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Eric Longenhagen Chat: 9/30/2022

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Ranking the Prospects Traded During the 2022 Deadline

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ranked and briefly analyzed below are the prospects who have been traded during the loosely defined “deadline season,” which for simplicity’s sake I consider all of July. Most of the deals these prospects were a part of have been analyzed at length on this site. An index of those pieces can be found here, or by clicking the hyperlink in the “Trade” column below, which will take you to the relevant article. I’ve moved all of the 35+ FV and above players listed here to their new orgs over on The Board, so you can click through to see where they rank among their new teammates and read their full scouting reports. Our Farm Rankings, which update live, also reflect these changes, so you can see where teams’ systems stack up following the draft and the deadline compared to prior to the draft and relevant 2022 prospect graduations.

I’ve included the compensatory draft pick the Cubs will receive after they extend Willson Contreras a qualifying offer and he signs elsewhere, as they will essentially be trading him for that pick if he signs with another team this offseason, which I think is the most likely outcome. Now, on to the rankings. Read the rest of this entry »


Nationals Land Mix of Marquee Prospects, Young Big Leaguers in Soto Trade

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last two and a half years, the Nationals’ World Series championship roster has deteriorated around Juan Soto, hollowed out by trades and underperformance. After rejecting a 15-year, $440 million extension offer, the club realized Soto’s camp was hellbent on him hitting free agency, an eventuality that put Washington at risk of only receiving draft pick compensation for him, and not until a few years from now. With new ownership looming, the Nationals were unlikely (and the team’s current owners seemingly unwilling) to build a contender around Soto before he hit the market; every passing day, arbitration year, and postseason spent in Washington diminished his trade value. Once the team decided to move on, it made sense to deal Soto now, while the club trading for him could enjoy him for three postseasons instead of two. Still, it’s a painful parting, just as it’s painful for it to have unfolded in public the way that it did, with information leaked to prime fans with the logic I outlined above in the hopes of avoiding blowback.

The Padres, meanwhile, obviously coveted Soto. A.J. Preller tends to press the gas pedal a little harder than other folks in the industry, both in terms of the players he asks for and what he’s willing to give up in return. There are alternate timelines in which this deal doesn’t get done. There are iterations of a Bryan Reynolds trade that could have occurred this past winter that would have put Soto out of reach; there’s a version of the 2020-21 offseason where Nolan Arenado becomes a Padre instead of a Cardinal. But because those (and other deals) didn’t happen, and thanks to James Wood’s emergence, the Padres still had enough at the top of their farm system to trade for a 23-year-old future Hall of Famer and carry several of the most exciting and talented players of this century on their roster at the same time while they’re at it. Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Yu Darvish all have enduring baseball significance. The Padres are no-doubt contenders and among the most exciting teams in pro sports.

That comes at a great cost. There are many talented players headed to Washington in this trade: MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, and Wood are all current or recent Top 100 prospects, while Jarlin Susana might have the nastiest stuff of any pitcher his age in pro baseball. Read the rest of this entry »


The A’s Add More Major League-Ready Arms in Montas Swap

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland fetched a sizable return in the trade that sent the potent combination of Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino to the Yankees on Monday afternoon. The deal is headlined by two top 100 prospects, lefty Ken Waldichuk and righty Luis Medina, and is supplemented by near-ready backend starter JP Sears and fleet-footed A-ball second baseman Cooper Bowman. All three pitchers are essentially big league-ready, with Medina and Sears already on the 40-man roster, and Waldichuk a lock to be added after the season and likely to debut next year.

The youngest of that trio is Medina, a 23-year-old flamethrower who has been a prospect of import for over half a decade, walking the starter/reliever balance beam all the while. Now at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, he has made 17 starts (he typically works four to five innings at a time and has maxed out at six twice this season) while posting a 3.38 ERA, his third consecutive level where he has posted a sub-4.00 ERA. While he’s historically struggled with walks (he’s been at least a five walks per nine guy his entire career) and overall consistency, Medina’s stuff makes him tough to square up and induces lots of groundballs (50% GB%). His fastball has been in the mid-to-upper-90s his entire career and is parked in the 94-98 mph range again this season, peaking at 102. Read the rest of this entry »


Rays Add Plucky Platoon Bat in Peralta for Young Catching Prospect

David Peralta
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With their outfield (and whole roster, really) hit hard by injuries, the Rays acquired 34-year-old left fielder David Peralta from the Diamondbacks for 19-year-old catching prospect Christian Cerda on Sunday. The Freight Train is hitting .248/.315/.457, good for a 109 wRC+, which is in line with his career norm (111 wRC+), even though the shape of his production has totally changed.

Before we get into how that came to be, though, let’s take a moment to appreciate Peralta’s remarkable path here. Originally a left-handed pitcher in the Cardinals organization, he was released amid shoulder issues and played outfield in Independent ball for a couple of years before signing with the Diamondbacks in 2013. It’s borderline offensive to cram that stretch of Peralta’s career into one sentence. Indy ball isn’t exactly glamorous, and Peralta was broke and worked at McDonalds while waiting for the Diamondbacks, who he knew wanted to sign him, to free up the minor league roster space to do so. After he finally signed, it took only about a year for him to reach the big leagues, and Peralta has had one hell of a now nine-year MLB career, during which he’s been one of the better left field defenders in baseball (and has one Gold Glove), won a Silver Slugger during his peak year in 2018 (.293/.352/.516 with 30 bombs), led the league in triples twice, and endured wrist and shoulder surgeries while becoming a cult hero in Arizona. From a baseball role standpoint, the Rays are getting a platoon stick (.268/.325/.496 versus righties this year) and plus defender in a corner spot, but Peralta also brings the parts of himself that helped him grind through injury and Indy ball. Read the rest of this entry »


Dodgers and Cubs Make Mutually Beneficial Swap of Martin, McKinstry

© Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Dodgers acquired steady 36-year-old reliever Chris Martin from the Cubs in exchange for utilityman Zach McKinstry, who has spent most of the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

This is Martin’s seventh major league organization (Red Sox, Rockies, Yankees, Rangers, Braves, Cubs, Dodgers), but his journey has been even more winding and complex than that. Martin was a draft-and-follow by the Rockies in 2005 but blew out his shoulder during his sophomore year at McLennan Junior College in Texas and needed labrum surgery, so he went unsigned. He was again passed over in the 2006 draft and spent parts of four years in Independent Ball before signing with the Red Sox. He was traded to the Rockies as the secondary piece in a deal for Jonathan Herrera (Franklin Morales was the headline prospect), and then was traded to the Yankees for cash not long after that. He threw 20 innings for the Yankees before spending two seasons in Japan with Hokkaido. There, Martin learned a splitter from a then 21-year-old Shohei Ohtani before returning to MLB with Texas. He was a Braves deadline acquisition in 2019, and was with Atlanta in ’20 and ’21 before signing with the Cubs this past winter. Read the rest of this entry »


Reds’ Haul for Luis Castillo Creates Enthralling, Volatile Immediate Future

© Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Late Friday night, the Mariners and the Reds consummated the first blockbuster trade of the deadline period, with changeup artist Luis Castillo on his way to the Pacific Northwest for a considerable haul of young players headlined by No. 11 overall prospect Noelvi Marte. In exchange for about a year and a half of Castillo, the Reds netted a combination of upside (Marte, 18-year-old Low-A shortstop Edwin Arroyo, and burgeoning reliever Andrew Moore) and stability (likely 2023 rotation contributor Levi Stoudt).

The 20-year-old Marte, a potential All-Star shortstop and a 60 FV prospect, is hitting .275/.363/.462 at High-A Everett and has actually performed better than that more recently, slashing .301/.379/.549 since the beginning of June; he hit 15 homers and 19 doubles in 85 games prior to the trade. Marte has his doubters, or at least people in the industry who would take the under on my personal evaluation of him. There are scouts and clubs who were discouraged by his early-season conditioning; others are skeptical of his hit tool. Most commonly, though, there are scouts who think he won’t stay at shortstop. This is in part due to the way his physique looked early this season (it wasn’t bad, but was close to maxed-out), and also because Marte has had issues with errors, mostly of the throwing variety; he has accumulated 24 total errors already in 2022. Read the rest of this entry »


Mets Fortify Fourth Outfield Spot With Trade for Tyler Naquin

Tyler Naquin

The Mets augmented their bench and reliever depth yesterday via a small trade with the Reds, acquiring 10-year veteran Tyler Naquin and up/down lefty Phillip Diehl in exchange for two Low-A minor leaguers, second baseman Hector Rodriguez and right-hander Jose Acuna.

In a platoon role for the Reds, Naquin was hitting .246/.305/.444 overall and .264/.333/.472 against right-handed pitching, playing right field almost exclusively. Both lefty-hitting reserve outfielders, Naquin and Travis Jankowski, are suddenly redundant on the Mets’ bench, which might mean they move on from the latter. Jankowski has just nine hits all year, none since May (he was injured for a stretch), and had been reduced to a rare defensive replacement and frequent pinch runner leading up to the trade. Naquin isn’t as fast as Jankowski nor as good a defender, but he has one of the better throwing arms in baseball and can be a specific sort of defensive replacement of his own (aka a sac fly sniper) and provide meaningfully more with the bat than his fellow 2012 first-rounder. Brandon Nimmo’s center field defense is such that Jankowski rarely represents a meaningful upgrade at his most capable, valuable position. A skillset like Naquin’s is a puzzle piece that fits more snuggly with righty-hitting corner mainstays Starling Marte and Mark Canha, though Jankowski is out of options and was DFA’d shortly after publication of this piece. Read the rest of this entry »


Examining the National League’s 2022 40-Man Crunch

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is nearly here and once again, team behavior will be affected by 40-man roster dynamics. Teams with an especially high number of currently-rostered players under contract for 2023 and prospects who need to be added to the 40-man in the offseason have what is often called a 40-man “crunch,” “overage,” or need to “churn.” This means the team has incentive to clear its overflow of players by either packaging several to acquire just one in return, or by trading for something the club can keep — international pool space, comp picks, or, more typically, younger players whose 40-man clocks are further from midnight — rather than do nothing and later lose some of those players to waivers or in the Rule 5 Draft. Teams can take care of this issue with transactions between the end of the season and the 40-man roster deadline in November, but a contending team with a crunch has more incentive to do something before the trade deadline so the results of those deals can bolster the club’s ability to reach the postseason.

In an effort to see whose depth might influence trade behavior, I assess teams’ 40-man futures every year. This exercise is done by using the RosterResource Depth Chart pages to examine current 40-man situations, subtracting pending free agents using the Team Payroll tab, and then weighing the December 2022 Rule 5 eligible prospects (or players who became eligible in past seasons and are having a strong year) to see which clubs have the biggest crunch coming. I then make an educated guess about which of those orgs might behave differently in the trade market as a result.

Some quick rules about 40-man rosters. Almost none of them contain exactly 40 players in-season because teams can add a player to the 40 to replace one who is on the 60-day injured list. In the offseason, teams don’t get extra spots for injured players and have to get down to 40 precisely, so if they want to keep some of their injury fill-ins, they have to cut someone else from the 40-man to make room. Read the rest of this entry »


Examining the American League’s 2022 40-Man Crunch

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is nearly here and once again, team behavior will be affected by 40-man roster dynamics. Teams with an especially high number of currently-rostered players under contract for 2023 and prospects who need to be added to the 40-man in the offseason have what is often called a 40-man “crunch,” “overage,” or need to “churn.” This means the team has incentive to clear its overflow of players by either packaging several to acquire just one in return, or by trading for something the club can keep — international pool space, comp picks, or, more typically, younger players whose 40-man clocks are further from midnight — rather than do nothing and later lose some of those players to waivers or in the Rule 5 Draft. Teams can take care of this issue with transactions between the end of the season and the 40-man roster deadline in November, but a contending team with a crunch has more incentive to do something before the trade deadline so the results of those deals can bolster the club’s ability to reach the postseason.

In an effort to see whose depth might influence trade behavior, I assess teams’ 40-man futures every year. This exercise is done by using the RosterResource Depth Chart pages to examine current 40-man situations, subtracting pending free agents using the Team Payroll tab, and then weighing the December 2022 Rule 5 eligible prospects (or players who became eligible in past seasons and are having a strong year) to see which clubs have the biggest crunch coming. I then make an educated guess about which of those orgs might behave differently in the trade market as a result.

Some quick rules about 40-man rosters. Almost none of them contain exactly 40 players in-season because teams can add a player to the 40 to replace one who is on the 60-day injured list. In the offseason, teams don’t get extra spots for injured players and have to get down to 40 precisely, so if they want to keep some of their injury fill-ins, they have to cut someone else from the 40-man to make room. Read the rest of this entry »