-pitch mix, check out the “Prospect Pitch” I interviewed Meyer for last September. Here is the short version of it: a no-seam fastball between 93 and 98 mph that is consistent movement-oriented pitch; a spike curveball between 83 mph and 89 mph that is nasty when commanded; a changeup between 87 and 90 mph that is merely average at this point. It will be — and has already been — argued by some baseball writers, wonks that Meyer has not proven that he can be a Major League starter as opposed to a Major League reliever, but with those pitches and his makeup, I find it much more likely that he remains in a five-man rotation. About that makeup…
- The intangibles: I interviewed Meyer twice in one July week this year (when he won his Class A Advanced debut; when he struck out nine over six scoreless innings in his first post-Futures Game outing) and, in each of my dealings with him, he has struck me as the kind of confident kid that is going to excel in Majors no matter what. Now I’m not saying that every reporter-friendly right-hander is destined for big league success (Gerrit Cole, for one, is an unimpressive interviewee but looks like the Pirates’ next ace, while the ever-engaging Trevor Bauer struggled in the bigs this year), but in my four seasons covering baseball (two at MLB.com and two here at MiLB.com), I have noticed that the ballplayers who can be themselves, know themselves and are therefore better, more resilient ballplayers than their peers. When I think of this, I picture the affable Adam Wainwright doing a broadcast interview on the top step of his dugout … during a World Series game … on the day before he was due to pitch. Come to think of it, the tall, lanky Wainwright has a similar demeanor and repertoire to Meyer. Maybe the former is a good comp for the latter going forward.
- The replacements: I get it, Denard Span is a good player in the prime of his career and only (only?) due $21 million over the next three seasons. I get it. I get it. I get it. But if I am the Twins, I make this deal anyway, and I’m tickled to do it. My third and final reason why: They have about as much young outfield depth as an MLB org could ask for. In addition to center field replacement Ben Revere and current corner outfield options Josh Willingham and Chris Parmelee, Minnesota has three prospects that are a full season in the Minors or less away from the Majors: Aaron Hicks, who is a strong bet to be as good or better than Span, in center and Joe Benson and Oswaldo Arcia manning the corners. (It could also be said that, if all goes well, Meyer will be emerging as the Twins’ ace just as 2012 first-round draftee Byron Buxton, another multi-skilled center fielder, is earning his first big league callup.) Hicks, Benson and Arcia are all among the Twins’ top 10 prospects, and they helped the org to move on without Span.
For a diverging perspective on the Meyer-for-Span swap, read this. I don’t agree with all of it. But there is some sound reasoning. See what you think. Let me know in the comment section.
Let’s keep this all very simple and put it in bullet-form. According to a report Friday from the venerable Jeff Passan:
- the Royals are willing to trade their top prospect — and, perhaps, baseball’s top prospect — Wil Myers
- the Royals will seek young, front-line starting pitching in any deal for Myers
- the Royals have discussed such a swap with the Rays, the D-backs, the A’s and the Mariners
As much as it might seem a surprise for a down-and-out, on-its-way-back team to be “dangling” or “shopping” such an impactful slugger with zero Major League service time, this news should not, in fact, come as a surprise. Let’s stay simple and explain why:
- the Royals appear set with their outfield to begin 2013 — and unwilling to make room for Myers (he could force the issue with a big Spring Training)
- the Royals appear set with an offensive nucleus of young sluggers (which includes the names Butler, Gordon, Moustakas, Hosmer, Perez — not Myers)
- the Royals do not appear set with their starting rotation (in no small part because prospects Mike Montgomery, John Lamb and Chris Dwyer have stalled in the Minors)
Which brings us to the Rays, the D-backs, the A’s and the Mariners. What Passan doesn’t tell us, I will. What he doesn’t tell us, of course, is which pitching prospects Kansas City might be targeting from each of these four potential trading partners. Let’s take them one at a time:
- Major League rotation: James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb/Jeff Niemman
- Expendable prospects: Chris Archer (AAA), Alex Torres (AAA), Alex Colome (AAA), Enny Romero (High-A), Felipe Rivero (A), Taylor Guerrieri and Blake Snell (Low-A)
- The proposal for Myers: Chris Archer and Taylor Guerrieri for Myers
- Why it Wil/won’t work: The Rays will be loathe to part with two elite hurlers and may insist on an Archer-and-anybody-but-Guerrieri package, but including their 2011 first-round draftee probably puts them ahead in the race to land Myers. And Tampa Bay might overpay (in its mind) to get a can’t-miss slugger that it can control contractually for the next six years. … Don’t discount Romero or Rivero, who like Guerrieri are far away from the Majors, but have very live arms.
- Major League rotation: Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Daniel Hudson, Wade Miley, Pat Corbin/Tyler Skaggs
- Expendable prospects: Trevor Bauer (AAA), David Holmberg (AA), Anthony Meo (High-A), Archie Bradley (A)
- The proposal for Myers: Trevor Bauer, David Holmberg and Anthony Meo for Myers and SS/2B prospect Christian Colon
- Why it Wil/won’t work: We’ve seen national reports that — before they were shot down — depicted the D-backs making and taking calls on Trevor Bauer. So this could be the trade makes the most sense: Arizona trades a pitcher it undervalues to Kansas City for a slugger it undervalues. Has there ever been a prospects-only deal that could also be a change-of-scenery-needed swap for both players? … I expanded my proposal above to include two more Arizona hurlers because we know that the D-backs are starving for a shortstop and that the Royals’ Colon, while not a plus defender at the position, can hit enough to play there. (And Colon is obviously blocked in K.C. by Alcides Escobar.)
- Major League rotation: Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon/Brandon McCarthy (free agent)
- Expendable prospects: Dan Straily (AAA), Brad Peacock (AAA), Sonny Gray (AA), A.J. Cole (High-A)
- The proposal for Myers: Dan Straily and Brad Peacock for Myers
- Why it Wil/won’t work: What do Billy Beane and Co. in Oakland have going for them? They may be the lone club of the four that can offer Dayton Moore two Major League-ready, top-of-the-rotation pitchers. The Royals could insist on the more-proven A.J. Griffin or the higher-ceiling Cole, but it’s hard to imagine them not being at least instrigued by a Straily-Peacock combo. … One flaw in this proposal is really two: Peacock, for all of his stuff, had a 6.01ERA at Triple-A this year, and it would behoove GM Moore to wonder if he is too much like another exiled Athletic right-hander: Vin Mazzaro.
- Major League rotation: Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez
- Expendable prospects: Danny Hultzen (AAA), Taijuan Walker (AA), James Paxton (AA), Brandon Maurer (AA), Jordon Shipers (A)
- The proposal for Myers: Danny Hultzen and Jordan Shipers for Myers
- Why it Wil/won’t work: Of the four, this deal has the most obstacles to getting done. The Mariners will offer Danny Hultzen, the Royals will want Taijuan Walker, and the Mariners will not want to counter with the logical next best thing: Hultzen AND James Paxton. And I don’t blame them. The M’s MLB rotation is thin, and all three members of the Hultzen-Walker-Paxton trio will probably be needed in Seattle by 2014. Pulling off this transaction would be as gutsy as that Michael Pineda-for-Jesus Montero memory of last offseason.
During my most recent workday here at MiLB.com on Saturday, I wrote about some top prospects that could be traded as we near next month’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. I mentioned about 10 names and … none of them were Blue Jays.
Well, the joke is on me.
If you haven’t already heard, this was our first major offseason trade involving talented Minor Leaguers, which was first broken by Fox Sports’ Morosi/Rosenthal team on Twitter last (Tuesday) night.
Blue Jays get: Veterans Jose Reyes (shortstop), Josh Johnson (righty starter), Mark Buehrle (lefty starter), Emilio Bonifacio (utility man) and John Buck (catcher).
Marlins get: Veteran Yunel Escobar (shortstop), rookie Henderson Alvarez (righty starter) and prospects Jake Marisnick (center fielder), Justin Nicolino (lefty starter), Anthony DeSclafani (righty starter) and Adeiny Hechavarria (shortstop).
Simply put (and not giving much consideration to the Major League veterans exchanged and committed money that changed hands, both of which are beyond my scope): The Blue Jays made out well.
Here is why: Yes, they yielded three of their top seven prospects, but none are what we would call blue-chip or elite-level prospects and Toronto’s system sports the depth to simply replace them. Let’s take these guys one at a time:
Player 1: Marisnick, who hasn’t produced consistent results above low-A, has yet to prove he can be an above-average hitter. The 2009 third-round draftee has quieted some concerns with his .837 OPS through 19 Arizona Fall League games, but he remains very much a work-in-progress in the batter’s box. His defensive and base-running skills were more impressive in 2012.
Player 2: Nicolino, a third of that Lansing trio, was pretty flawless in ’12, posting a 2.46 ERA in 28 games (22 starts) while sporting a 119-21 K-BB ratio. But if we’re looking for flaws, here is one: Unlike former rotation mates Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez, Nicolino doesn’t have blow-by, dominating stuff, as evidenced by his opponents’ .246 batting average. Nicolino does have very good stuff (fastball, curveball and plus changeup), he strikes me as the kind of guy who will be more limited (than Syndergaard and Sanchez) when he competes against Class A Advanced, Double-A, Triple-A and Major League hitters. Remember, he hasn’t faced any of them yet.
Replacements: In addition to Syndergaard and Sanchez, the Jays have Sean Nolin, Deck McGuire and John Stilson coming along as well as younger hurler-in-training Roberto Osuna. That still leaves ’11- and ’12-drafted lefty starters Daniel Norris and Matthew Smoral, both of whom have a chance to be as good as or better than Nicolino in the future.
Player 3: Hechavarria is among the best fielding shortstops in baseball (and no slouch as a base-stealer), but the Jays weren’t sold enough on his hit tool to install him as the long-term response to Escobar’s inevitable exit.
Replacements: In addition to the former Met Reyes, who may not finish his current contract in Toronto (the guess here is that he won’t), the Jays front office is very high on unranked farmhand Ryan Goins. Despite the fact that Goins has not played above Double-A — he posted a .289/.342/.403 line 136 games there last year — he is now seen as the heir apparent at the position.
I would also add this: The Toronto organization All-Stars piece I filed recently (and which will run the middle of next month) did not include any of the four Jays-turned-Marlins. It just so happens that Gose (outfield, over Marisnick), Nolin (lefty starter, over Nicolino), Goins (shortstop, over Hechavarria) and Syndergaard (right starter, over DeSclafani) all made the list.
That softens the blow of my last, short-sighted blog post. A little bit anyway.
Put this on your hot stove and cook it: We are still three weeks from baseball’s Winter Meetings and already the names of Minor League prospects — not just Major League players — are being bandied about as trade bait.
This is the world we live in — a world in which national, rumor-mongering ball writers and fans are growing increasingly savvy about not only teams’ complete 25-man roster, but their 40-man and beyond. If you’re anything like them, you’re also highly aware of many of your team’s Top 20 Prospects, guys who are perhaps years from getting to the bigs.
Which explains why there are already talks about the Reds potentially moving shortstop Didi Gregorius, the D-backs maybe (but probably not) parting with pitcher Trevor Bauer, among other ideas (that’s all they really are at this point) about clubs shipping off untested twenty-somethings.
So jumping in on the speculation? Don’t mind if I do. In fact, the next piece I will be working on for MiLB.com will focus on what type of “prospect packages” Major League execs need to be presented with to end, say, the Justin Upton Era in Arizona or the Jacoby Ellsbury Era in Boston.
As much interest as there is in prospects, however, it is still the the established Major League player that is the conversation-starter. The Red Sox would call the Giants to initiate Ellsbury-for-Gary Brown talks — it’s very unlikely such a deal would come about the other way around.
With that fact in mind, I present a list of prospects who could be moved based on their respective organizations’ depth (irrespective of their rumored interest in a big-time big leaguer like, say, the Rays’ James Shields or the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera because such interest is more likely to be rumored than real). Here are guys who are potentially expendable if their teams want to trade up this offseason:
Tampa Bay Rays – Starting pitcher Chris Archer or Alex Colome – Some would have you believe that GM Andrew Friedman needs to trade Shields or fellow vet starter David Price before their price tag gets out of hand, but Shields has club-friendly options through 2014, and it will be difficult to get equal value for Price. Friedman’s shortcut: Deal Archer or Colome and still have more than enough pitching both in the bigs and the pipeline.
Oakland A’s – Infielder Grant Green – The A’s are not in the habit of trading Major League-quality hitters with zero Major League service time, but this is a unique case. GM Billy Beane and brass need a shortstop and, by their own evaluations, Green is a below-average defender there. This is why they have tried Green in center field (unsuccessful), third base (ehh) and, most recently, second base (adequate). It’s all well and good that Green could be a good utility man, but his bat is too good to not play everyday. Swapping him for a player the A’s do deem a two-way player at short (Gregorius?) would seem to make the most sense.
Seattle Mariners – Infielder Nick Franklin or Stefen Romero –The M’s have and like Dustin Ackley at second and, apparently, don’t see Franklin as a strong enough defender at shortstop. (Another prospect, Brad Miller, who will begin next season at Double-A, could be the long-term solution there.) That leaves Franklin and, to a lesser degree, Romero (who could move to third base) stuck behind Ackley. For all the talk about dealing lefty starter James Paxton, why not keep their potential super-rotation intact.
More musings: If the Rangers deal a shortstop this winter, expect it to be Class A slick fielder Luis Sardinas. … If the Braves decide they can spend to resign catcher Brian McCann past the 2013 season, that would make defensive-minded backstop Christian Bethancourt expendable. … Speaking of catchers, the Marlins could deal J.T. Realmuto given the show Rob Brantly put on this year. … If the cash-poor Mets can reach an extension agreement third baseman David Wright, Wilmer Flores could be a casualty. … What do the Nats do with Anthony Rendon, a plus defender at third base, with face-of-the-franchise Ryan Zimmerman signed through 2019. Rendon, Washington’s top pick in 2011, will likely begin ’13 at Double-A and isn’t far from Show-ready. … Even if the D-backs don’t give up on Upton, it would seem logical to include A.J. Pollock in an offseason deal. He’s not in the team’s plans the way that Adam Eaton is.
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post. This edition features a prospect who was traded on Tuesday.
Lost: Josue Marcelo Carreno (you will more often see him referred to as Marcelo Carreno) signed out of his native Venezuela at 16. He registered sub-3.00 ERAs in Venezuelan Summer League play in 2008 and 2009 before recording 4.00-plus ERAs his first two seasons stateside.
2010: 4.76 ERA and a 59-to-33 K-to-BB ratio in 64 1/3 IP spanning 14 GS at Class A Short-Season Connecticut
2011: 4.55 ERA and a 115-to-41 K-to-BB ratio in 124 2/3 IP spanning 24 G at Class A West Michigan
Found: Carreno, who sports a fastball-curveball-changeup mix, returned to the same level and accomplished two things: He walked 13 fewer batters in 14 2/3 more innings. While that may not sound like a lot, it is for a hurler like him who must pitch to contact to get outs.
2012: 3.23 ERA and a 119-to-28 K-to-BB ratio in 139 1/3 IP spanning 27 GS at Class A West Michigan
So Carreno was lost, now he is found. Now, about the
Tigers’ Cubs’ returns: Word on the street is that Carreno tops out as a No. 3 starter and bottoms out as a middle reliever. Either way, Chicago is getting a future Major League pitcher. Given that we’re talking about a 21-year-old who has yet to pitch at the Class A Advanced level, however, I would stretch the space between his ceiling and his floor a bit more. Look for the righty to begin 2013 at Daytona, in the Florida State League.