Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Rebuilds, Retooling and Pirates Prospects In First Offseason Trades

I don't know if it set any new records, but let's just say trade activity in the offseason's first day was "extremely brisk". Here's a rundown of the first few trades with a brief analysis of each:

Pittsburgh gets OF J.B Hunter + $4MM
Atlanta  gets $28.7MM IFA Arismendy Johnson (Season 35)

Analysis:  Pretty hefty price for the inconsistent Hunter, but he's still fairly young, fairly cheap, available, and the Pirates needed OF help more than anything.  Johnson could be an All-Star 3B as early as this year - big jump-start to the Braves' re-tooling.

Cincinnati gets CF Darrell Hughes
Washington D.C. gets OF prospect Erisbel Soto (Sea 36 IFA, $31.8MM)
Analysis: Hughes brings a 200-point career OPS advantage versus last year's CF, the decidedly defensive Enrique Johnson.  That's a great pickup as the Reds seek to join (and surpass) the NL's top echelon.  First move in the D.C. retooling - watch these guys...it's not going to take long to rework all these prospects into a contender.

New York Yankees get CF Derrick Lewis
Montreal gets minor-league 3B/OF Radhames Borbon
Analysis:  Looks kind of like a salary dump by the Expos, although I'd have thought they could've arb'd Lucas a 3rd time for the minimum.  Yankees get a pretty nice defensive CF/pinch runner type (93 SB's in 100 attempts over 5 seasons) who could conceivably be the vR part of a CF platoon.  Borbon will never see the Majors.

Montreal gets Roland Kent (Sea 33 #79) and P.T. Harper (Sea 37 #39)
Atlanta gets OF Orlando Figueroa
Analysis:  Undoubtedly a salary move by the Expos; Kent and Harper might get ML shots but won't amount to much. Meanwhile, perhaps Atlanta's early trade of OF Hunter was a rebuild head-fake.  Maybe they thought Figueroa would be an upgrade over Hunter, plus they landed a top prospect in the switch.

Washington D.C. gets Season 36 $35MM IFA Jimmie Velazquez, OF Leonardo Grimm, and RP Alan Carpenter 
Pittsburgh gets OF Chris Petkovsek and closer Adalberto Cervantes.  
Analysis: Huge haul for the Nats.  The Pirates better win something in the next 2 years, as Petkovsek probably has a useful life of 2 more seasons, and Cervantes will likely go to free agency in 2 more years. D.C. is accumulating prospects like crazy, and in Velazquez they got one of the best pitching prospects in all of Major Leagues - after just 2 seasons both splits are at 80 and could end up above 90.

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