2018 MLB Season Trade Grades
Seattle Mariners: Mariners acquire Dee Gordon from Miami Marlins for prospects | December 9th, 2017
Seattle Mariners: The Miami Marlins are staying true to their word and are unleashing salary by trading away some of the team’s big money players and Dee Gordon was one of them. Dee Gordon, 29, is due $38 million over the next three seasons but he could be due $51 million should his option get picked up by the Seattle Mariners. Dee Gordon will be joining the Seattle Mariners as the team’s new primary center fielder as the team is moving on from Jarrod Dyson who is a free agent this offseason. In addition to the Mariners acquiring Gordon they acquired $1 million dollars in funds to put toward signing Ohtani or a top prospect. (Grade: A)
Miami Marlins: Heading to South Florida in exchange for Dee Gordon is a package of prospects featuring RHP Nick Neidert, SS Christopher Torres and RHP Robert Dugger. The best prospect coming to Miami is Nick Neidert. Nick Neidert spent the majority of 2017 season at A-Modesto where he posted a 10-3 record, 2.76 ERA in 104 innings before a minor stint with the Jumbo Shrimp. As for Christopher Torres and Robert Dugger, they are both developmental players (minor league depth) at this current moment in time, both played in A-ball last season and could see time AA in 2018. (Grade: C+)
2017 MLB Season Trade Grades
Los Angeles Angels: Angels acquire Brandon Phillips from Atlanta Braves | August 31st, 2017
The Los Angeles Angels are making the best of the waiver-trade deadline as they were able to acquire Justin Upton they know have acquired Brandon Phillips from the Atlanta Braves.
Prior to today’s Braves game against the Chicago Cubs, Brandon Phillips was pulled from the lineup as he was sent to Los Angeles for catcher Tony Sanchez.
The Los Angeles Angels have been flipping around second basemen since parting ways with Howie Kendrick back in 2014. Since Kendrick, the Angels have been working with the likes of Johnny Giavotella, Danny Espinosa, Kaleb Cowart and Cliff Pennington.
For the second time this season Brandon Phillips waived his no-trade clause and now joins a contender for the first time since 2013. Coming over to Los Angeles upgrades the second base as Brandon Phillips is a much better option for the position over his now teammates Cliff Pennington and Kaleb Cowart.
With Brandon Phillips now in the lineup, it does not necessarily mean a demotion for Cowart or Pennington. Both players will, in fact, lose at-bats but they will still be used as key pieces on their bench and as reserves for Brandon Phillips as well as at shortstop and third base.
This season, at age 36, Brandon Phillips continues to be productive as he has a slash line of .291/.329/.753. Brandon Phillips will be on rental for the Angels as he is set to become a free agent this coming winter. As for Tony Sanchez, he will likely remain down in the minors as organization depth for the Atlanta Braves.
Final Grade: Los Angeles Angels: B+ | Atlanta Braves: C-
Houston Astros: Astros acquire Cameron Maybin from Los Angeles Angels | August 31st, 2017
Shortly after acquiring Justin Upton in a separate trade with the Detroit Tigers. The Los Angeles Angels lost outfielder Cameron Maybin as he was claimed off waivers from the Houston Astros.
The Houston Astros are on a roll this season and August 31st, 2017 will be a memorable date for the team. Cameron Maybin, 30, has been bouncing around the league as of late, was picked up by the Angels in a trade with the Tigers where later the Angels picked up his $9 million dollar contract option for this season. This year, Maybin has put up average numbers having a slash line of .235/.333/.685 but Maybin has been productive on the base path as he is second in the AL league with 22 stolen bases.
Cameron Maybin joins an Astros outfield where he could see his playing time diminished due to Derek Fisher being there as well. Having Maybin on your bench during the playoffs is a big plus as he has the speed and can come up in much needed pitch-hitting situations.
Final Grade: B
Los Angeles Angels: Angels acquire Justin Upton from Detroit Tigers | August 31st, 2017
The Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Justin Upton to Los Angeles in exchange for prospect Grayson Long and future consideration (player or cash).
Justin Upton has been linked to trade rumors over the past 24 hours as he was getting interest from the San Francisco Giants. The Los Angeles Angels at the last minute came out of left field and pulled the plug acquired the potential free agent at the end of the season.
Justin Upton, 30, is showcasing a solid season this year as he has a slash line of .279/.362/.904 in 125 games this season. This is a nice move for the Tigers as they are let loose of $85 million dollars remaining on Upton’s deal which will now carry over to Los Angeles who will now pay his contract if he decides to remain with the club in 2018 and beyond.
The addition of Upton stacks their outfield as well as their lineup as the Angels are prepared to try and sneak closer to getting an AL Wildcard spot in which they sit 1.5 games back from. As for the Tigers, it is looking like the rebuild is official.
Final Grades: Los Angeles Anges: A | Detroit Tigers: A
Houston Astros: Astros acquire Tyler Clippard from the Chicago White Sox | August 13th, 2017
For the second time this season, relief pitcher Tyler Clippard has been traded to another team, his third team of the 2017 season.
Tyler Clippard: Like mentioned before, this will be Tyler Clippard’s third team this season. This past offseason, Tyler Clippard signed with the New York Yankees but would end up getting traded to the Chicago White Sox in that blockbuster deal that sent David Robertson and Todd Frazier to the New Yankees. In 11 games with the Chicago White Sox, Tyler Clippard was a productive piece to the bullpen as he posted a 1.80 ERA and striking out 12 batters. Tyler Clippard heads to Houston where he will land in a late-inning relief role as the Astros have a solid contingent of setup pitchers already in place. The Chicago White Sox will receive cash considerations or a prospect at some point in the near future.
Final Grade: Houston Astros: B+ | Chicago White Sox: No Grade (pending return)
Cleveland Indians: Indians acquire Jay Bruce from the New York Mets | August 10th, 2017
Late last night, the New York Mets and the Cleveland Indians struck a deal that will send outfielder Jay Bruce to the Indians, what’s being returned to the Mets is unknown.
Jay Bruce: It seems like every year trade deadline Jay Bruce becomes the player to target for teams looking to add power to their lineup. This season, Jay Bruce, 30, is still finding success launching the ball into the stands as he stands at 25 home runs on the year to go along with 75 RBI’s and a .256 average. Jay Bruce lands in a situation where he will take over Michael Brantley’s roster spot as Brantley was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior the trades execution. The Cleveland Indians will also take on the rest of Bruce’s contract for the remainder of the year. Jay Bruce will become a free agent at season’s end.
Final Thoughts: This is a HUGE addition for the Indians. When you look at the Indians roster this team has power from head to toe from Carlos Santana to Edwin Encarnacion and now Jay Bruce. The Cleveland Indians are looking to arm-up if the team holds on to the division and makes it into the playoffs this fall.
Final Grade: Cleveland Indians: A+
Arizona Diamondbacks: Diamondbacks acquire David Hernandez from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Luis Madero | July 31st, 2017
The Diamondbacks gained some here in the bullpen and they add a familiar face back to the team. The Angels, on the other hand, add a young pitcher to their team. Both get what they need out of this one. The down side for the Diamondbacks, Hernandez is getting up there in age now. The down side for the Angels is, they have a little work to do on their newest addition. Final Grade: C
Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers acquire Jeremy Jeffress from Texas Rangers in exchange for Tayler Scott | July 31st, 2017
Back to where it all began, Jeremy Jeffress has been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league prospect Tayler Scott.
Jeremy Jeffress: This will be Jeremy Jeffress’s third stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. Jeremy Jeffress’s latest departure with the Brewers was the franchise’s best catcher in Jonathan Lucroy to Texas where currently both players have been dealt within days of each other. Jeremy Jeffress’s run with the Rangers was lackluster, to say the least. This season, Jeffress holds a 1-2 record and 5.31 ERA. In 2016, Jeffress was at one point the closer for the Brew Crew but now he will resume his late inning relief role.
Texas Rangers: Headed to Texas will be Brewers Double-A prospect Tayler Scott. This season, Tayler Scott is having a productive year as he is posting a 2.46 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 42 games in relief this season. Tayler Scott will likely report to Double-A Frisco RoughRiders unless reported otherwise.
Final Grade: Milwaukee Brewers: C- | Texas Rangers: C+
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates acquire Joaquin Benoit from Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for minor league prospect | July 31st, 2017
With the loss of Tony Watson to Los Angeles, the Pirates found their replacement setup man in Joaquin Benoit.
Joaquin Benoit: Benoit, 40, joins the Pittsburgh Pirates where he will be taking the setup role from Tony Watson who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. This season, Benoit at one point was the Phillies closer but after blowing three saves this season he was pulled from the role. Joaquin Benoit served as a setup man in Philadelphia before getting traded to Pittsburgh where he will resume his role. This season, Joaquin Benoit is 1-4 and is posting 4.07 ERA in 44 games this season.
Philadelphia Phillies: The piece headed to Philadelphia is Florida State League prospect Seth McGarry. This season, Seth McGarry has been one of the key pieces out of the Bradenton Marauders bullpen. Seth McGarry, is posting a 1.34 ERA and is 14 out of 15 in save opportunities this season for the A-Advanced club. McGarry could very likely remain in Florida with the Clearwater Threshers.
Final Grade: Pittsburgh Pirates: C+ | Philadelphia Phillies: C+
Toronto Blue Jays: Blue Jays acquire Nori Aoki from Houston Astros for Francisco Liriano and cash | July 31st, 2017
Nori Aoki: Since signing with the Houston Astros this past offseason, Aoki has primarily been used as a backup outfielder during his tenure with the team. This season, Nori Aoki has a slash line of .272/.323/.694 in 70 games this season. Nori Aoki will resume as a primary backup outfielder for the remainder of the year in Toronto.
Francisco Liriano: Francisco Liriano will be taking on a new role with Houston as he will be headed straight to the team’s bullpen. The 1st place Astros are not needing a whole lot of aid in their rotation but bulking up their bullpen would be nice once the playoff’s come around for the team. This season, Francisco Liriano started as a starting pitcher and is 6-5 this season with a struggling 5.88 ERA and 74 strikeouts. This move to the bullpen for Liriano could benefit him and take pressure off of him.
Final Thoughts: This trade is a quick swap that answers the Astros aid for another arm in the bullpen by also giving the Blue Jays a more reliable backup piece in their bullpen. Francisco Liriano is in a contract year and some sites say that Nori Aoki could be non-tendered at the conclusion of the year. This is overall a depth addition for both sides.
Final Grades: Houston Astros: C- | Toronto Blue Jays: C+
New York Yankees: Yankees acquire Sonny Gray from Oakland Athletics in exchange for Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian | July 31st, 2017
The long stalled trade between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics has officially been pulled off. Sonny Gray is headed to the Yankees for Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian.
The Yankees have emerged as winners during the 2017 MLB Trade Deadline with the addition of Jaime Garcia and now the addition of Sonny Gray. This season, Sonny Gray is 6-5 and holds a 3.43 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 16 games this season. Sonny Gray’s contract will shift over to New York where he will be under Yankee control until 2019. Sonny Gray will be placed in as the Yankees #2 in the rotation.
The Oakland Athletics gain one healthy prospect while Dustin Fowler and James Kaprielian are both done for the season with injuries. Dustin Fowler sustained a ruptured right patellar tendon while James Kaprielian is done with Tommy John Surgery in which he underwent in April. Prospect Jorge Mateo is the only healthy prospect headed to Oakland. Once healthy, Dustin Fowler can give you anything you want from a nice solid average to even displaying solid home run totals for an outfielder, he had 13 in AAA before going down with the injury. James Kaprielian, can work both in the rotation and as well as out of the bullpen in which he did at college. Jorge Mateo will be that development piece in this trade who still needs a few productive seasons in the minors before getting that call up to the majors.
Overall, this trade really works for both teams.
Final Thoughts: The Yankees have upped their rotation as they prepare for their playoff run this summer and Sonny Gray will be the focal point and likely difference maker in the rotation. As for the Athletics, they acquired three solid prospects who can produce but the only downfall on this is that two of the three are done and out for the year but, we would expect a nice solid comeback for Fowler and Kaprielian in Athletics Spring Training in 2018.
Final Grade: New York Yankees: A+ | Oakland Athletics: A
Colorado Rockies: Rockies acquire Jonathan Lucroy from Texas Rangers for PTBNL | July 31st, 2017
After being one of the most sought after players available for trade the Colorado Rockies pulled off a trade acquring Jonathan Lucroy from the Texas Rangers.
With the season currently at a rocky point, the Rangers currently sit at 15.5 games out from 1st and 5.5 games out from the wildcard the Rangers could end up becoming sellers. The Rangers have been getting a ton of interest from teams on Lucroy and Yu Darvish and Lucroy was the first to get traded. Lucroy is set to become a free agent at the end of the year so teams will not give up top tier prospects in order to acquire him for the second half of the season.
This season, Jonathan Lucroy has a slash line of .242/.297/.635 in 77 games this season. Jonathan Lucroy will likely take on the starting role at catcher and resume the role as backup 1st baseman this year, but now behind Mark Reynolds. Rockies catcher Tony Wolters will serve as backup which could put the roster spot of Ryan Hanigan in trouble.
Final Thoughts: The addition of Lucroy to Colorado is huge. Jonathan Lucroy lands in a situation where he is joining a hitter friendly ballpark and contributes to a young team which has the pieces to make a solid playoff push. Lucroy currently has 4 home runs this year, expect that number to go up a bit in the remaining couple of months of the season.
Final Grade: Colorado Rockies: A | Texas Rangers: PENDING!
Kansas City Royals: Royals acquire Melky Cabrera from White Sox in exchange for A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis | July 31st, 2017
For the second time in his career, Melky Cabrera is going to the Kansas City Royals.
Melky Cabrera was a part of the Kansas City Royals back in 2011 where he put up career numbers in home runs (18), RBI’s (87) and batting average (.305). This season, Melky Cabrera is still posting solid numbers as he has a slash line of .305/.339/.470.. Melky Cabrera will immediately take over in right field for the Royals which will put Jorge Bonifacio as the primary backup in the outfield and Brandon Moss remaining at designated hitter.
Heading to Chicago is a former second round selection in 2016 A.J. Puckett and former eighth round selection in 2015 Andre Davis. A.J. Puckett is currently at Class-A (Adv.) Wilmington where he holds a 9-7 record and a 3.90 ERA in 20 games this season. Andre Davis is currently at Class-A (Full) Lexington where he holds a 5-4 record and a 4.83 ERA in 18 games this season. Both pitchers developmental pieces for the White Sox.
New York Yankees: Yankees acquire Jaime Garcia from Twins in exchange for two minor league prospects | July 30th, 2017
For the second time this year and the second time within seven days Jaime Garcia has been traded. Back on July 24th, Jaime Garcia was traded to the Minnesota Twins from the Atlanta Braves and after one start for the Twins they decided to trade him days later.
Back on July 24th, Jaime Garcia was traded to the Minnesota Twins from the Atlanta Braves and after one start for the Twins they decided to trade him days later.
For some time now the Yankees have been looking to improve in their rotation as they have been linked to Oakland’s Sonny Gray and now Jaime Garcia. The addition of Jaime Garcia does not mean that the Yankees are giving up on pursuing Gray even with a number of stalls the potential trade has had. For now, Jaime Garcia will serve as the Yankees #5 but the rotation could be switched up if Sonny Gray does get traded to the Yankees. Jaime Garcia is currently posting a 5-7 record with 4.29 ERA this season in 19 games.
In exchange for Jaime Garcia, the Twins acquired pitcher Dietrich Enns and Zack Littell. Zack Littell is key piece headed to Minnesota as Littlell is untouchable this season holding a 14-1 record, 1.87 ERA and 109 strikeouts between AA-Trenton and A-Tampa. The Minnesota Twins will also take on the entire $17 million owed to Jaime Garcia this season.
Final Grade: New York Yankees: B | Minnesota Twins: B+
Boston Red Sox: Red Sox acquire Eduardo Nunez from Giants in exchange for two minor league pitchers | July 26th, 2017
During the Giants game tonight at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Giants agreed to terms on a deal that sent the third baseman Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in exchange for two minor league pitching prospects.
During his tenure with the San Francisco Giants, Eduardo Nunez was the Giants versatile player who played in both the infield and outfield but primarily spent time at third base as he was their opening day starter. This season, Eduardo Nunez is playing at a high level as he has a batting line of .308/.334/.752. Eduardo Nunez joins the Red Sox and will likely be taking a step back as he will be used more as a utility player.
Heading to San Francisco are pitching prospects, Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos. Gregory Santos, 17-years old, is still a developing star and is currently playing in the Dominican Summer League where he holds a tremendous 0.90 ERA this year. Shaun Anderson is the key addition in this deal as he was ranked as the Red Sox #18 best overall prospect in their farm system. The Giants farm system has taken a hit over the years including pitching. The team currently has 1 pitcher ranked in their top 10 prospects. With the season lost the Giants could likely become sellers and bolster up their weak farm system.
Final Thoughts: This deal really aids both teams as the Giants are sounding like a team that can become sellers and they are a team that is in need of a farm system rebuild and they got two promising prospects who can aid in that. The Red Sox get Nunez who is very versatile playing every infield and outfield position. Eduardo Nunez is not a lock for starts every day but he is a solid utility piece and spot-starter for the Red Sox for the remainder of the year. Also, expect the Giants to potenially make more moves as they are listening to offers on Cueto and Samardzija.
Final Grades: San Francisco Giants: B | Boston Red Sox: B-
Minnesota Twins: Twins acquire Jaime Garcia and Anthony Recker from the Braves in exchange for Huascar Ynoa and cash considerations | July 24th, 2017
The deal has been finalized and Jaime Garcia is now officially a member of the Minnesota Twins.
This trade has been in the works for over a week now and it has finally be finalized today due to the fact that prospect Nick Burdi was to be dealt to Minnesota but an issue with his physical held the trade back. Nick Burdi will not go to Minnesota and will remain with the Braves so in his exchange catcher, Anthony Recker was traded with Jamie Garcia.
Jaime Garcia this season has been performing below average as he holds a 4-7 record, 4.30 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 18 games this season. The Minnesota Twins in the last few days added more to their rotation with the addition of Bartolo Colon and now Jaime Garcia. Jaime Garcia, for now, will serve in the final slot in the Twins rotation but can possibly move up as Bartolo Colon is contemplating retirement pending his next scheduled outing which will be tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Anthony Recker will likely be sent down to AAA-Rochester and wait for his call to the majors.
Heading to Atlanta is 19-year old prospect Huascar Ynoa. Huascar Ynoa was signed as an international free agent in February 2015. Before being traded Ynoa was the Atlanta Braves #22 best prospect in their farm system. This season at the Rookie Level, Ynoa is struggling a bit as he is posting a 0-1 record, 5.26 ERA and 23K/14BB ratio. There is still time for improvement and he is still a young pitcher that can make a splash in the minor leagues.
Final Thoughts: The Minnesota Twins are bringing Jaime Garcia in on a dime by not giving up notable pieces of the franchise. Jaime Garcia will have a chance to promote up into the rotation that is if Bartolo Colon’s outing tonight vs. Los Angeles does not go to plan and he does indeed retire. Jaime Garcia will look to get back on track and aid in the Twins in their 2nd half run.
Final Grade: Minnesota Twins: B | Atlanta Braves: B
Kansas City Royals: Royals acquire Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter from Padres in exchange for LHPs Matt Strahm and Travis Wood and INF Esteury Ruiz | July 24th, 2017
The Kansas City Royals and the San Diego Padres have finalized a deal that involves moves to each team’s bullpen.
Heading to the Kansas City Royals are Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter. Trevor Cahill has been bouncing around the league over the past couple of years as his move to the Royals will be his 4th team since 2015. This season, Cahill is finally coming around as he is posting a 4-3 record with 3.69 ERA in 11 games this season. The Kansas City Royals were in the market to add a back end of the rotation pitcher since Nate Karns went down with thoracic outlet syndrome. Trevor Cahill will fill the void in at #5 in the rotation as Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter will be very useful in early inning relief.
Heading to San Diego are Matt Strahm and Travis Wood and INF Esteury Ruiz. Travis Wood and Matt Strahm are the two key additions for the Padres from Kansas City. Both players are struggling this season as Travis Wood is posting a AWFUL 6.91 ERA in 28 games as Strahm is posting an 5.45 ERA in 24 games this season. Travis Wood has primarily been working out of the bullpen this season but could be put in as the Padres #5 in their rotation, the same spot as Trevor Cahill.
Final Thoughts: This trade really benefits the Kansas City Royals more than it does the Padres. The Padres are looking like they will be becoming sellers as this trade is likely not the last trade they will do as teams are breathing down the Padres neck for Brad Hand. The Royals are right in the mix for the AL Central and needed aid in their bullpen and they found that in Buchter and Maurer but as well as liable replacement #5 in Trevor Cahill. The Padres got 2 relief pitchers who struggled this year and are hoping for a rebound with their new club, they both don’t offer much at this current state in the season.
Final Grade: Kansas City Royals: B+ | San Diego Padres: D
Tampa Bay Rays: Rays acquire Sergio Romo from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations | July 22nd, 2017
The Tampa Bay Rays have been out finding depth in the bullpen and they found that in the recently DFA’ed Sergio Romo.
Sergio Romo was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers mid-week and it did not take a whole lot of time for his name to resurface. This season, Romo has not been putting up the greatest numbers as he carries a 6.12 ERA in 30 games this season. The Tampa Bay Rays are still in the race for the division but bulking up their bullpen was a need. Sergio Romo will be used as a late inning relief pitcher.
The addition of Sergio Romo could not be a stoppage for exploring other potential trades. The Rays are still targeting pitchers to add in their bullpen with the most notable name being Miami Marlins closer, A.J. Ramos.
Final Grades: Tampa Bay Rays: C
Arizona Diamondbacks: Diamondbacks acquire J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers | July 18th, 2017
The Arizona Diamondbacks have boosted their outfield up in a big way as they acquired J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers.
J.D. Martinez, 29, has had his name brought up in trade talks for a while now and the Detroit Tigers decided to pull the plug on a trade with not much in return. In return for J.D. Martinez, the Tigers acquire three prospects in Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King. The biggest name of the three prospects headed to Detroit is Dawal Lugo. Dawal Lugo, 22, was the Arizona Diamondbacks #2 prospect in their farm system who packs a solid bat but will not blow you out of the water in home run’s a per year. Dawal Lugo currently has a slash line of .282/.325/.428 in 88 games with AA-Jackson.
J.D. Martinez will join the Diamondbacks and will take over for the injured Yasmany Tomas in left field. What the plan for Yasmany Tomas once he comes back is not yet determined but the impending free agent Martinez should be a big contributor for this D-Backs lineup even if it is for a short period. J.D. Martinez has a batting line of .305/.388/1.018 in 57 games this season.
Final Grades: Arizona Diamondbacks: A | Detroit Tigers: C
Washington Nationals: Nationals acquire Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics | July 16th, 2017
The Washington Nationals have finally struck a deal to boost their ever struggling bullpen.
For the last month, the Washington Nationals have been linked to a number of relievers from Giants closer Mark Melancon to Phillies Pat Neshek but were able to strike a deal and land both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. The Washington Nationals did not acquire the duo for easy pickins but they had to part ways with a few promising prospects in RHP Blake Treinen, LHP Jesus Luzardo and 3B Sheldon Neuse.
One of the names that really stands out is pitcher Blake Treinen. Blake Treinen is heading back to where his career first took off and that is with the Oakland Athletics. During Treinen’s five-year tender with the Nationals, he has pitched out of the bullpen and this season Treinen has been a part of the Nationals struggles within their bullpen. This season, Blake Treinen started the season off as the Nationals closer, but was replaced after blowing two saves. Treinen is posting a 5.73 ERA in 37 games this season he can benefit from this relocation and be worked into a relief role with the Athletics. Another prospect dealt to Oakland is Nationals 2016 2nd round pick, Sheldon Neuse. Sheldon Neuse is developing well in the minors and has improved since making the jump to A-Full Season he is batting .291 and is showing off his power skills with 9 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 77 games this season. Both are great additions for the Athletics
As for the Washington Nationals, they boosted their bullpen up and could be looking at using a closer-by-committee role with the addition of Doolittle and Madson. As the trade deadline nears, the Nationals can still be that team that to be exploring potential trades to add more depth to their bullpen, which could put the roles of Joe Blanton, Oliver Perez and Trevor Gott in danger.
Final Grades: Oakland Athletics: B+ | Washington Nationals: A+
Chicago Cubs: Chicago Cubs acquire White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana in exchange for four minor league prospects | July 13th, 2017
Over the last week, the Chicago Cubs have been linked to a number of pitchers ranging from Justin Verlander to Michael Fulmer to now Jose Quintana. The two Chicago clubs agreed to a deal that will send Jose Quintana to the Cubs in exchange for OF Eloy Jiménez, RHP Dylan Cease, 1B Matt Rose, and INF Bryant Flete.
In the first half of the season, Jose Quintana has struggled mightily as he is posting a 4-8 record with a 4.49 ERA to go along with 109 strikeouts in 104.1 innings this season. Jose Quintana is a nice addition to a Cubs rotation that struggled with health issues all year. Jose Quintana will serve as the Cubs #3 pitcher going forward as he will remain under Cub control until he is a free agent following the 2020 season.
As for the Chicago White Sox, they acquired a large number of prospects to continue to improve their farm system. A couple of names that standout in this trade are outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease. Dylan Cease is a former 6th round draft pick by the Cubs and has been slowly developing in their farm system. Before being traded, Dylan Cease is at Single-A South Bend where he is posting a 1-2 win-loss ratio with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts and 2 DL stints this year. Eloy Jiménez was an international free agent signed back in 2013 and has improved every year since being signed as a free agent. Eloy Jiménez has a high ceiling and can be a legit MLB prospect after a few more seasons spent in the minor leagues. This trade works out on both ends.
Chicago Cubs: A
Chicago White Sox: A
Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are close to acquiring SS Adeiny Hechavarria from the Miami Marlins | June 26th, 2017
The trade has been finalized and Adeiny Hechavarria is officially a Tampa Bay Ray. In the trade for Hechavarria, the Marlins acquired two top former Rays prospects in pitcher Ethan Clark and outfielder Braxton Lee.
Earlier last week the Marlins made it clear that the team will be moving on from Hechavarria and that they will be dealing him at the end of the week but trade talks went into earlier this week. Adeiny Hechavarria has spent most of the season on the disabled list dealing with injuries with the latest being an oblique injury sustained last month and is still working his way back to 100%.
Adeiny Hechavarria could be coming to the Tampa Bay Rays on a reduced role as shortstop Tim Beckham is finally coming around and is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI’s. It will be an interesting to see what exactly the Rays do with Adeiny Hechavarria, they can always shift him to second base.
Adeiny Hechavarria is signed through the end of the season and is arbitration eligible in 2018 and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
The Miami Marlins bolstered their farm system with Clark and Braxton Lee both whom of which are having productive seasons in the minors this season. Braxton Lee was with AA-Montgomery where he is batting .318. Lee is mostly known for being a contact hitter that can give you a productive batting average every year. Ethan Clark is with A-Bowling Green and is 3-2 with an 3.11 ERA. Ethan Clark is still in his growing stage in his career, but is a prospect to keep tabs on down the line of his young career.
Tampa Bay Rays: B
Miami Marlins: B+
Seattle Mariners: Mariners acquire Andrew Aplin from the Houston Astros | May 24th, 2017
Just days ago the Houston Astros designated Andrew Aplin for assignment in order to add rising prospect Jordan Jankowski to their roster.
Since joining the Astros, Andrew Aplin has been sticking around the Triple-A level with no clear opportunity for starting time at the MLB level. The Houston Astros did more of favor Aplin in DFA’ing him and trading him to Seattle where he will have a chance to be called up in a reserve role at some point this year.
Andrew Aplin will provide depth to the Seattle Mariners minor league system and will report straight to Triple-A Tacoma for now. This season at Triple-A Fresno, Andrew Aplin is batting .250 with 1 home run and 12 RBI’s in 30 games. The Hoston Astros will receive cash or a prospect at a later date.
Mariners Trade Grade: B
Atlanta Braves: Braves acquire OF/1B Matt Adams and cash considerations from the St. Louis Cardinals | May 20th, 2017
The Atlanta Braves have an open hole at first base when Freddie Freeman went down with a wrist injury this week. The Braves brought in James Loney to fill the void, but he will now transition to a bench role with Matt Adams being the new kid in town and everyday 1st baseman until Freeman returns.
For some time now, Matt Adams has been losing opportunities due to the fact that the Cardinals have solidified their outfield with Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty, and Randal Gruchuck and with Matt Carpenter being their everyday 1st baseman, Matt Adams is just treading water and needed to get out of St. Louis.
Heading to the Cardinals is Juan Yepez, Yepez is a 20-year old infielder still rising through the Braves system and is mainly known for hitting for average not for home runs. This season for the Rome Braves, Yepez is batting .275 with 1 home run and 15 RBI’s. Juan Yepez still has a long road ahead of him before any major league discussion arises.
Final Thoughts: Matt Adams heads to the Atlanta Braves, where he has a better chance to get playing time at 1st base and once Freeman returns he can transition to the outfield. The Braves acquired Adams on a dime by sending Yepez to the Cardinals. But so far so good from what we have seen from Yepez at the lower minor league levels, but he still has a road before he makes it to the show.
Braves Trade Grade: B+
Cardinals Trade Grade: C+
San Diego Padres (NL West): Padres acquire Matt Szczur from the Chicago Cubs | May 8th, 2017
Matt Szczur has immediately found a new home and it is with the San Diego Padres. Matt Szczur was the odd man out in Chicago when the Cubs needed help in their bullpen and decided to call up pitcher Rob Zastryzny.
This season Matt Szczur is having his own struggles. In 19 at bats, Szczur is batting .211 with 0 home runs and 3 RBI’s. He will be joining a Padres team that is very short on depth in the outfield due to injuries to Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson who are both on the disabled list. Matt Szczur will be used as outfield depth for the Padres and could be the odd man out again once Travis Jankowski returns if he does not improve his hitting.
Trade Grade: C /C-
Atlanta Braves: Braves acquire Danny Santana from the Minnesota Twins | May 8th, 2017
This is probably for the good for Danny Santana. This season Santana has just been awful and has done more harm than good for the Minnesota Twins. This season Santana is batting .200 with 1 home run and 1 RBI in 25 at-bats in 13 games. So a change of scenery could benefit Danny Santana.
In the corresponding move, the Twins demoted outfielder Lane Adams to AAA. Danny Santana will be added as a reserve role for the Twins as their outfield is set with Emilio Bonifacio as their primary backup but Santana could squeeze in some starting time with starters taking a day’s rest.
Trade Grade: C
Los Angeles Angels (AL West): Angels acquire pitcher Damien Magnifico from Baltimore Orioles. | May 6th, 2017
We would have to agree with the other media outlets that it is surprising that the Angels decided to trade for Damien Magnifico. Damien Magnifico has been struggling to find and maintain with a team all season as he has traveled from the Brewers to the Orioles and now the Angels.
Upon joining the Angels he will be fast tracked to AAA – Salt Lake where he will try and improve his mechanics down the stretch of the season. In 7 games this season Magnifico is 1-0 with 8.22 ERA and 7 strikeouts. The Angels have designate Jose Valdez for assignment allowing Magnifico to be added to the 40-man roster.
Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West): Dodgers acquire outfielder Victor Roache from Milwaukee Brewers. | May 4th, 2017
Victor Roache was the Milwaukee Brewers 1st round selection back in 2012 and has only reached AA as his highest level he has been at since being drafted. For being an outfielder Victor Roache provides a very powerful bat in the minors as he is capable of 15-20 home runs a year and we have seen those kinds of numbers in three of his five seasons in the minor leagues. The only thing that is a concern is that his average is not going to blow you out of the water as this season he is hitting .176 and his best average in his minor league career is back in 2015 where he finished the season with a .256 average.
The Dodgers got themselves a solid prospect to work with for their future. The Milwaukee Brewers will receive cash or a player at a later date.
Final Grade: B
Tampa Bay Rays: Rays acquire pitcher Drew Smith from Detroit Tigers. | April 28th, 2017
Drew Smith was the Detroit Tigers 2015 3rd round selection out of Dallas Baptist. Smith is currently being used as a relief pitcher down in the minors and is off to fantastic start to the 2017 season. Drew Smith is currently holding a 0.77 ERA through 11.2 innings’s pitched. Drew Smith is being sent straight to the Charlotte Stone Crabs where he will continue his role out of the bullpen. Smith to the Rays completes the deal from January where the Tigers acquired infielder Mikie Mahtook.
Final Grade: B+
Los Angeles Angels: Angels acquire David Hernandez from Atlanta Braves. | April 24th, 2017
Since leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks two seasons ago, David Hernandez has been bouncing around from team-to-team ever since. Since being let go by the Diamondbacks David has played for the Phillies, Giants, Braves and now the Angels. David Hernandez will be taking Kirby Yates role in the bullpen after the Angels designated him for assignment early yesterday. The Atlanta Braves will receive a prospect or cash at a later time.
Final Grade: C-
Los Angeles Angels: Angels acquire pitcher Parker Birdwell from Baltimore Orioles. | April 17th, 2017
Parker Birdwell was a member of the Baltimore Orioles since being drafted by the team in the 2010 MLB Draft out of high school. Birdwell has spent the majority of his professional career down in the minors as a starting pitcher, until this year where he is making the transition to becoming a relief pitcher. Upon joining the Los Angeles Angels he will be sent straight to AA-Mobile where he will ask to help the team as the team currently has three members of their pitching roster on the disabled list. Other than for now he provides minor league depth.
Final Grade: C+
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates acquire pitcher Johnny Barbato from New York Yankees. | April 18th, 2017
The New York Yankees will receive either cash or a player to be named later. Johnny Barbato is an interesting player as he has experience in the bullpen as a relief pitcher and out of the bullpen as a starter in the minors. Johnny Barbato’s role with the Pittsburgh Pirates currently remains unknown, but what is known right now is that he will be sent directly to AAA-Indianapolis and in due time we will know what exactly his role will be with the Pirates. Barbato owns a career 1-2 record and a terrible 7.62 ERA in 13 games in his MLB career.
Final Grade: C
San Francisco Giants: Giants acquire infielder Frandy De La Rosa from Texas Rangers. | April 16th, 2017
Frandy De La Rosa has been on the move throughout his entire career as he has been a part of two trades in his short career. The first trade of his career was when he was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers back in 2015 where he was traded for Spencer Patton. Frandy De La Rosa provides depth in the minors and displays great defense, but he needs to shine upon his hitting mechanics. De La Rosa will be sent to A- San Jose Giants where he will look for playing time at second base next to Michael Bernal.
Final Grade: C
Texas Rangers: Rangers acquired Clayton Blackburn from San Francisco Giants. | April 16th, 2017
Clayton Blackburn was the San Francisco Giants 16th round selection in 2011 but quickly worked his way up to becoming a top prospect in the Giants system. This season, Blackburn made the Giants Opening Day roster but was designated for assignment to make room for catcher Tim Federowicz after Buster Posey is dealing with a concussion. Clayton Blackburn will go to AAA-Round Rock and will wait for an opportunity to come at the big league level for the Rangers.
Final Grade: B