It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and everyone is scrambling to finish up their holiday shopping, including Major League teams, apparently. So in between the flurry of the 42 trades made by the Padres this morning, the Yankees and Marlins have also reportedly struck a deal. According to Jack Curry, the Yankees have traded Martin Prado and David Phelps to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones, with some minor pieces included as well.
Update: Domingo German is reportedly heading to NY as well. Here’s a write-up on him from September.
This deal seems to be a decent depth-for-needs the Yankees. After the signing of Chase Headley, they had less of a need for Prado, especially given their depth of interesting/maybe decent second base types, including Robert Refsnyder. Their rotation was still pretty thin, however, and Eovaldi should be a pretty solid upgrade over Phelps. As a lefty 1B/DH type, Jones fits as a potential DH partner with Alex Rodriguez and a backup for Mark Teixeira.
On the other side of things, I don’t see this making quite as much sense. The Marlins rotation got pretty crowded after trading for both Mat Latos and Dan Haren, so those moves have essentially squeezed out Eovaldi, but he may be as good or better than both. Still, they have enough depth of arms to be okay without him, and Prado is a useful player, but it’s not entirely clear where he’s going to play. The team seemed somewhat enamored with Casey McGehee’s bounceback, who was a league average third baseman last year, and they just filled second base by trading for Dee Gordon.
Maybe the Marlins realize that either McGehee and Gordon aren’t that good, and Prado will split time between both positions. But then, did they really need to give up an interesting young arm for a part-time infielder on the downside of his career? I like Prado more than most, but and I’d play him over McGehee, but even I don’t see that as a huge upgrade. This looks more like the Marlins moving wins around than getting better, but they definitely got older in the process.
I’m guessing more details will come out that might help explain the trade, such as the Yankees paying nearly the entirety of Prado’s remaining salary or something. Just on talent, though, this seems like a pretty nice move for NYY and a bit of a strange one for a Marlins team that is having a very strange offseason.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.