Projecting the Prospects in the Dee Gordon Trade

At long last, the hot stove appears to be heating up. In something of a surprise move, the Mariners have swung a trade with the Marlins to acquire both (a) Dee Gordon, who will apparently play center field for Seattle, and (b) $1 million in international slot money. In exchange, the Marlins receive three lower-tier prospects: righties Robert Dugger and Nick Neidert, plus infielder Chris Torres.

Below are the KATOH projections for the players received by Miami. WAR figures account for each player’s first six major-league seasons. KATOH denotes the stats-only version of the projection system, while KATOH+ denotes the methodology that includes a player’s prospect rankings. In total, my KATOH system (both stats-only and KATOH+) projects this trio for 3.6 WAR over their first six years in the majors.


Nick Neidert, RHP (Profile)


Seattle took Neidert in the second round out of high school back in 2015, and he promptly began mowing down low-minors hitters. Neidert opened 2017 as a 20-year-old in High-A, where he pitched excellently — his strikeout rate, walk rate, ERA, and xFIP were all top-five in the Cal League among pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched. Neidert’s performance cratered following a late-season promotion to Double-A, but his body of work is impressive. He rarely walks anyone and has shown an ability to miss bats against much older competition.

Eric Longenhagen called Neidert a future No. 4 starter and slapped a 50 FV on him.

Nick Neidert Mahalanobis Comps
Player Proj. WAR Actual WAR
Elvin Hernandez 2.5 0.0
Benito Baez 1.8 0.0
Joel Pineiro 2.3 11.9
Will Cunnane 2.1 0.6
Willie Martinez 2.9 0.0
T.J. Tucker 2.5 1.8
Mike Connolly 2.0 0.0
Horacio Ramirez 1.1 3.3
Javier Martinez 1.3 0.0
Allen Levrault 1.8 0.2


Chris Torres, SS (Profile)


Torres spent most of the 2017 season in the Northwest League, where he hit a passable .238/.324/.435 as a 19-year-old shortstop. Torres’s appeal is obvious — he’s a teenaged shortstop who’s already hitting for power — but his profile is also drenched with risk. Not only is he eons from the big leagues, but he struck out 30% of the time against pitchers who are also eons from the big leagues. He’s also under 6-foot, which KATOH doesn’t like coming from a guy that far from the majors.

Chris Torres Mahalanobis Comps
Player Proj. WAR Actual WAR
Luis DePaula 1.3 0.0
Miguel Tejada 0.7 17.9
Dionys Cesar 0.6 0.0
Jason Bates 1.1 0.0
Jan Thornton-Murray 0.6 0.0
Glenn Williams 0.8 0.0
Ian Kinsler 1.0 23.4
Nick Punto 1.1 5.1
Jake Schaffer 0.8 0.0
Tyler Henson 1.1 0.0


Robert Dugger, RHP (Profile)


An 18th-round pick in 2016, Dugger pitched quite well between two levels of A-ball last year, posting a 2.75 ERA on the strength of a 25% strikeout rate. KATOH isn’t terribly impressed, though, as the prognosis for 22-year-old A-ball swingmen isn’t great — even when their numbers are solid. Perhaps Dugger will pitch in the majors someday, but there is little reason to think he’ll have a fruitful career.

Robert Dugger Mahalanobis Comps
Player Proj. WAR Actual WAR
Neomar Flores 0.5 0.0
Alfredo Venegas 0.7 0.0
Kyle Ginley 0.7 0.0
Juan Cedeno 0.5 0.0
Rick Roberts 0.7 0.0
Byeong-Hak An 0.4 0.0
Felipe Paulino 0.4 4.7
James Avery 0.4 0.0
Mario Alvarez 0.3 0.0
Franklin Bravo 0.4 0.0

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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Spitball McPhee
4 years ago

Is $1 million the most international money that can be traded at once? Also, is there a cap on how much a team can have?

Dave T
4 years ago

I don’t know the answer to the first question.

On the second, a team can trade for up to 75% of its original bonus pool.
The original pool is $4.75 to $5.75 million depending on market size/revenue –

4 years ago

I believe the trades are still by slot value as they were previously rated so you combine x number of your picks that equal roughly x total value. I think they have still been mentioning slot values during a number of the smaller value transactions of intl money with trades this past summer.

4 years ago

Whats left to buy on the Intl market other then the bottom of the barrel on the former braves prospects? Any interesting Cubans or something becoming available late?