Yesterday, the Yankees traded utility lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Mariners for international bonus pool money. A source indicated to Eric and me that the deal was for $30,000 of pool space (we’re told it’s all Seattle had left in their pool), while others characterized it as being in that range, if not that number exactly.
This move may seem insignificant, but it hints at the motivations and strategies of both clubs. Back in July, the Yankees were one of a couple teams we spotlighted as having a 40-man crunch on their hands (we had Cortes as the last guy to make the roster), so being able to get something in return for him rather than throwing him on waivers because they needed to clear roster spots makes for an easy decision. The price of claiming a player on waivers is $50,000, while we’ve found the return on investment of an international bonus dollar, including operational expenses, is about 300%. Most teams think of bonus pool money as being worth at least double its nominal value, but the Yankees — who consistently trade for extra pool money, with GM Brian Cashman emboldened by their quick returns on high-variance prospects in the international market — likely see it as much more valuable than that. Factor in that given Seattle’s interest, the odds of Cortes passing through waivers was zero, and this makes a ton of sense for New York.
Meanwhile, Seattle is ramping up to compete in 2021 and has open spots on its 40-man roster, so adding an accomplished depth piece with major league experience and remaining minor league options for just a bit over the waiver price, while shifting a little international money into their 40-man roster, fits their competitive posture. Cortes is a 5-foot-11 lefty who sits 88-91 mph and relies mostly on his fastball and slider, but also mixes in a changeup. He’s likely never going to be a role 5, 50 FV or a reliable bulk innings rotation piece, so the Yankees probably figured that one of the prospects recently added to the roster, or a veteran on a minor league deal who won’t need to be added to the 40-man until next season, can fill the same role. Read the rest of this entry »
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is patrolling the backyard and Eric and I are readying ourselves for the NYC live event and the first batch of team prospect lists
Kiley McDaniel: Don’t know if he’s mentioned this yet, but we’ll be doing lists by spring training pod, since lots of pro coverage groups teams that way and it makes it easier to talk to each source once in the offseason instead of circling back a bunch of times
Kiley McDaniel: https://plus.fangraphs.com/product/fangraphs-live-new-york-city-2019/
Kiley McDaniel: and I just noticed it appears to be sold out already
Kiley McDaniel: so I’m just being a tease now
Kiley McDaniel: here’s the last thing i contributed to: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2020-top-50-free-agents/
Read the rest of this entry »
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is sunbathing on the porch and the grout for the backsplash should be going in later today. Big changes to the chat as I figured out how to add a picture so you can tell me apart from people that ask questions as me. To your questions:
Archer: As a recent home purchaser whose kitchen could use a slight face lift, I’d love to see the pictures of your new backsplash! Did you install yourself?
Kiley McDaniel: I knew this would be the backsplash chat
Kiley McDaniel: that’s mid installation, it’ll eventually go to the ceiling behind the vent
Kiley McDaniel: Had the contractor’s guys do it. 5th contractor was the charm!
Last year, I wrote a post-length intro for our marathon Top 50 Free Agent list, which Carson Cistulli demanded I spin off into its own piece of scorching hot free agency takes. Like last year, I still have extra buzz that didn’t fit into today’s Top 50 post, and while Meg Rowley is less insistent on brevity than Carson was before her, she made the same request, so here it comes, at the molten lava temperatures that you prefer.
First, some bullet-pointed thoughts on specific teams likely to be active, as well as various player markets:
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! I think we’re about a week away from announcing more about the project that Eric and I have been hinting at over the last few weeks…because it should be done soon.
Kiley McDaniel: And for those asking about the podcast project we’ve mentioned…that also will be disclosed in the coming weeks
Kiley McDaniel: Scout is eating lunch and I’m hopped up on caffeine, so let’s see what you guys have for me today
Theo: Looking at The Board, I see 14 60 FV prospects. If I’m trading Kris Bryant, could I realistically expect to get someone from that group in return?
Kiley McDaniel: We can tackle this in a broad way using surplus value calculations:
Kiley McDaniel: and my internet is getting wonky, hold on a second
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is asleep sunbathing on the back porch, so I’m left to field your questions.
abgb123: First day time chat this week and it’s you, blah!
Kiley McDaniel: thanks for coming by, mom
Mary Anning’s Monster: Is it fairly clear that Hancock, Martin, and Tork are going in the top 3 and then what happens next is not clear? If you were in the 4-10 range and needed a bat, who would you prefer? Hassel? PCA?
Kiley McDaniel: Good chance her to plug THE BOARD, which is our personal opinions of who to take amongst minor leaguers, draft and July 2 folks. It’s always being updated and the 2020 draft stuff has one more set of tweaks left before we announce “hey guys, come look at this, it’s new” but there’s over 500 guys on there, so you could say we’re pretty well informed
Kiley McDaniel: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft/summary?s…
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Swapped chats with Craig and am juggling calls scheduled for today that have been shifting a bit.
Kiley McDaniel: this may be slightly abbreviated, but to your questions, as Scout sleeps in the other room:
David: Assuming the Rays have the money available, who says no: Diego Castillo, Liberatore, and Honeywell for Kris Bryant.
Kiley McDaniel: for 2 years of Bryant? Cubs turn that down pretty easily
A big dumb idiot : Is it fair to consider Vladito’s rookie season a disappointment? This isn’t to say his star has dimmed going forward, just that more was expected in 2019
Kiley McDaniel: i guess? the projection systems have him as true talent level north of what he’s done so far this year…but he’s also a college sophomore aged player that’s better than league average with the bat, so hard to say it’s been more than a slight disappointment
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is napping and I’m sipping a protein shake.
Kiley McDaniel: We’ve added some high-speed video to the @FG_Prospects twitter account, @fangraphs instagram and @fangraphs YouTube. Trevor Bauer, Ian Anderson, Justin Dunn, Nate Pearson the most recent.
Kiley McDaniel: We’ve continued to pull prospects off the lists that have graduated and Nate Lowe and Jonathan Loaisiga graduated today, so they’ll get taken off shortly. Look at the farm rankings before they change again: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…
Kiley McDaniel: Okay, sorry for the delay, I just took both of them off the lists
Kiley McDaniel: to your questions:
BlueJayMatt: If you were in charge would you change the rules to allow draft pick trading in mlb? Maybe with some restrictions in place like the nba who don’t allow consecutive first round picks to be traded?
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL. Scout is eating lunch and I’ll get to that after I’m done with you people
Kiley McDaniel: We’ve done some board adjusting and video on the usual FG_Prospects twitter and fangraphs instagram but are mostly doing behind the scenes work now that you’ll be aware of in the coming weeks
Kiley McDaniel: some reading, if you’re so inclined:
Kiley McDaniel: Rosenthal on the Rockies and trading Arenado?: https://theathletic.com/1202375/2019/09/11/rosenthal-after-the-teams-s…
Kiley McDaniel: Sawchik on if the minor leagues are necessary: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/do-we-even-need-minor-league-base…
Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL, Scout is resting alongside me as she’s about to begin nap #3 of the day.
Kiley McDaniel: We just posted some changes to THE BOARD on twitter that are reflected on the site
Kiley McDaniel: here is the board link: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…
Kiley McDaniel: here be the tweet:
Some late changes to THE BOARD before we pull this train into the offseason station:
A. Aquino/CIN 50 FV, 94th overall
E. Cabrera/MIA 50, 108th
A. Vargas/NYY 45
L. Medina/NYY 45
C. Winn/TEX 45+
F. Valdez/NYM 35+
Kiley McDaniel: I’ll probably be sneaking out to the Gwinnett/Columbus playoff game tomorrow, waiting to hear back but expecting Logan Allen v Kyle Wright with Pache, Waters, Riley, Alex Jackson vs. Zimmer, Daniel Johnson, Bobby Bradley. That would be good
Kiley McDaniel: the prospects landing page has prospect leaderboards, graduation tracker and all of our content: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/