Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Diamondbacks acquire Marte

             The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired OF Starling Marte and cash from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Brennan Malone and IF Liover Peguero, plus international signing bonus pool money.

            Marte trade rumors have been spread all offseason, with multiple teams including the Mets reportedly in on the former all-star. Marte has always been a speed threat, with 20 stolen bases in all of his first seven full seasons, including a career high 47 in 2016. He won two Gold Gloves from 2015-16. He had his best offensive season in 2019, with career highs in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS. The Pirates are entering full rebuild mode, and shedding salary is a common first step. The Pirates get two young prospects, but neither are top 100 prospects.

            With bringing in a center-fielder, the Diamondbacks could move Ketel Marte back to the infield, as there are no clear front-runners to start at second base. The new Marte will play center while David Peralta and newcomer Kole Calhoun are on the corners. Speedy outfielder Tim Locastro will fit in as the fourth outfielder, and prospect Josh Rojas can play left field as well. Marte going back to the infield all depends on if Jake Lamb can win back the third base job and move 118 RBI man Eduardo Escobar to second base. Lamb hit 30 home runs in 2017 but has been horrendous in the two seasons since.

            Marte, 31, hit 23 home runs with 25 stolen bases, a .295 batting average and a .845 OPS in 586 Plate Appearances in 2019. In his MLB career, all in Pittsburgh, Marte has hit 108 home runs with 239 stolen bases, a .287 batting average and a .793 OPS in 3986 Plate Appearances.

            Malone, 19, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2019 draft. In his professional debut in rookie league and for Low-A Hillsboro Malone had a 4.50 ERA with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

            Peguero, also 19, hit five home runs with 11 stolen bases, a .326 batting average and a .866 OPS in 249 Plate Appearances for Hillsboro and rookie league Missoula. In his minor league career Peguero has hit six home runs with 18 stolen bases and a .299 batting average plus a .781 OPS in 410 Plate Appearances.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Cardinals acquire Dean

          The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired OF Austin Dean from the Miami Marlins in exchange for OF Diowill Burgos.

           The Cardinals recently traded two right handed hitting outfielders in Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena to the Rays. Like them, Dean is a right handed hitter. However, he is not really a starting outfielder. Dean figures to be more of a 4th or 5th outfielder, and because he still has minor league options, he will likely be a part of the AAA-MLB shuttle. After breaking out in the minor leagues and making his MLB debut in 2018, Dean was a decent choice for a breakout season in 2019. However, he played in just 64 MLB games, and the numbers were more of the same from his weak 2018 stint. He once again had a great AAA season, but now he gets a new MLB chance. If Dean has a 2020 season similar to his 2019 and 2018 MLB seasons, it will be hard to not classify him as a AAAA player. The good news is that they do not give up much in Burgos.

            Dean, 26, had a .225 average with six home runs, 21 RBIs and a .665 OPS in 189 Plate Appearances in 2019. For AAA New Orleans he had a .337 batting average with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs (1.036 OPS) in 282 Plate Appearances. In his MLB career Dean has a .223 average with 10 home runs, 35 RBIs and a .656 OPS in 311 PA. In his AAA career he has a .331 average with 27 home runs, 111 RBIs and a .944 OPS in 640 PA.

           Burgos is much more of a longshot. A soon to be 19 year old, the Dominic Republic native still has not made it past rookie ball. He did have a good 2019, and could start 2020 in Single-A.

           Burgos, who will be 19 on January 29, had a .316 average with 11 home runs, 50 RBIs and a .999 OPS in 251 Plate Appearances. In his two year minor league career Burgos has a .263 average with 17 home runs, 81 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .841 OPS in 493 Plate Appearances.

MLB Trade Review: Angels acquire Andriese

From USA Today

       The Los Angeles Angels have acquired RHP Matt Andriese from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Jeremy Beasley.

     Andriese is one of those pitchers that can both start games and come out of the bullpen. However, 2019 was his first season in where he only did one of those things. Andriese made 54 appearances in 2019, all as a reliever. Coming up with the Rays in 2015, Andriese was mainly a starter but accumulated four saves in his first three seasons (he had another in 2019). In 2018, he was having his best season, with a 4.07 ERA in 59.2 innings before being traded to the Diamondbacks for Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer. He was terrible down the stretch, allowing 19 earned runs in 19 innings, raising his season ERA up to a career worst 5.26. In 2019, he had a 4.71 ERA, which is his second worst mark in his career. He finished 13 games for Arizona, but he is more of a middle reliever at best, or a long man. The Angels need starting pitching, so Andriese could start some games, maybe as an opener or a bulk guy. But while he has allowed a lot more runs in Arizona, Andriese did improve in some places. His 10.1 K/9 in 2019 (79 strikeouts in 70.2 innings) was a career high, but unfortunately, so was his 3.4 BB/9. Thanks to his career best K/9 and HR/9 (1.0), Andriese had a career best 3.72 FIP. The Angels will try to limit the walks, and that could lead to much better results. If Andriese walked only 15 batters compared to the 27 he did in 2019, everything else probably would have improved by a lot. As a reliever, he is not a bad bet.

      Andriese, 30, had a 4.71 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 70.2 innings in 2019. In his MLB career for the Diamondbacks and Rays, Andriese has a 4.58 ERA with 391 strikeouts in 428.2 innings.

      The Diamondbacks surprisingly got a decent prospect for Andriese. A middle reliever with an ERA over four and a half does not normally get you a top 30 prospect, but it did in Arizona's case. According to MLB Pipeline, Jeremy Beasley is now the Diamondbacks' 27th best prospect. A 30th round pick in 2017 from Clemson, Beasley has good minor league numbers as a starter. However, his 2019 numbers aren't impressive overall because of his 7.90 ERA in three AAA starts in his first taste of the highest minor league level. 2018 was a big year for Beasley, as he made his Single-A debut and ended the season in AA, finishing with a combined 2.66 ERA. His AA numbers were not as good in 2019, and he will likely start 2020 there.

        Beasley, 24, had a 4.49 ERA with 115 strikeouts in 122.1 innings for AA Mobile and AAA Salt Lake in 2019. He had a 4.06 ERA in 108.2 innings in Mobile alone. In his minor league career, Beasley has a 3.56 ERA with 256 strikeouts in 265.2 innings.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Rays acquire Martinez

From Bleacher Report

          The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired OF Jose Martinez, OF Randy Arozarena and a competitive balance A draft pick from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for LHP Matthew Liberatore, C Edgardo Rodriguez and a competitive balance B draft pick.

           The trade can be a lot to unpack at first sight, especially with the draft picks. But the main roster player involved is Martinez. He can play the corner outfield spots as well as first base, and has always hit well. However, there was never a spot for him in the Cardinals outfield or at first base, and without the use of a designated hitter in the National League, he was used as a backup and pinch hitter. He has some power, but he has never hit 20 home runs in a season in his career. However, he is a terrible defender, with a career DRS of -28. That could be why he was such a late bloomer, playing in the White Sox, Braves and Royals organization before making his debut with the Cardinals in 2016. His main appeal is his ability to crush left handed pitching. In 2019, he hit .329 with five home runs and a .997 OPS in 78 Plate Appearances against southpaws. In his career, he has a .331 batting average, a .976 OPS and 15 home runs in 298 Plate Appearances. Overall, he has not struggled against righties, with a .288 batting average, but that was hurt dramatically in 2019, when he hit just .254 with a .685 OPS. His struggles against right handed pitching, his defense, his lack of a position on the team, his price going up and his age (31) all factored into making this trade for the Cardinals. The Rays could use a guy like Martinez, almost like a replacement to Tommy Pham, who was traded earlier this offseason to the Padres in a big deal that netted the Rays outfielder Hunter Renfroe and more. Martinez, like Pham, hits for average and has some power. However, the Rays will lack on the defensive side (which Renfroe brings).
             Arozarena is MLB ready, and could make the Rays to start the 2020 season, although it is unlikely. He made his MLB debut in 2019, appearing in just 19 games, and getting just 23 Plate Appearances. Arozarena had a really good minor league season, playing in AA and AAA, finishing with a combined OPS over 1.000. MLB Pipeline now ranks Arozarena as the 12th best prospect in a stacked Rays system. Also, the Rays move up roughly 30 draft spots in the next draft.
             They give up a top prospect in Liberatore, who MLB Pipeline ranks as the 41st best prospect in all of baseball, and the third best in the Cardinals system, behind Nolan Gorman (38th overall), who is good friends with Liberatore, as they were both 2018 first round draft picks from Arizona (different high schools). Even after parting with Liberatore, the Rays still have a great farm system, which includes the top prospect in the MLB, Wander Franco. The 12th best prospect, Brendan McKay, made his MLB debut in 2019, starting 11 games, and the Rays also have shortstop Vidal Brujan (39) ranking above Liberatore. This deal marks the second top 50 prospect in the MLB that the Rays have traded since the trade deadline, when Jesus Sanchez, then ranked the 42nd best prospect in the big leagues (he has since fallen to number 51), was dealt with flame-throwing opener Ryne Stanek to the Marlins for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards.
              Rodriguez is a wild card in this trade. A 19 year old from Venezuela, he signed an amateur deal with the Rays in July of 2017. He has not played past the rookie league, and appeared in just 10 games in 2019.

              Martinez, 31, had a .269 batting average with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .751 OPS in 373 Plate Appearances in 2019. In his MLB career, all in St. Louis, Martinez has a .298 batting average with 41 home runs, 172 RBIs and a .821 OPS in 1288 Plate Appearances.

             Arozarena, who will be 25 on Opening Day, went 6-for-20 (.300 batting average) with one home run, two RBIs and two stolen bases in his short stint with the Cardinals last season. For AA Springfield and AAA Memphis, Arozarena had a .344 batting average with 15 home runs, 53 RBIs,  17 stolen bases and a 1.003 OPS in 399 Plate Appearances.

              Liberatore, 20, pitched for Single-A Bowling Green in 2019, and finished with a 3.10 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. In his minor league career the former 16th overall pick has a 2.59 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 111 innings.

             Rodriguez, 19, went 10-for-25 (.400 batting average) with no home runs and six RBIs for the rookie league Rays in 2019. In his two year minor league career Rodriguez has a .338 batting average with six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .885 OPS in 244 Plate Appearances.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Predators acquire McCarron

         The Nashville Predators have acquired F Michael McCarron from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for F Laurent Dauphin.

         McCarron was the Canadiens' first round pick in 2013, but he could never stick in the NHL. He has not played since 2017-18, and was struggling in the AHL. The Predators, who also introduced a new head coach today in John Hynes, might see something in McCarron, who is still fairly young at 24. He is definitely a better option than Dauphin, who also has not played in the NHL regularly in a while and is having a bad AHL season.

          McCarron, 24, last played in the NHL in 2017-18, when he had one point, an assist, in 18 games. In his NHL career, McCarron has scored two goals with six assists for eight points in 69 games. For the AHL's Laval Rocket this year, McCarron has scored five goals with nine assists for 14 points in 29 games.

         The Canadiens added forward help recently in Ilya Kovalchuk, and seeing that McCarron hasn't played in the NHL in two seasons, he wasn't going to get called up. But neither is Dauphin, who is arguably having a worse AHL season that McCarron, and as a second round pick, doesn't have the same upside McCarron does at the same age. This trade might just be an AHL move, but it still doesn't make sense for Montreal.

         Dauphin, 24, last played in the NHL in 2018-19, when he did not score in one game for the Arizona Coyotes. In his NHL career, all for the Coyotes, Dauphin has three goals with an assist for four points in 33 games. For the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals, Dauphin has scored seven goals with nine assists for 16 points in 33 games.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Sabres trade Scandella to Montreal, acquire Frolik

From USA Today

          The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2020 4th round pick. The Sabres have already traded that same draft pick to the Calgary Flames for forward Michael Frolik.

          The Canadiens wanted an upgrade on defense. Currently in fifth place, they are looking for an energizer. The team just traded Mike Reilly to the Senators, and now they get Scandella for slightly more than they got for Reilly (Andrew Sturtz and a 5th round pick). Reilly was not playing most nights, but Scandella will in Montreal. After a rough second season in Buffalo, Scandella has rebounded this year. If his plus/minus rating of +9 were to hold up, it would be the second best of his career, just one behind his +10 rating in 2013-14. He has missed games this year, but he would be on an 82 game scoring pace of a career high 24 points. He will be a decent bottom pairing option for coach Claude Julien, and they don't part with much. He does have a $4 million cap hit, but he will be a free agent after 2019-20.

           Scandella, 29, has scored three goals with six assists for nine points in 31 games for the Sabres this year. In his NHL career for the Sabres and Minnesota Wild, Scandella has scored 41 goals with 92 assists for 133 points in 549 games.

           The Sabres have a lot of good defensemen. They have seven defensemen in the NHL that are all arguably better than Scandella. They also have NHL ready defensemen in the AHL like Casey Nelson, Lawrence Pilut and John Gilmour. Also, they free up $4 million in cap space that was soon used on Frolik. Scandella is a pending UFA and was not playing every game. They trade the same draft pick, so there is no loss. Frolik is having a bad season with the Flames, playing on the fourth line. Like Scandella, he is a UFA after the season. Frolik has a slightly higher cap hit of $4.3 million. He is at best a third liner, as he has not scored over 20 goals since he was 21 in 2009-10. But the Sabres could really use a veteran forward. At 31, Frolik is tied with Kyle Okposo for the team's oldest forward. The Flames free up the cap space for a potential addition down the stretch. They now have around $2 million in cap space.

            Frolik, 31, has scored five goals with five assists for 10 points in 38 games with the Flames this year. In his NHL career for the Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers Frolik has scored 158 goals with 222 assists for 380 points in 831 games.

NHL Trade Review: Senators acquire Reilly

From The Athletic

        The Ottawa Senators have acquired defenseman Mike Reilly from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Andrew Sturtz and a 2021 5th round pick.

       The Senators don't need a defenseman. They currently have nine defensemen on their roster, including the two on injured reserve. Both Dylan DeMelo and Ron Hainsey shouldn't be out for so much longer. But Reilly is a better option than Andreas Englund, Christian Jaros and Cody Goloubef, all who are on the active roster and have combined for just 24 NHL games this year. The Senators might also shop veteran defenseman Mark Borowiecki. If Borowiecki gets dealt, then Reilly would likely be his replacement. The Senators could try to see if Reilly has a good two months leading up to the trade deadline and then flip him then. But Reilly is not a UFA at the end of the season. He is under contract for the rest of this season and 2020-21 at a $1.5 million cap hit. Getting Reilly isn't risky, and they give up a fifth rounder and a fringe AHL/ECHL player.

      Reilly, 26, has no goals with four assists in 14 games for the Canadiens this year. In his NHL career for the Canadiens and Minnesota Wild, Reilly has scored seven goals with 34 assists for 41 points in 174 games.

      Even after signing Reilly in the offseason, he was very expendable with the rise of former third rounder Cale Fleury. Also, the team would acquire Marco Scandella from the Sabres less than an hour later. They traded away a fourth rounder for Scandella, so they upgraded defensemen while just downgrading picks by one round. They also get Sturtz, which just seems like an extra contract the Senators are getting rid of. He has played in both the AHL and ECHL this year.

      Sturtz, 25, has scored one goal with one assist for two points in 14 games for the AHL's Belleville Senators this year. He also had a goal and an assist in four games for the ECHL's Brampton Beast.