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.