MLB Trade Review: Padres Acquire Manaea

The San Diego Padres have acquired LHP Sean Manaea and RHP Aaron Holiday from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for IF Euribiel Angeles and RHP Adrian Martinez.

The long-awaited Manaea trade has finally come. Now all that is left for the A’s to complete before Opening Day is to trade Frankie Montas. The complete destruction of their roster this offseason started with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.

The return here is nothing special. Manaea is a free agent after the season, and you could tell by the weaker return. The Padres’ farm system is not incredibly deep anymore, and all that they got in return were MLB Pipeline’s 12th and 26th best prospects from San Diego. Plus, Martinez is already too old to be around when the A’s will be trying to win again. Angeles is the more interesting piece. A small and young infielder from the Dominican Republic, his first full minor league season saw solid results.

Angeles, 19, had 491 Plate Appearances in 2021 between Single-A Lake Elsinore and High-A Fort Wayne. In them, he hit four home runs with 19 stolen bases, a .330 average, .392 OBP, and a .837 OPS.

Martinez, 25, had a 3.38 ERA in 2021 between AA and AAA with 122 strikeouts and a 1.240 WHIP in 125 innings pitched. In his minor league career, he has a 4.30 ERA with 332 strikeouts and a 1.378 WHIP in 326.2 innings.

The Padres’ rotation may not be the best in baseball, but it is certainly up there, with an amazing name brand. Manaea is an extremely solid starter with a great changeup. His 7.2-foot extension and high groundball rate are intriguing attractions for teams. Manaea also had just a 5.4 BB% last season while having a career-best strikeout rate.

He also gives San Diego more rotation depth. He currently slots behind Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, and the rehabbing Mike Clevinger on the depth chart. Add Nick Martinez, who was signed after a strong stint in Japan, and prospects Ryan Weathers and MacKenzie Gore, and the Padres have fixed the problem of Vince Velasquez and Jake Arrieta making late-season starts in 2021. Chris Paddack is also in the mix, but he looks to be on the trade block.

Holiday was drafted in the 13th round in 2021 out of Old Dominion, where he showed promise but also major control issues. He struck out eight batters in 5.2 innings during his short professional debut.

Manaea, 30, had a 3.91 ERA with 194 strikeouts and a 3.66 FIP in 179.1 innings for Oakland in 2021. In his MLB career, all for the A’s, Manaea has a 3.86 ERA with 641 strikeouts and a 3.96 FIP in 727 innings.

Holiday, 21, had a 2.95 ERA with 102 strikeouts and a 1.424 WHIP in 79.1 innings pitched.

NHL Trade Review: Lightning Acquire Hagel

The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel and fourth-round picks in 2022 and 2024 from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddish and Boris Katchouk plus a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024, both of which are top-10 protected.

For many hockey fans, the reaction to this trade was a surprise, as Hagel is not exactly a household name. And here he is, getting two first-round picks in return. For starters, those picks will almost certainly be at the end of the round, given Tampa Bay’s success. Also, the 23-year-old former sixth-round pick of the Sabres is having a huge breakout season. Plus, his contract with a low cap hit of $1.5 million does not expire until the end of the 2023-24 season. That is more than two years of Hagel. One big concern here is that Hagel is having a career season while riding an incredibly unsustainable 22.3 percent shooting rate. That will obviously decrease as his career goes on. Still, he is a solid top-nine winger for the future of the Lightning.

Hagel, 23, has scored 21 goals with 16 assists for 37 points in 55 games this season. In his NHL career, all for the Blackhawks, he has 30 goals with 31 assists for 61 points in 108 games.

Trading a young player with talent amid a rebuild sounds weird for the Blackhawks but makes a ton of sense with the return they are getting. For a player who was signed as a CHL free agent and produced well in under two full seasons, getting two first-rounders is a home run. Also coming back are two rookies who have been decent but have struggled to score for Tampa Bay this year. The fourth-rounders offset their additions. Raddysh is the more interesting player, as he played with current Blackhawks Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat with the Erie Otters of the OHL. Both were taken in the second round of the 2016 draft, so there is potential there.

Raddysh, 24, made his NHL debut this season and has scored five goals with seven assists for 12 points in 53 games.

Katchouk, 23, also made his NHL debut in 2021-22 and has two goals with four assists in 38 games.

MLB Trade Review: Mariners Acquire Winker, Suarez

The Seattle Mariners have acquired OF Jesse Winker and 3B Eugenio Suarez from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for OF Jake Fraley, RHP Justin Dunn, LHP Brandon Williamson, and a player to be named later.

The Mariners are not exactly a big-market team, but they are using their financial flexibility to make their team significantly better. Winker, who has two more years left before hitting free agency, is baseball’s most underrated hitter, or at least top-five in that category. Watching him play defense may not be enjoyable, but he is an elite hitter who could be a great DH. Winker had a .403 wOBA and a .394 OBP in 2021, both of which are elite numbers.

They got him at a discounted price by taking on the contract of Suarez, who has three years left and is owed $35 million. Suarez has amazing power, with his 49 home runs in 2019 being the most ever for a Venezuelan-born player. However, he does not hit for average at all or get on base. That sounds eerily familiar of the recently retired Kyle Seager, who had a 2021 like that. Suarez will replace him. He also played 34 games at shortstop last year. However, that was an adventure, with -10 outs above average at that position alone. He is a fine defender at third.

Winker, 28, hit 24 home runs with a .305 average, a .394 OBP, and a .949 OPS in 485 Plate Appearances for the Reds in 2021. In his MLB career, all in Cincinnati, Winker has hit 66 home runs with a .288 average, a .385 OBP, and an OPS of .888 in 1523 Plate Appearances.

Suarez, 30, hit 30 home runs with a .198 average, .286, and a .713 OPS in 574 Plate Appearances for the Reds last year. In his MLB career for the Reds and Detroit Tigers, Suarez has hit 193 home runs with a .252 average, .334 OBP, and a .800 OPS in 4007 Plate Appearances.

With how good Winker is, this return feels light, especially given that the designated hitter in the National League ups his value. Fraley will play in Winker’s spot, but he is not close in value. A great minor league player, Fraley walks often and was about league average in his first big taste of MLB experience in 2021. His 17.4 BB% is intriguing. Dunn, a 2016 first-round pick, was solid in 11 starts last year. However, he has a control issue and did not go deep into games. Neither Dunn nor Fraley is particularly young. The left-handed Williamson has the potential to be the best player coming back. The 2019 second-round pick had an impressive minor league season. MLB Pipeline ranked him as Seattle’s seventh-best prospect.

Fraley, 26, hit nine home runs with 10 stolen bases, a .352 OBP, and a .721 OPS in 265 Plate Appearances in 2021. He also has a .918 OPS in 51 career AAA games.

Dunn, 26, had a 3.75 ERA with 49 strikeouts, a 1.311 WHIP, and a 4.74 FIP in 50.1 innings in 2021. In his MLB career, all with Seattle, Dunn has a 3.94 ERA with 92 strikeouts, a 1.354 WHIP, and a 5.61 FIP in 102.2 innings pitched.

Williamson, 23, had a 3.39 ERA between High-A Everett and AA Arkansas in 2021. He also had 153 strikeouts with 33 walks, and a 1.18 WHIP in 98.1 innings pitched.

MLB Trade Review: Mets Acquire Bassitt

The New York Mets have acquired RHP Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHPs JT Ginn and Adam Oller.

It’s not a big surprise to see the A’s cry poverty once again, as despite being a decent enough team last year, they are selling off pieces to cut an already thin payroll. Compared to some other players reportedly on the market, Bassitt makes a lot of sense to deal. He is 33 and coming off a career season. Plus, he will hit free agency after 2022. The return is also good. Ginn, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Mets’ 5th best prospect, was a second-rounder in 2020 after not signing as a first-rounder with the Dodgers in 2018. His first professional season was exactly what the Mets would have hoped for. Oller was a minor league waiver claim after the 2019 season, but he reached AAA in 2021 out of nowhere and was surprisingly good. He already sounds like an A.

Ginn, 22, spent 2021 between High-A Brooklyn and Single-A St. Lucie. In total, he had a 3.03 ERA with 81 strikeouts and a 1.054 WHIP in 92 innings.

Oller, 27, had a 3.45 ERA with 138 strikeouts and a 1.167 WHIP in 120 innings between AA Binghamton and AAA Syracuse last season. In his minor league career, Oller has a 4.05 ERA with 395 strikeouts in 380.1 innings.

Behind Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, Bassitt might be the best number three starter in baseball, depending on how the Trevor Bauer situation in Los Angeles works out. The sinkerballer had a fantastic season in 2021, bringing his talent into the light league-wide. Despite not being particularly fast, he has an effective fastball, with batters hitting .185 against it last year. His walk rate has lowered in each subsequent season, down to 6.1 percent in 2021. While he is coming off his best season, it shouldn’t be said that Bassitt was not good before. He has a 3.23 ERA since 2018.

Bassitt, 33, had a 3.15 ERA with 159 strikeouts and a 3.34 FIP in 157.1 innings in 2021. In his MLB career for the A’s and Chicago White Sox, Bassitt has a 3.47 ERA with 506 strikeouts and a 3.86 FIP in 555.2 innings.

NHL Trade Review: Leafs Acquire Two Coyotes

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin and forward Ryan Dzingel from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Nick Ritchie and a conditional draft pick. Arizona can choose between a 2023 third-round pick and a 2025 second-rounder.

Toronto’s infamous battle against hard-nosed, gritty players has led General Manager Kyle Dubas to address the situation in recent years. He brought in Zach Bogosian, Wayne Simmonds, and Nick Foligno last year. Lyubushkin fits into that mold now, filling the hole left open when Bogosian left for Tampa Bay this past offseason. A strong, right-handed defender on a cheap contract, Lyubushkin is a perfect fit for the third pairing. He is a free agent at the end of this season, so the Leafs have no big commitment to him. Dzingel is an old enemy, having played 276 games for the rival Senators. He is a fast winger with decent defensive numbers, but does not provide much besides that. He also is on an expiring contract.

Lyubushkin, 27, has nine assists in 46 games for Arizona this year. In 180 career games, all for the Coyotes, he has a goal with 18 assists.

Dzingel, 29, has scored four goals with three assists for seven points in 26 games this season. In his NHL career for the Coyotes, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes, he has scored 86 goals with 101 assists for 187 points in 398 games.

The tanking Coyotes have no need for their depth players, so getting a solid draft pick for Lyubushkin and Dzingel is a win for them. The most notable return piece for now is Ritchie, a former top pick who has flamed out of every NHL stop he’s taken. He signed a two-year deal with a $2.5 million cap hit this past offseason, but was waived to the minors. For a better return, Arizona will take on the entirety of his contract. They can pick between two options for the selection, but going with the higher overall would make more sense, especially since the Leafs could easily be a worse team then compared to the present day. They could draft a player with this pick that is 14 or 15 currently, which is strange to think about.

Ritchie, 26, has scored two goals with seven assists for nine points in 33 games for Toronto this year, along with 79 hits. In his NHL career for the Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Anaheim Ducks, Ritchie has scored 61 goals with 85 assists for 146 points in 383 games.