Sunday, August 2, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Mets acquire Hamilton

       The New York Mets have acquired OF Billy Hamilton from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for RHP Jordan Humphreys.

       This move comes as a surprise, as Hamilton was on a minor league deal with the Giants, and did not make the team's roster. Also, MLB Pipeline ranks Humphreys as the club's 14th best prospect. However, Humphreys was recently designated for assignment, and the highest level he has pitched at is High-A, and he's only made two starts there. Humphreys is only a year younger than star Pete Alonso, as well as bench bat Dominic Smith, and he is the same age as shortstop Amed Rosario. While Hamilton brings almost no value at the plate, even though he's a switch-hitter, he is known for his great speed and his glove. Hamilton had seven outs above average last year, and has reached as high as 21 in a season. Hamilton also had a 29.5 ft/s sprint speed, and he can easily go from home to first base in under four seconds. With a runner starting on second base in extra innings, Hamilton has added value for the Mets. They can use him like the rival Braves did last year, as he only had 41 at-bats in 26 games.

       Hamilton, 29, hit no home runs with 15 RBIs, a .218 average, 22 stolen bases plus an OPS of .564 in 353 Plate Appearances for the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals last year. In his seven year MLB career for the Braves, Royals and Cincinnati Reds, Hamilton has hit 21 home runs with 176 RBIs, a .242 average, 299 stolen bases and a .623 OPS in 3089 Plate Appearances.

       The Giants aren't a very good team. Humphreys can make their team and pitch, even without much minor league experience. Humphreys missed most of 2019 and all of 2018 with Tommy John surgery.

       Humphreys, 24, had a 4.50 ERA with two strikeouts in two innings for the rookie league Mets last year. In his minor league career, Humphreys has a 2.60 ERA with 177 strikeouts in 169.2 innings. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Marlins acquire Bleier

       The Miami Marlins have acquired LHP Richard Bleier from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a player to be named later. 

       After more than half of the Marlins tested positive for COVID-19, the team has been acquiring pitchers so they can field a roster when the team returns to play. Joining Bleier is new players Mike Morin, Josh D. Smith and Justin Shafer. Bleier has been an effective late inning reliever for the Orioles since he was acquired from the Yankees in February 2017. From 2016-2018, Bleier's worst ERA was 1.99, although he had a 5.37 ERA in 53 games last year, raising his career ERA to over 3.00 (it has since been lowered). While he does not strike batters out, Bleier walked just 3.4% of batters last year, and he had a ground-ball rate of 60.1%. Bleier allowed fly-balls just 12.4 percent of the time. He also has a career 0.6 HR/9. In front of closer Brandon Kintzler, the Miami bullpen is weak, and Bleier will be at the back of it even when all of the sick players return. He also will return to home, as he is a native of Miami Beach, Florida. 

        While they are a rebuilding team, the Orioles might have been able to get more than a player to be named later for Bleier, especially from a contender later this month. While Bleier is not young, and he does not have a future in Baltimore, a team like the Orioles should have held on to him, to at least keep them a little bit competitive. With Bleier gone, Baltimore will need someone to step up and pitch the 7th or 8th inning, while Cole Sulser is the closer. Former closer Mychal Givens seems to have the 8th inning job locked up, while Miguel Castro and Paul Fry can replace Bleier until Hunter Harvey returns from the IL, and everyone moves down one spot.

        Bleier, 33, struck out four batters in three innings over two games this year so far, and has not allowed a run. In his five year career for the Orioles and New York Yankees, Bleier has a 2.99 ERA with only 88 strikeouts in 177.1 innings, plus four saves and an 8-1 record. Bleier has a career WHIP of 1.201.