The Oakland Athletics have acquired OF Starling Marte and cash from the Miami Marlins in exchange for LHP Jesus Luzardo.
This is a classic, one-for-one baseball trade. The low-budget A’s do not have enough money to take on Marte, a rental who is owed about $4 million. So, to get Miami to take on all of that money, they had to trade a key piece. Marte can do just about everything, except hit for power. He is a high on-base outfielder who is very fast and great defensively. This year, Marte has five outs above average in center field. With Ramon Laureano in center for Oakland, Marte could replace Stephen Piscotty in right. Overall, he is a huge addition to their lineup.
Marte, 32, has hit seven home runs with a .407 OBP, 22 stolen bases, and an .859 OPS in 274 Plate Appearances for the Marlins this year. In his MLB career for Miami, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Arizona Diamondbacks, Marte has hit 121 home runs with 271 stolen bases, a .345 OBP, and a .795 OPS in 4510 Plate Appearances.
Man, the Marlins knocked this one out of the park. They traded a package led by Caleb Smith at last year’s deadline for Marte and now deal him for Luzardo. The left-handed pitcher was at one point a top-10 prospect in the game for many but has struggled in between the rotation and bullpen this year. He throws a hard fastball but batters also have a .388 wOBA against him this year. Luzardo still got Rookie of the Year votes in 2020 and has a promising future with many years left of team control. We will see if the Marlins decide to keep him or flip him.
Luzardo, 23, has a 6.87 ERA with 40 strikeouts and a 1.632 WHIP in 38 innings for the A’s this year. In his MLB career, all for Oakland, Luzardo has a 4.79 ERA with 115 strikeouts and a 1.330 WHIP in 109 innings.
The Cincinnati Reds have acquired RHP Mychal Givens from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for RHPs Case Williams and Noah Davis.
Williams should be a familiar face for Rockies fans. The team selected him in the 4th round in 2020 out of high school but immediately traded him to the Reds last offseason with Jeff Hoffman for Robert Stephenson. Williams, who MLB Pipeline ranked as the 20th best prospect in the Reds system, has struggled in his first professional season this year. Keep in mind that he is very young. The team traded for Givens at last year’s deadline for infielders Tyler Nevin and Terrin Vavra. They got about a year out of him and flip him to Cincinnati. Also coming along is Davis, who Pipeline had at 26th in Cincinnati’s system. The Reds drafted the high strikeout, high walk starter out of UC Santa Barbera in 2018 (11th round).
Williams, 19, has a 5.55 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 33 walks in 47 innings for Single-A Daytona this year.
Davis, 24, has a 3.60 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 35 walks in 65 innings for High-A Dayton in 2021. In his minor league career, Davis has a 3.44 ERA with 112 Ks and 48 walks in 107.1 innings.
The Reds are making a playoff push and their bullpen is where things are improving the most. They got Justin Wilson, but more importantly, Luis Cessa from the Yankees last night. Now they add Givens, a high-leverage reliever who will be a free agent after this season. He has an elite average spin rate of 2543 rpm on his fastball and he has limited batters to an 86.7 mph exit velocity this season. If the Reds want to make a playoff push, this is the right idea. Davis seems too old for where he is in the minors and Williams is too far away from the majors to worry about. A fine deal for them.
Givens, 31, has a 2.73 ERA with 34 strikeouts and a 4.67 FIP in 29.2 innings for Colorado this year. In his MLB career for the Rockies and Baltimore Orioles, Givens has a 3.36 ERA with 446 strikeouts and a 3.66 FIP in 375 innings.
The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired forward Evgeny Dadonov from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defenseman Nick Holden and a 2022 3rd round draft pick.
The Golden Knights have received a lot of criticism over the past few days for their handling of face-of-the-franchise Marc-Andre Fleury and this trade makes it worth it. With the cap space saved by trading Fleury, they just wasted it. Dadonov is a good scoring winger, but he has seen a dramatic collapse over the past few years as he grows older. Sure, playing in Ottawa did not help. But there is a major risk involved when trading for a veteran with two more years left at $5 million against the salary cap. The Golden Knights did unload Holden here. But, burying him like they did last year reduced his cap hit to under the league minimum. The draft pick was acquired from Vancouver for Nate Schmidt. Would you trade Nate Schmidt for Evgeny Dadonov? The answer is no.
Dadonov, 32, scored 13 goals with seven assists for 20 points in 55 games for Ottawa in 2020-21. In his NHL career for the Senators and Florida Panthers, Dadonov has scored 104 goals with 118 assists for 222 points in 335 games.
The Senators win big here. Holden is a fine third-pairing two-way defender who costs significantly less than Dadonov. He has just one year left on his contract with a $1.7 million cap hit. Plus, they get a third-round pick for a player on a decline and a bad contract. An overall win for the team.
Holden, 34, had two assists in 17 games for Vegas last year. In his NHL career for the Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Columbus Blue Jackets, Holden has scored 45 goals with 98 assists for 143 points in 513 games.
The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Ethan Bear from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Warren Foegele.
The Oilers have had a rough offseason so far and their defense is where it really shows. They extended the defensively challenged Tyson Barrie, acquired Duncan Keith and reportedly Cody Ceci, while trading away Caleb Jones and now Bear. The right-handed Bear was arguably their best two-way defender last year. He also has a cap hit of just $2 million before becoming a restricted free agent next year. The Hurricanes have lost top defender Dougie Hamilton in free agency. Brett Pesce will step up to the top-pairing, while Bear is a very good replacement. He is young and cheap for the next year. The price is low, as Foegele was out of their plans for next year.
Bear, 24, scored two goals with six assists for eight points in 43 games for the Oilers in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for Edmonton, he has scored eight goals with 25 assists for 33 points in 132 games.
The return for the Oilers is a bit underwhelming. For sure, Foegele is a good player. But to trade Bear, you would like a top-six winger back. Foegele is at best a penalty killing third-liner. He is also a current restricted free agent who will almost certainly get more than the $2 million Bear has for this year. The Oilers have improved their awful forward depth, which is a plus.
Foegele, 25, scored 10 goals with 10 assists for 20 points in 53 games for the Hurricanes in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for Carolina, he has scored 35 goals with 33 assists for 68 points in 200 games.
The Calgary Flames have acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a 2022 3rd round draft pick.
The Flames lost captain Mark Giordano to Seattle in the expansion draft. While Zadorov is by no means on the level of Giordano, he is a good defensive defender who can play bottom-four minutes. The Flames do not really need a top-pairing left-handed shot defenseman, as Noah Hanifin could step up into the role. Zadorov will not come cheap. He is a restricted free agent, not too far away from being a UFA. He also made $3.2 million last year, so his qualifying offer is much higher. Zadorov’s eventual cap hit could easily be higher than what he deserves. He can be a shutdown defender, but does not bring any offensive talent and takes too many penalties. The Blackhawks are able to stay away from signing him, keeping them from getting in even more cap troubles. They recently acquired Tyler Johnson, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Seth Jones.
Zadorov, 26, scored a goal with seven assists for eight points in 55 games for the Blackhawks in 2020-21. In his NHL career for Chicago, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Buffalo Sabres, he has scored 23 goals with 60 assists for 83 points in 411 games.