Friday, July 21, 2017

MLB trade review: WhiteSox acquire Machi, Lowe for cash

         Today, the Chicago White Sox added veteran RHPs Jean Machi and Mark Lowe to their organization, sending cash to the Seattle Mariners.

          After trading relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to the Yankees, the White Sox pen is very weak. In this trade, they acquired two vets with MLB experience that have a chance at cracking the roster, even for a day. Also, both were known as good leaders in Tacoma (AAA) this season. The White Sox might as well give both Machi and Lowe a chance in the pen. To start, both players will start their White Sox careers in Charlotte (AAA).

         Machi, 35, has a 1.17 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and four strikeouts in 7.2 innings this year for the Mariners. He has a 3.44 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 10 saves and 29 strikeouts in 36.2 innings for Tacoma this year. In his five year MLB career for the Mariners, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Gianta, Machi has a 3.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 152 strikeouts and six saves in 191.2 innings.

         Lowe, also 35, hasn't played in the majors this year. He had a rough stint in Tacoma, with a 6.23 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, one save and 37 strikeouts in 39 innings. In his 11 year MLB career with the Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays, Lowe has a 4.22 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, six saves and 352 strikeouts in 385.2 innings.

        For the Mariners, it clears up some money (not much, though) and roster spots down in AAA. It could be the start of something bigger, but the Seattle Times' Ryan Divish says it's unlikely. For the Mariner fans: this does not clear up a spot on the 40 man roster. Both players were not on it.

        For this trade, I won't pick a winner, because it's two old relievers for basically nothing. I don't expect either guy to do amazing with Chicago. They might never play for them. So, it's just a minor league trade at most.

MLB trade review: Mariners, Cardinals make swap of prospects

          In an interesting decision, the Seattle Mariners traded OF Tyler O'Neil to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Marco Gonzales.

          The Cardinals were most likely not the one's offering the trade, because they don't need an outfielder, but the 22 year old O'Neil is a very good hitter, and a big prospect, so they are probably ecstatic about acquiring him. They give up a young pitcher in Gonzales, but they get a good prospect, so it's worth it. O'Neil was the Mariners second best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

          O'Neil has never played in the MLB. This year in Tacoma (AAA), he has a .244 batting average, 19 home runs, 56 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 396 Plate Appearances. He has a .269 batting average, 89 HRs, 300 RBIs and 44 stolen bases in 1794 Plate Appearances in his minor league career.

         I'm not really sure why the Mariners made this trade. They will have Gonzales under team control for a while, but he isn't as big as a prospect as O'Neil. He has some major league experience, which O'Neil doesn't have, but he also has injury history. He's 25 years old and has already gone through Tommy John surgery.

          "Marco is a quality athlete with high character and a strong pitching pedigree who we feels fits our roster well in both the near and long term," Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "We find his current performance, preparedness and proximity to the major leagues to be appealing traits in a pitcher, particularly a young lefty who is now under club control through the 2023 season."

           Gonzales has one start in the majors this season. He gave up five runs in 3.1 innings in the losing effort. In 68.1 innings for Memphis (AAA), Gonzales has a 2.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 57 strikeouts. In his MLB career, (all for the Cardinals) Gonzales has a 5.53 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.

           I think the Cardinals win this trade. They get a highly touted prospect in O'Neil, and don't give up a roster player for him. The Mariners could've gotten more for O'Neil, but maybe there's something they see in Gonzales that I don't, because establish veterans would have a chance of winning a trade if they were traded for O'Neil, but not Gonzales.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MLB trade review: Marlins trade Phelps to Mariners for four prospects

            After making a push to acquire bullpen help, the Seattle Mariners have finally acquired a reliever. In the same deal, the Miami Marlins started their fire sale by trading RHP David Phelps to Seattle for four prospects. They are CF Brayan Hernandez, RHP Brandon Miller, RHP Pablo Lopez and RHP Lukas Schiraldi (son of former MLB pitcher Calvin Schiraldi). According to MLB Pipeline, Hernandez was the M's sixth best prospect, Miller was their 16th, Lopez was number 22, and Schiraldi was not in their top 30 list.

            The Mariners and GM Jerry Dipoto have been looking to acquire relievers, and have reportedly had interest in other relievers such as Brad Hand (Padres) and Justin Wilson (Tigers). This trade doesn't confirm they are out of the hunt for Wilson and Hand, but at least they got one reliever. I think they gave up a little too much for Phelps, even though he's been effective the last two seasons. And, they have him for one more season until he becomes a UFA in 2018. Also, Phelps is one of the 14 relievers who have pitched 100 or more innings since the start of 2016 with an ERA under 2.70.

             Phelps, 30, has a 3.45 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 47 innings this year. In his six year career with the Marlins and Yankees, Phelps has a 3.90 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 509 strikeouts in 545 innings. He has additional value because he can pitch more than one inning. This is his first year as a full-time reliever, after being a starter-reliever guy for five seasons. He was traded to the Marlins along with Martin Prado from the Yankees for Nathan Eovaldi before the 2015 season.

            The Marlins are at the start of a rebuild, and getting four prospects for one veteran is definitely a win. The get three of the top 22 prospects on Seattle, and might get more prospects from other teams if they can deal closer A.J. Ramos. Also, Hernandez was recently promoted to AAA, so he might be close to the MLB. Miller is in A-Ball, and Lopez and Schiraldi in High-A.

            I think the Marlins win this trade. Phelps has had a good last two years, but isn't worth those four prospects. Maybe he's worth Lopez and Miller, but not Hernandez. So, I think it's clear they win this trade.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MLB trade review: Yankees acquire trio of White Sox

            After a blockbuster trade including RF J.D. Martinez earlier today, we have another blockbuster trade in the MLB. This time it's the Chicago White Sox (again) and the New York Yankees making headlines. Three White Sox with good value in 1B/3B Todd Frazier and RPs David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle are heading to the Bronx, and prospects Blake Rutherford (OF), Ian Clarkin, reliever Tyler Clippard and CF Tito Polo are headed to the "ChiSox".

             With 1B Greg Bird out for a while, the Yanks have been looking for a first baseman. They've tested with Chris Carter, Tyler Austin, Ji-Man Choi, Garrett Cooper and many more, but no one has been really successful. Bird should be good to go for 2018, so the Yanks have been looking for rentals like Lucas Duda (Mets) and Yonder Alonso (A's). Frazier is also a possible rental. He's mostly a third baseman, but has experience at first base. Him or current third baseman Chase Headley could play first. The bullpen has struggled lately, and getting two old friends that have been successful in Chicago helps. Robertson was drafted by the Yanks in 2006, and played his first seven MLB seasons with them. Kahnle was drafted by them in 2010, but was picked up by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 Rule 5 draft. Both could fit in well. They Yanks already have Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Chad Green in their bullpen, but all three have struggled lately. If they can get going, the Yanks will probably have the best bullpen in the MLB.

             Kahnle, 27, has a 2.50 ERA in 36 innings this year. In those 36 innings he has 60 strikeouts! That's a K/9 of 15! In his four year MLB career, Kahnle has a 3.70 ERA with 187 strikeouts in 165.1 innings for the White Sox and Colorado Rockies.

              Robertson, 32, has a 2.70 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 saves in 33.1 innings in 2017. In his 10 year MLB career, Robertson has an ERA of 2.95, 732 strikeouts and 131 saves in 552.1 innings for the White Sox and Yankees.

              Frazier, 31, has a .207 batting average, 16 homers, 44 RBIs and four steals in 335 Plate Appearances this year. In his seven year MLB career for the White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, Frazier has a .247 batting average, 164 home runs, 466 RBIs and 62 stolen bases in 3525 Plate Appearances.

              The White Sox are sellers. In this trade, they give up three names that have been rumored to be on the trade market for months.  They get two good prospects in Rutherford and Clarkin. The White Sox need rotation help after trading Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Clarkin can help their rotation in the future. After trading CF Adam Eaton in the offseason, the White Sox need a center fielder for the future. Luis Robert is in their organization, so they now have two big outfield prospects in Rutherford and Robert. Polo isn't a big prospect, but still has a change at the big leagues. They also get a reliever in Clippard to replace the two relievers they gave up.

              Clippard, 32, has a 4.95 ERA with 42 strikeouts and one save in 36.1 innings this year. In his 11 year MLB career, Clippard has a 3.05 ERA. He has 726 strikeouts and 57 saves in 661.1 innings. He's played for the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals in his career.

               Clarkin, 22, has a 2.74 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 72.1 innings this year for the Tampa Yankees (High-A). In his minor league career, he has a 3.20 ERA with 208 strikeouts in 250.1 innings. Clarkin was drafted in the first round (33rd overall) in 2013. Clarkin isn't a top 100 prospect, but was the Yankees 19th overall prospect.

                Rutherford, 20, is in his first year in single-A Charleston. He has a .281 batting average, two HRs, 30 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 304 Plate Appearances this year. The Yankees drafted him in the first round, 18th overall in 2016. According to MLB pipeline, Rutherford was the Yankees 3rd best prospect, and is the 30th best prospect overall.

                Polo, 22, has slashed .298/.358/.446 with five home runs 36 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 316 Plate Appearances between Tampa (High-A) and Trenton (Double-A). The speedy Polo was acquired from Pittsburgh for starter Ivan Nova last season. He was the starting center fielder for team Colombia in the 2017 WBC.
               I think the Yankees win this trade. They get three quality players in Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle, and don't give up too much, even though Rutherford and Clarkin are good prospects. Polo isn't a big prospect, so they can afford trading him. Clippard has been struggling this year, and Kahnle and Robertson are both way better than Clippard. That's why they win this deal.