Last Updated: August 2nd, 2016 at 11:50 am EST
August 1st, 2016:
Analysis: Courtesy of Dave Cameron at FanGraphs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquire RHP Ivan Nova from the New York Yankees in exchange for 2 Players To Be Named Later.
Analysis: Nothing for either team to complain about with this trade in my opinion. Bruce can come in and give the Mets a big-bopper to pair with Cespedes while also taking pressure off of Michael Conforto. Also, thanks to Bruce’s option, the Mets’ outfield should remain set going into next season even if Cespedes opts-out of his current contract. From the Reds’ point of view, they did a good job of hanging onto Bruce this past offseason after a down year, as they likely would not have received as much as Dilson Herrera had they made this move a few months ago.
Analysis: It may seem stunning at first that the Rangers are willing to trade away the number 4 overall pick from the 2015 Amateur draft, but there were many who were not very high on Tate going into the draft that year. Scouts peg him as more of a reliever, and he has yet to find any success as a starter this year in A-ball. Overall, a worthwhile deal for the playoff-experienced Carlos Beltran, who will slot into the DH spot, with the corner outfield being an option on occasion.
Analysis: A move that makes sense for both teams. Guyer isn’t a flashy addition, but he does provide OF depth as well as a platoon player to hit against lefties.
Analysis: I love Will Smith, and despite a rough start to 2016 (yes a rough start because he missed the first 2+ months of the season), I still see him as a top late-innings option on a playoff team. The price surely was high, but the Giants have Posey at Catcher, which weakens the blow of losing Susac. Look for the Giants to shift their focus to adding another bat before the deadline.
Analysis: The Marlins and Padres swap back two of the players involved in the Andrew Cashner trade just a few days ago. Maybe I am just too high on Castillo, but getting him back makes the Cashner deal look a lot more even that I had originally thought.
Analysis: Good addition for the Red Sox. I have wanted them to add a lefty for some time now, and mentioned Abad as an option in this article from June.
Analysis: This move frees up the Dodgers to move Puig, who the White Sox would want included in any sort of deal.
The Athletics get a very good haul in exchange for two rental players, one of which wasn’t even in the league a little over a year ago.
July 31st, 2016:
Analysis: See Jeff Sullivan’s article titled Orioles Acquire Unexciting, Generic Innings Sponge.
Analysis: Another reasonable deal involving the next-tier reliever market. The Cardinals start their trade deadline small, choosing to add to a bullpen that just lost Trevor Rosenthal to injury. More moves will need to be made if they choose to compete with the Cubs, but at least this move shows that they still believe in the team they have put on the field. Alternatively, the White Sox officially enter seller mode, which should generate plenty of trade buzz tomorrow (though a move of Sale or Quintana is incredibly unlikely).
Analysis: I am not a fan of Clippard in Yankee Stadium considering his fly-ball tendencies, but the Yankees were able to grab him at a relatively low cost, making it a reasonable deal for both sides.
Analysis: The Cleveland Indians have quietly been one of, if not the best, teams in the american league this season. This deal will only make them better. Meanwhile, the Yankees make another non-Yankee move and sell off a major league piece for a package of prospects. Brian Cashman has loaded New York’s farm system in recent days, now the question is whether this is in preparation for the future, or for a bigger unexpected move at the trade deadline…
July 30th, 2016:
Analysis: Front office executives said on multiple occasions that they were looking for a “Chapman-like” return for Melancon that included a reliever who could step into a set-up role right away for the team. The jury is still out on whether or not Rivero can fill that second requirement, though a high K rate helps his chances. Other than that though, a very disappointing return for one of the best closers in the league over the past 3-4 seasons.
Analysis: A nice buy-low deal for the Royals. Burns is controllable at an affordable price, and also provides speed on the basepaths along with outfield depth.
Analysis: I like this deal for the Braves far more than I do for the Padres. Kemp is at least serviceable and provide power, where as Olivera remains a long-term wildcard and thus a riskier option.
July 29th, 2016:
The Miami Marlins acquire RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Colin Rea, and RHP Tayron Guerrero from the San Diego Padres in exchange for 1B Josh Naylor, RHP Luis Castillo, RHP Carter Capps, and RHP Jarred Cosart.
Reaction: In my opinion, Cashner was one of the more underrated starting pitchers available on this year’s trade market. His addition is a great get for the Marlins, however, the cost of top-position prospect and 2015 first round pick Josh Naylor is certainly a hefty price to pay. The inclusion of the more controllable Colin Rea in the deal paired with the recent injury to starter Wei-Yin Chen may have been what swayed the Marlins into feeling that the deal was acceptable. More details to come as information is released.
Updated Reaction: Wow! Not only are the Marlins moving Naylor, but they are also choosing to trade away highly regarded pitching prospect Luis Castillo, who has posted a 2.25 ERA, 2.33 FIP, and 5.60 K/BB line this year in Advanced-A ball. Furthermore, the inclusion of Cosart just about offsets the addition of Rea, this likely showing that the Marlins are giving up on the once promising starter in order to take their chances on a new up-and-comer. Overall, solid addition for the Marlins, but at a very heavy cost. The Padres continue to do well in maximizing the return for their MLB trade chips. The market for pitching has proven to be a seller’s paradise.
Another Update: With the addition of yet another aspect to this deal (Capps for Guerrero), I have finally come to the conclusion that the Marlins have not just overpaid, but overpaid beyond its worth. Capps may be missing the rest of 2016, but he will be back at some point in 2017 to provide the Padres with what should be quality late innings from the pen. Guerrero, on the other hand, is nothing more than a depth piece in a bullpen, as he lacks consistent enough control to be counted on late in games. I tend to feel that overpaying with prospects is okay for a contending team since the ultimate goal is to win a World Series Championship; but, in the case of the Marlins, they have traded away a lot of their future, as well as a few pieces that could have helped them as early as next season. Fernandez, Chen, Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna and company are all signed through 2018, so it is not as if the Marlins’ window of opportunity was going to shut after this season. Not to mention the fact that, even with Cashner, their chances at a championship are not as good as some of the other teams in the NL, namely the Giants, Nationals, and Cubs.
July 28th, 2016:
July 27th, 2016:
July 26th, 2016:
July 25th, 2016:
Reaction: Read my full reaction to this trade here.
July 20th, 2016:
July 14th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: Wow! Anderson Espinoza, widely regarded as a top-25 prospect in the entire league, is a high price to pay for a 27-year old pitcher who is just now finding success as a starter. This is probably going to blow up in the faces of Dombrowski and the Red Sox, they showed their desperateness with this one.
Analysis: That was my initial reaction, but it didn’t last long. As soon as I had a chance to really dig into Pomeranz’s 2016 success, I was sold on the move from the perspective of both sides. No matter how hard I tried, I could not find anything to say that Pomeranz’s performance this season is a fluke. His FIP (3.16) is certainly higher than his ERA (2.47), but even a regression to the former would make this deal worthwhile for the Red Sox. Thanks to his developing of a cutter, Pomeranz now has three pitches that he can throw for strikes, the other two being his fastball and a nasty knuckle-curve. As a result, Pomeranz has also upped his K/9 to 10.15, while his BB/9 rate of 3.62 remains right around his career total of 3.84. Furthermore, his GB%, HR/FB rate, and Soft/Medium/Hard contact rates all remain similar to his career numbers as well. There has been some luck in the BABIP (.240) and LOB% departments (80.8%), regression to the mean in those categories is mostly reflected in Pomeranz’s FIP. Scouts too have reportedly supported the notion that Pomeranz is for real.
The other pitcher moving in the deal, Espinoza, burst onto the scene last season at the age of 17, dominating rookie ball. This season in single-A has proven to be a little more difficult, but Espinoza has still managed a 4.28 ERA, 3.09 FIP, and 8.53 K/9 rate despite being the youngest player in the South Atlantic League. Scouts say that Espinoza has better command with all three of his pitches (fastball, curveball, change-up) than the typical 18-year old, which is only made more impressive by the fact that he already sits comfortably at 94-95 mph with his fastball. San Diego did very well to acquire a prospect who is already drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez.
Final Word: Barring a blow-up from Pomeranz, the Red Sox did well to acquire a reliable starter quickly before the trade deadline rush. Espinoza may have ace potential, but he is still a good 3-4 years away form the majors, making him that much more risky of a prospect. Still, the upside that San Diego is receiving in this deal should have the front office excited for the future. I was a bit surprised that the Padres did not end up getting a couple of prospects in return for Pomeranz, as that would have seemed to be a less risky maneuver, but nobody will be complaining as long as Espinoza can reach even a fraction of his potential.
July 10th, 2016:
The Tampa Bay Rays acquire RHP Jaye Chapman from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Cash Considerations or PTBNL.
July 9th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: YES! This is the type of move that I had been hoping the Red Sox would make at some point. I would still like to add a lefty presence to the bullpen, but this deal should go a long way.
Analysis: Back at the beginning of June, I discussed possible relief pitching options that the Red Sox could be looking at via trade. At the time, I included Ziegler as a possible half-season rental, but did not do any analysis on him since I was unsure if the Diamondbacks would be willing to sell. As it turns out, Arizona was willing, and managed to receive a decent return in the form of Basabe and Amonte. Luis Alejandro Basabe, in particular, is not to be confused with his brother, Luis Alexander Basabe, who is also in the Red Sox’s system. The lesser known Basabe, the one being moved in this deal, is having a very good season in A ball, batting .310 with 14 stolen bases. With both prospects being so young, however, it makes sense for Boston to move the two 20-year olds for something that can help the team now. Ziegler, a side-arm thrower, does not provide much in terms of strikeouts, but he has a great ground ball rate and has had plenty of success as Arizona’s closer over the past few season’s. He will essentially be playing the role that was originally designated for the injured Carson Smith.
Conclusion: Short-term, this is a win for the Red Sox, as they add some much needed bullpen help that has become even more important with Craig Kimbrel landing on the DL today. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, signal with this trade a willingness to sell, despite having sacrificed so much in terms of player and prospect assets this past winter to turn their team into a playoff contender. That being said, the long-term obviously favors Arizona, as Ziegler is set to become a free agent after this season.
July 8th, 2016:
July 7th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: Augh, the Red Sox need pitching help and a lefty bat, not a right handed hitting infielder…
Analysis: In reality, this is a good deal for both teams. The Brewers are obviously rebuilding, so they move Hill while his value is high in order to get a couple of decent prospects in Wilkerson and Rijo, a much better return than they likely would have received earlier in the season. The Red Sox, on the other hand, benefit from having another bat off the bench as well as a compliment to third baseman Travis Shaw, who has struggled this year against lefties. The in-house options (Marco Hernandez, Deven Marrero) are much less established and tough to rely on for a playoff bound team.
Conclusion: Good deal for both sides. Barring any unexpected developments, the caliber of prospects sent to the Brewers was likely a fair going rate for what the Red Sox were looking to acquire.
June 30th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: This deal is far from anything special, but it makes sense from both sides.
Analysis: After a rough start to the season, Norris has turned things around the past couple of months and made himself into a trade asset. The Braves have no reason to hold on to Norris, and were unlikely to extend him, so receiving a couple of young arms for him while he still holds value makes sense. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have been hurt by injuries and have a rotation that has been thinned considerably since April. Adding another arm like Norris, who at the very least can provide innings, makes even more sense now that Kershaw has gone to the DL as well.
Conclusion: Like the other trades that have taken place to this point, the parameters of this deal seem pretty fair. The Dodgers would probably have preferred to hold onto any and all of their minor league trade pieces in order to make a bigger splash at the deadline, but as long as Norris can stay healthy, they won’t be complaining.
Reaction: Solid addition for the Marlins, who were in need of some bullpen depth. Also makes plenty of sense for the Padres, who are entering seller mode as the deadline nears.
June 24th, 2016:
The Tampa Bay Rays acquire OF Oswaldo Arcia from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Cash Considerations or a PTBNL.
Reaction: I still believe in the power upside of Arcia, so this looks to be a good get for the Rays for practically nothing.
June 23rd, 2016:
The Tampa Bay Rays acquire OF Eury Perez from the Houston Astros in exchange for Cash Considerations.
June 22nd, 2016:
The Seattle Mariners Acquire LHP Wade LeBlanc from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Cash Considerations or a PTBNL.
June 21st, 2016:
The Texas Rangers acquire 3B Kyle Kubitza from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Cash Considerations.
June 19th, 2016:
Reaction: A nice deal that provides depth for both teams. Seattle likes Ketel Marte at SS, and injuries have left the Mariners searching for more starting pitching depth. Lee was once a top-100 prospect, and has fallen off a lot since then, but there is still some upside. The Dodgers, on the other hand, add solid defensive depth to their infield in exchange for a pitcher who has fallen behind other more notable prospects when it comes to providing LA with rotation help.
June 11th, 2016:
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquire C Erik Kratz from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Cash Considerations.
June 9th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: Initially I did not know who was dealt in exchange for Coghlan. Still, my general perception was that, while ironic that they needed him back, that Coghlan makes sense for the Cubs from a need as well a familiarity standpoint.
Analysis: Even though Coghlan is currently only batting .146 on the season, he has proven to be a valuable left-handed hitter off of the bench in his career. In fact, last season Coghlan accumulated 503 plate appearances, putting up a .250/.341/.443 line with 16 home runs and 11 stolen bases, numbers more representative of a major league regular. In addition, he has shown great versatility, playing every position other than shortstop throughout his career. From Oakland’s point of view, Alcantara seems to be a fair return. After breaking into the MLB with the Cubs in 2014, Alcantara has had trouble with strikeouts, posting a 31.3% K rate over 304 at-bats in his short career. That being said, he was once considered a top-100 prospect, and with multiple years of club control, it makes sense for an A’s team that may not contend this year.
Conclusion: Like the Kelly Johnson deal, this trade looks to be a win-win. The Cubs have run into some injury issues, first with Schwarber and now with Soler, while the Athletics have failed to contend in a strong AL West division. Coghlan provides Chicago with a reliable and versatile player for this season, one with which the club is familiar with. Oakland, on the other hand, get a younger/riskier player, albeit one with some upside and with plenty of club control remaining.
June 8th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: Hah, Kelly Johnson was traded again. In fact, for the second season in a row, Johnson moves from the Braves to the Mets. The Mets must have liked Johnson when he was with them last year.
Analysis: This is not a sexy deal by any means, but it does the job for both teams. Kelly Johnson comes in to help a Mets team that has dealt with injuries to both Lucas Duda and David Wright in recent weeks. A .250/.330/.420 career slash line is pretty good for a super-utility player like Johnson.
On the other end of the deal, the Braves had only signed Johnson to a one-year deal anyways, so it makes sense to get a young arm for him while they can. Akeel Morris has been a relief pitcher throughout his minor league career, and has posted a K/9 rate of 10.22 or better in each of his six minor league seasons. The downside is his poor control, evident by a 5.68 BB/9 rate this season at double-A. Still, at the age of 22, it is a worthwhile gamble for the rebuilding Braves.
Conclusion: This is a win-win for both teams, albeit a small one. Johnson provides the Mets with some depth to help cover their recent slew of injuries, while the Braves acquire a young bullpen arm in Morris that has a chance of providing value moving forward.
June 4th, 2016:
Initial Reaction: When the trade was first announced and I was unaware of the cash involved, I felt that the return for Shields was right along the lines of what I would have expected. After seeing that the Padres would be paying $29 million of the remaining $56 million on Shields’s contract (as reported by Bob Nightingale of USA Today), it hit me that maybe the Padres forced a trade too soon, as I felt they could have gotten more had they waited.
Analysis: Shields, of course, is the primary piece being moved in this deal. While he is no longer the ace that helped bring the Royals to the World Series in 2014, he is still as durable as pitchers come (over 200 innings each of the past 9 seasons), and will be slotting into a rotation that already includes Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. At the age of 34, and having a big fly ball/home run tendency, Shields is probably more of a mid-4s ERA pitcher than a top of the rotation option he once was, but this is all that the White Sox will need from him to contend, and at the price of approximately $10 million over the next two years, it is well worth it.
Through his first 98.0 career innings, the now 26-year old Erik Johnson has not looked like anything more than a number 5 starter in the majors. Even that may be a bit too much to expect, as his 4.50 ERA and 5.98 FIP do not bode well for his future. The Padres will likely use him as a spot starter with the hopes that he can maintain just enough success to take the ball every fifth day in the future.
Fernando Tatis Jr., on the other hand, is a raw 17-year old prospect signed internationally by the White Sox during the previous international signing period. The son of former big-leaguer Fernando Tatis Sr., Tatis Jr. has the potential to be productive both offensively and defensively. From what I have read, his arm strength is a plus tool, and scouts have seen enough in him to justify the Padres moving Shields for him. He is is very raw, but the potential is certainly there. More information can be found here on FanGraphs.
Conclusion: Short term, this is a clear win for the White Sox. They give up two players that were doing little to nothing to benefit the team now in exchange for a starting pitcher who can be counted on to provide innings. Long term (which I see as three years later and beyond), there is obviously upside on the part of the Padres. Still, it is unlikely Johnson develops into a major contributor, so it will be up to Tatis Jr. to determine how good the return for Shields really was. Neither team carries any long term risk in this deal in my opinion, so there cannot be a loser. The Padres, however, do have the chance to be the winners, if that makes any sense.
Header photo courtesy of Sporting News.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.
Trade news courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.