With the Rule 5 draft looming, there was a bunch of mini trades to open up 40 man roster spots for Rule 5 eligible prospects. In this article, I\’ll just go over two trades. In the first one, the Miami Marlins acquired 1B Garrett Cooper and LHP Caleb Smith from the New York Yankees for RHP Michael King and international signing pool bonus money. In the second one, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired INF Gift Ngoepe from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a PTNBL or cash.
In the first trade, the Yankees for able to unload two roster spots. After trading Nick Rumbelow and Ronald Herrera recently, the Yanks wanted to unload one more spot, so Gleyber Torres, Domingo Acevedo, Billy McKinney, Thairo Estrada and Albert Abreu can be put on the 40-man. They unloaded two spots, so that meant that Jonathan Loaisiga was protected. They acquired the money that can be used to acquire Japanese sensation Shohei Otani.
The Marlins acquired two roster players/minor leaguers. The play solid backup roles, and could be helpful in the future.
Cooper, 26, made his MLB debut for the Yankees in 2017, and hit .326 with no homers and six RBIs in 45 Plate Appearances.
Smith, also 26, also made his MLB debut for the Yanks in 2017, with a 7.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.66 and 18 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.
In the second trade, the Pirates were able to free up a spot, and the Jays got Ngoepe, who made headlines as the first MLBer to be born in the continent of Africa. Ngoepe is also a solid backup infielder that can replace Rob Refsnyder, who was claimed off waivers by Cleveland.
Ngoepe, 27, made his MLB debut in Pittsburgh in 2017, with a .222 batting average, no homers and six RBIs in 54 Plate Appearances.