Posts tagged ‘Trades’

2011 Rays Projections: Matt Joyce

Matt Joyce

When the Rays traded starting pitcher Edwin Jackson for young outfielder Matt Joyce back on December 10th of 2008 everyone knew it was a good swap for both teams. The Rays had a plethora of starting pitchers and were in need of a young, cheap bat with power.

Well, over the past two seasons Edwin Jackson has pitched a no-hitter against the Rays and been worth 7.3 fWAR. Matt Joyce has found it hard to crack the Rays lineup and has only had 298 plate appearances with the big club.

It’s 2011 now and Edwin Jackson has been traded twice and Matt Joyce is looking to get a lot of at-bats in Joe Maddon’s many lineups.  Here are my 2011 projected numbers for the young slugger with a career .243 ISO in just under 600 plate appearances:

 Stat  Total
 AVG  .259
 OBP  .359
 SLG  .478
 OPS  .837
 Plate App.  568
 At-Bats  494
 Hits  128
 Homeruns  23
 Doubles  31
 Triples  4
 BB  74
 SO  133
 SB  5
 UZR  +5


If I had to make my own “gut” predictions I would say Joyce is a virtual lock to hit 25+ homeruns but I have to look at his playing time realistically.

Joyce may find it hard to crack the lineup against tough left-handers but should be in almost every lineup against any right-hander. Maddon is great at playing the right guys in the scenarios and Joyce should find plenty of playing time if RF, LF, DH, and as a pinch-hitter.

Joyce’s projected totals should net him around 3 fWAR in 2011, give or take a couple tenths depending on how much defensive value he adds because +5 UZR may be low. This will be the year people will stop saying the Rays lost the Jackson-Joyce trade and realize it was a great trade for the Rays.


February 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm 5 comments

Jays Unload on Angels

Alex Anthopoulos

Yesterday the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a Houdini act and actually traded Vernon Wells and his contract to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. That’s right, Wells and his albatross of a contract for two actual players that add value, causing one of the biggest laughing stocks I have ever seen on Twitter.

Wells is coming off his best season, according to fWAR (4.0), of his career and roughly his third best season offensively while only posting a .331 OBP and getting most of his production from his offensive friendly home stadium. And over the past three seasons Wells has been a -35.9 fielder. Wells probably belongs in LF now but the Angels seem like they will play him in CF.

The Angels are now paying $52M in 2011 to three outfielders and one of them (Gary Matthews Jr.) doesn’t even play on the team, and I could only imagine how bad that outfield would be if he was playing for them in 2011.  Not only is the outfield expensive, old, and praying to be league average, but they now have Jeff Mathis, who has a career slash line of .199/.265/.311 and a career -0.8 fWAR as their starting catcher if Hank Conger‘s poor defense doesn’t improve this spring.

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos looks like a genius this off season.  Not only did he unload roughly $75M of sunken cost but got Mike Napoli, who will probably hit 30 homeruns while playing half the games at catcher and splitting time at 1B and DH, and my boy MLBreports thinks he can hit 40 playing in Toronto, but he also got Juan Rivera, who is a nice bench piece and a free agent after 2011.

Oh, to make matters worse, AA also has the Angels’ 2nd round draft from when they signed Scott Downs to that 3 year deal.  Not to mention the possible combination of players Tony Reagins could have signed this offseason for the same amount he is paying Vernon Wells.

AA, since becoming the Jays GM, has traded for Brandon Morrow and Yunel Escobar, turned Roy Halladay into  Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud, and Anthony Gose, had a good draft in 2010, made a splash in international signings by landing Adeiny Hechavarria and Adonis Cardona, and he has turned his 2010 expiring contracts into extra draft picks (he has 7 picks by the end of the 2nd round).

Angels GM Tony Reagins has done nothing but fail this offseason to sign any big-time players, and in turn he awarded the fans by trading for Vernon Wells.  Good job Reagins and Angels ownership, the only thing you will see with rising sale totals are pitchforks and torches.

January 22, 2011 at 11:00 am 2 comments

Royals Improve Defense, Prospect Depth

Lorenzo Cain
Jeff Roberson – AP Photo

Being a little redundant here but the Kansas City Royals traded ace starter Zack Greinke,  Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2M in exchange for centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, top prospect starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and a PTBNL.

The Royals had about as close to a zero percent shot at contending in 2011 as any team in the Majors.  They had to trade Greinke to free up money and set them selves up for future success.  This trade does just that and it makes them better up the middle.

Lorenzo Cain appears to be the main piece in return.  Cain is a plus defender and plus runner with good on-base skills and easy 30+ steal potential.  He may never hit double digit homers but that’s fine as long as he plays toward his strengths.

Alcides Escobar is a plus defender and plus runner although it has not translated onto the basepaths fully yet.  He lacks patience (only 29 unintentional walks in 549 plate appearances last year) and makes too much weak contact right now but has the ability to change that as he matures.  He is a guy that pitchers will love and will give a team value offensively if he hits for average.

Jake Odorizzi is the minor league gem in this trade.  He is phenomenally athletic that projects as a solid mid-rotation prospect that pounds the zone with an above-average fastball and an out-pitch breaking ball that has developed well.  His change-up is still below-average and needs to develop it in hopes of being more than a 5th starter or reliever.  If he can put it all together he could be a legit #2 starter.

The Royals look like a dangerous 2013-2015 team.  They could look like this in a year or two:

C – Wil Myers
1B – Eric Hosmer
2B – Johnny Giavotella
3B – Christian Colon
SS – Alcides Escobar
LF – Alex Gordon
CF – Lorenzo Cain
RF – Mike Moustakas
DH – Billy Butler

1. Mike Montgomery – LHP
2. John Lamp – LHP
3. Jake Odorizzi – RHP
4. Danny Duffy – LHP
5. Chris Dwyer – LHP/Aaron Crow – RHP

That does not include any free agents they could add or trades they could make.

They could also receive Jeremy Jeffress as the PTBNL, making this trade even better for their future success and depth.  Jeffress is a hard throwing right-hander that could recieve a lifetime ban if he fails one more drug test.  His days as a starter are done with the lost development time due to previous drug suspensions but he should profile as an electric reliever.

Although this trade pretty much solidifies the Royals as a 100-loss team, it helps puts them in position to contend from 2013 and beyond.

December 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Greinke Makes Brewers 2011 Contenders

Zack Greinke

The Milwaukee Brewers are not done trading the farm system for a shot at glory in 2011.  They have struck a deal (reported first by Bernie’s Crew) with the Kansas City Royals that will net them ace starter Zack Greinke,  Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2M in exchange for centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, top prospect starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and a PTBNL.

I wrote earlier about the Brewers rotation when they acquired Shaun Marcum but let’s take a quick look at what it yields after this trade:

 Pitcher  IP  FIP  ERA  WAR
 Zack Greinke  220.0  3.34  4.17  5.2
 Yovani Gallardo  185.0  3.02  3.84  4.6
 Shaun Marcum  195.1  3.64  3.74  3.5
 Randy Wolf  215.2  4.85  4.17  0.7
 Chris Narveson  167.2  4.22  4.99  1.7


This trade gives the Brewers one of the best rotations in the NL.  It also allows them to permanently place Manny Parra and Mark Rogers in the pen where both of their stuff plays up. 

Greinke is a legit ace, just one year removed from leading the AL in ERA, ERA+, and posting a 2.33 FIP as the AL Cy Young Award winner.  He gets to now feast on the NL and better yet, the NL Central. 

Even with the big addition there are still two problems with this trade from the Brewers standpoint:

1.  They are worse defensively than they were before the trade (and that was already pretty bad).

2. This depletes their farm system to the point where a reliever is arguably their top prospect and he may be their PTBNL.

Still, with a rotation as fierce as the Brewers is, and an offense that should have no problem putting runs on the board, the Brew Crew should be considered playoff contenders and could be very scary to face in a short series.

December 19, 2010 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Bartlett Should Love NL West

Adam RussellJason Bartlett

The Tampa Bay Rays, needing to restock the bullpen, have [reportedly] sent shortstop Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres for relievers Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos.  This is the perfect need-for-need trade that should help both teams immediately.

The Rays get to shed some payroll while addressing the bullpen, a need that has many holes with the free agent departures of Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate, and Chad Qualls

The Rays recieve Adam Russell, a 6’8″ right handed reliever that throws a mid-90s fastball and an average curveball but lacks command.  In 54 big league innings he has 54 strikeouts, a 2.90 FIP, and has averaged 94.4 mph on his fastball, throwing it roughly 69% of the time.  His ERA in those innings sits at 4.50, aided in part by a high BABIP of .363.  He also keeps the ball on the ground with a career 1.27 GB/FB ratio, something that is a plus with the Rays’ plus defenders in the infield.

Cesar Ramos has been a left handed starter for most of his minor league career but profiles as a lefty specialist.  He throws a low-90s fastball and a low 80s slider but struggles with his control and command.  Like Russel, Ramos also keeps the ball on the ground.

Both players should be in the Rays pen in 2011.

The Padres, dealing from a surplus of relievers, get a starting shortstop for their team.  Bartlett will probably never reach his Al-Star offensive season of 2009 again but I believe he is better than what he posted in 2010.  Bartlett is a career .281/.345/.385 hitter that walks roughly 8% of the time and plays at least average defense at short.

The main plus on Bartlett, now that he is in the NL West, is that he loves to face left-handed pitching.  For his career he has hit .318/.383/.444 in 851 plate appearances and moves to a division where there are 40% left handed starters.  That’s right, 40%.  Oh, and this is his walk year.

Bartlett also profiles as a Type-A free agent after 2011, which could net the Padres some draft picks if they decide to offer him arbitration and he signs elsewhere. 

Not a bad trade for a couple of extra relievers the Padres had lying around and an extra shortstop the Rays had that got a little too expensive for them.

December 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm 1 comment

Need + Surplus = Marcum for Lawrie Trade

Shaun MarcumBrett Lawrie

When news first got out that Shaun Marcum was heading to the Milwaukee Brewers the prospect was rumored to be Brett Lawrie.  I thought to myself that there was no way the Brewers would give him up for Marcum.  Well, I was wrong.  The Brewers, in a desperation move to add a starter because they cannot afford a top free agent, pulled the trigger on Marcum in exchange for their best prospect.  I want to make it clear that I believe the Jays won this trade but I understand why the Brewers made it.

The Brewers 2011 rotation before the acquisition of Marcum would have looked a little like this (with 2010 stats):

 Pitcher  IP  FIP  ERA  WAR
 Yovani Gallardo  185.0  3.02  3.84  4.6
 Randy Wolf  215.2  4.85  4.17  0.7
 Chris Narveson  167.2  4.22  4.99  1.7
 Manny Parra  122.0  4.50  5.02  0.4
 Mark Rogers  10.0  2.08  1.80  0.3

That’s far from a contender’s rotation, especially with the poor defense that plays behind them.  Parra and Rogers both belong in the bullpen, and Narveson is more of a 5th starter with Wolf being a solid #4.  That leaves the Brewers with a heavy need of a #2 and #3 starter, something that will cost you roughly $8-$12M per year in the current market.  The Brewers simply cannot afford that.  When the opportunity to acquire Shaun Marcum came up they felt compelled to make the deal happen.  Here is what their 2011 rotation could look like with Marcum:

 Pitcher  IP  FIP  ERA  WAR
 Yovani Gallardo  185.0  3.02  3.84  4.6
 Shaun Marcum  195.1  3.64  3.74  3.5
 Randy Wolf  215.2  4.85  4.17  0.7
 Chris Narveson  167.2  4.22  4.99  1.7
 Mark Rogers  10.0  2.08  1.80  0.3

Marcum is an instant upgrade to a bleak rotation and allows Parra to move to the pen, where he belongs.   He is also under team control for two more years and will cost much less than a free agent of his caliber.

Toronto makes this trade without blinking an eye.  They acquire Canada-native Lawrie, currently learning secondbase, and could choose to either keep him and develop him or add him to a package and try and land the Royals Zack Greinke.

Lawrie is very raw at secondbase and may end up having to move to a corner outfield position or firstbase, something the Brewers had their own surplus of.  Here is a scouting report from Keith Law on Lawrie:

Lawrie has a good swing, almost a classic left-handed swing but from the right side, with tremendous rotation and raw power. I’ve seen him overstride in BP, but he quiets down a little in games, still taking all-out swings but with such a good swing path that he covers the plate and struggles only with changing speeds. He’s an intense, aggressive, “one-speed” player who might benefit from dialing it down a notch every now and then, and the lack of finesse in his game is part of what holds him back as an infielder.

Lawrie hit .285/.346/.449 with a wOBA of .361 and ISO of .164.  He hit 8 homers, 35 doubles, 16 triples, and stole 30 bases.  His pitch recognition is lacking but he still performed incredibly well for a 20 year old in 604 plate appearances in AA.  If Lawrie can stick to secondbase he could be a star, but the odds seem against him staying there.  I think he can, for what ever that is worth.

The Jays had a major surplus of starters with Rickey Romero, Brett Cecil, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Marc Rzepczynski all capable of filling out a rotation. 

As the trade stands it made total sense for the Jays to do with their surplus and the Brewers addressed a need that, saved them money, although they still paid a high fee for it.

December 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm 2 comments

Padres Get Nice Haul in Gonzalez Trade

Casey Kelly

The San Diego Padres, and not just Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox, are winners in the trade that netted them top prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and a PTBNL.

The biggest chip in the deal was starting pitcher Casey Kelly.  Here is a scouting report from Keith Law over at the 4-letter:

Kelly is a great athlete who fields his position well and repeats his delivery, contributing to that above-average command. He probably will add a little velocity as he goes, but his ability to locate his fastball and chance for two above-average to plus secondary pitches make him a top-flight pitching prospect even without the big fastball

Kelly had a down year in 2010 but he played the full season as a 20 year old in AA.  He throws strikes, has above-average stuff, gets groundballs, and is one of the most athletic players in the minors.  He also loves the game and loves to hit and is moving to the best pitcher’s park in the Majors.  I cannot imagine him being anything less than thrilled with this trade.  He, in my opinion, is a Jeremy Hellickson clone, and we all remember his Major League debut in the AL East last year.  The Padres could be sporting a 2012 opening day rotation of Mat Latos, Kelly, and Simon Castro.  Not too shabby.

Anthony Rizzo also played 2010 in AA, mostly as a 21 year old, hitting 20 homers and 30 doubles in 414 at-bats but striking out 100 times.  Here is his scouting report from Law:

…one of the best defensive first basemen in the minors. He’s a left-handed hitter with a very easy stroke that generates line drives to all fields, although as he grows he should develop 25-30 home run power.

I can’t imagine Rizzo starting 2011 with the Padres.  They will need to find a 1B on the market (possibly Russell Branyan) until Rizzo is ready, hopefully by 2012.  Rizzo could easily be a plus-fielding first baseman with 40 doubles and 20 homers but his pitch recognition must improve first.

The player that could push the trade in the favor of the Padres is 2009 first-round pick Reymond Fuentes.  I, personally, love Fuentes.  He is a plus fielder, plus runner, and should hit for average.  Oh, and his uncle is just some pedestrian named Carlos Beltran. no big deal.  Here is Law’s take on Fuentes going into the 2009 draft:

The consensus [among scouts spoken to] seems to be that he has substantial upside as a hitter, at least for average, and the potential to be a plus defender in center like his uncle, Carlos Beltran.

Fuentes is small, just like Beltran was at the same age.  Listed at 6 ft tall and 160 lbs, Fuentes could gain by adding some bulk.  He could also gain by taking a few more pitches and recognizing pitches better.  He played the entire 2010 season in A-ball as a 19 year old and hit .270/.328/.377 with 15 doubles, 5 triples, 5 homers, and 42 steals in 414 plate appearances.  Fuentes has a long way to go and may never be as good as Beltran but his skill set fits the Padres needs for the Petco.

The PTBNL, according to Peter Gammons Twitter, is not a prime guy.  Overall, the haul the Padres received, knowing they had a limited amount of trade partners willing to give up the level of prospects needed and to offer Gonzalez an extension, was top-notch and I could see all three prospects as solid regulars in the majors with Kelly having the highest ceiling.

December 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm 1 comment

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