MLB Trade Review: Braves Boost Outfield

The Atlanta Braves have acquired OF Eddie Rosario from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for IF Pablo Sandoval. They also acquired OF Adam Duvall from Miami for C Alex Jackson.

As the Braves announce that they are not done yet, we will have to see how the Mets and Phillies respond. Atlanta has had a rough year ruined by injuries, most notably to Ronald Acuna Jr. Their biggest need this deadline season has been the outfield. They already got Joc Pederson from Chicago and now they bring in Rosario and Duvall. Duvall should be a familiar face for Braves fans. He hit 26 home runs with a .778 OPS over three seasons for the club. He signed with the Marlins this offseason and has shown his power, hitting the most home runs since 2017. He is sneakily fast with a good defensive ability. The biggest knock against him is that Duvall strikes out a ton without walking to make up for it. Rosario also does not walk but at least he does not have a high K rate. Rosario is on the injured list at the moment and has had a rough season. He hit 32 home runs in 2019 but once again, his walks are an issue. The Braves do not give up much for Rosario but maybe overpay for Duvall.

Rosario, 29, has hit seven home runs with nine stolen bases, a .296 OBP, and a .685 OPS in 306 Plate Appearances for Cleveland this year. In his MLB career for the Indians and Minnesota Twins, Rosario has hit 126 home runs with 48 stolen bases, a .308 OBP, and a .778 OPS in 3136 Plate Appearances.

Duvall, 32, has hit 22 home runs with a .277 OBP and a .755 OPS in 339 Plate Appearances for the Marlins this year. In his MLB career for the Marlins, Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants, Duvall has hit 135 homers with a .291 OBP and a .760 OPS.

The Marlins get the better return of the two for the future. Jackson was selected sixth overall in 2014 by Seattle but has not lived up to the hype. He has good minor league numbers but just could not break onto the Atlanta roster. He is 3-for-43 in his MLB career. He should get more chances on the Marlins. Sandoval is a name a ton of baseball fans will recognize. The former all-star is now a below-average pinch-hitter. His 91.5 mph average exit velocity is good but not much else is. Cleveland makes this trade merely to dump the remainder of Rosario’s $8 million salary from this season.

Sandoval, 34, has hit four home runs with a .302 OBP and a .645 OPS in 86 Plate Appearances for Atlanta this year. In his MLB career for the Braves, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox, Sandoval has hit 153 homers with a .330 OBP and a .773 OPS in 5052 Plate Appearances.

Jackson, 25, has hit 11 home runs with a .366 OBP and a 1.060 OPS in 123 Plate Appearances at AAA this year. In his minor league career Jackson has hit 87 home runs with a .320 OBP and a .769 OPS in 2040 Plate Appearances.

MLB Trade Review: Blue Jays Acquire Berrios

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired RHP Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for IF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.

What an absolute haul for the Twins. They were unexpectedly awful this season, making them sellers at today’s Trade Deadline. Berrios has been their best starting pitcher over the past few seasons but he will become a free agent after the 2022 season. The Twins are able to capitalize and bring him two highly regarded prospects. MLB Pipeline ranks both of them as Top-100 prospects in all of Major League Baseball. Martin is 16th while Woods-Richardson is 68th. Drafted fifth overall in the 2020 draft, Martin raked at Vanderbilt before debuting at AA this year. His power has not come along to professional baseball but he is still a very good hitter with a ton of potential. Woods-Richardson was selected by the Mets in the second-round of the 2018 draft. The Blue Jays brought him in along with Anthony Kay in the Marcus Stroman trade. One thing about the younger pitcher is that he has struggled this season thanks to a walk rate that has hurt him big time. The Twins may have made the best deal of the deadline, absolutely stealing two prospects that scouts seem to unanimously love.

Martin, 22, has hit two home runs with nine stolen bases, a .424 OBP, and an .807 OPS in 250 Plate Appearances for AA New Hampshire this year. Over his career at Vanderbilt, Martin hit 14 home runs with 43 stolen bases, a .474 OBP, and a 1.007 OPS in 665 Plate Appearances.

Woods-Richardson, 20, has a 5.76 ERA with 67 strikeouts and a 1.500 WHIP in 45.1 innings for New Hampshire this year. In his minor league career he has a 4.09 ERA with 219 strikeouts and a 1.222 WHIP in 169.1 innings pitched.

The Blue Jays need starting pitching, as after Hyun-Jin Ryu and Robbie Ray, their rotation isn’t much. They definitely improve it now with Berrios, who is having a career season and still has a year left of control. However, Berrios has never really earned his reputation as an ace. Only once has he had an xERA under 4.00, which came in 2018. This year his xERA is 4.13. That is fine but not worth two top-70 prospects. He has decreased his walk rate to 6.5 percent this season which has helped his 3.57 FIP. Does he help the team? Yes. Is it worth the return? Absolutely not.

Berrios, 27, has a 3.48 ERA with 126 strikeouts and a 1.044 WHIP in 121.2 innings for Minnesota this year. In his MLB career, all for the Twins, Berrios has a 4.08 ERA with 779 strikeouts and a 1.233 WHIP in 781.1 innings.

MLB Trade Review: Red Sox Acquire Schwarber

The Boston Red Sox have acquired outfielder Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals in exchange for RHP Aldo Ramirez.

This is a fantastic deal for the Red Sox, with the condition that Schwarber can learn how to play first base. He has been a wreck in the outfield defensively but the Red Sox are fine in that category. They need someone to replace rookie Bobby Dalbec at first. If he can be anything but a liability at the position, then Boston wins this deal. Schwarber is a power-hitting left-hander who will make the Sox lineup even tougher to pitch against. He walks over a tenth of the time while posting an 18.4 barrel percentage and a 92.2 mph average exit velocity. Schwarber also has an elite .393 xwOBA and a .527 xwOBACON. Fielding will be a journey but he is good. Schwarber is also a rental, so the Red Sox may not have him for long. One problem with him is that in early July he sustained a significant hamstring injury. Schwarber recently resumed batting practice activities but a rehab assignment may be necessary.

Schwarber, 28, has hit 25 home runs with a .340 OBP and a .910 OPS in 303 Plate Appearances for the Nationals this season. In his MLB career for Washington and the Chicago Cubs, Schwarber has hit 146 home runs with a .337 OBP and an .828 OPS in 2411 Plate Appearances.

The Nationals fire sale continues with Schwarber, whose injury cost them a better prospect. The hamstring problem made them have to settle for Ramirez, who MLB Pipeline ranked as Boston’s 19th best prospect. He is a young Mexican pitcher who has good numbers this season. He is still a very long way from the major leagues.

Ramirez, 20, has a 2.03 ERA with 32 strikeouts and a 1.129 WHIP in 31 innings for Single-A Salem this year. In his minor league career, Ramirez has a 2.72 ERA with 112 strikeouts and a 1.063 WHIP in 115.2 innings.

MLB Trade Review: Dodgers and Nats Pull Off a Blockbuster

The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired RHP Max Scherzer and SS Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in exchange for C Keibert Ruiz, RHP Josiah Gray, OF Donovan Casey, and RHP Gerardo Carillo.

Ohhhh boy. The Dodgers have really done it this time. When is the last time we had a deal this big? Oh right, when the Dodgers got Mookie Betts and David Price from Boston. This regime is just incredible at getting superstars. They have finally traded their top two prospects, Gray and Ruiz, after years of speculation. The return is amazing. With Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in the staff, they may not have needed Scherzer, but they got him. He won a World Series in 2019 and is still and elite pitcher. He could easily get Cy Young votes again this year, as he has posted a 3.25 xERA with a .193 xBA against and a great 31.5 K%, which is tied for his best. While he is getting up there in age, Scherzer is still amazing. Getting him alone would be a complete and total win. To get Turner too? A masterpiece. With a 30.7 ft/s sprint speed, Turner is the fastest player in baseball. He has hit .360 against fastballs this year while he has a .294 xBA and a .381 wOBA. He is an above-average defender at shortstop, but he will move to second-base for the remainder of this year when Corey Seager returns from the injured list, which potentially could be tomorrow. Chris Taylor will move to the outfield and Turner will go back to short when Seager leaves this offseason. He has one more year left on his contracts, while Scherzer is a rental. However, Scherzer has nine digits worth of deferred money coming soon. These are the World Series favorites, and they may not even win their division.

Scherzer, 37, has a 2.83 ERA with 142 strikeouts and a 0.886 WHIP in 105 innings for the Nationals this season. In his MLB career for Washington, the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, Scherzer has a 3.19 ERA with 2926 strikeouts and a 1.091 WHIP in 2462.1 innings.

Turner, 28, has hit 18 home runs with 21 stolen bases, a .369 OBP, and an .890 OPS in 420 Plate Appearances for the Nationals this year. In his MLB career, all in Washington, he has hit 93 homers with 192 stolen bases, a .356 OBP, and an .842 OPS in 2803 Plate Appearances.

The Nationals are officially in rebuild mode. Less than two years after winning their first World Series, the team is being broken up. Scherzer and Turner are two of the key pieces of the squad and they are now chasing another World Series ring in Los Angeles. This hurts but it was coming soon anyways. To get the next Nationals stars is much better than nothing. Scherzer is a free agent this upcoming season. If the team was going to go down a downward trend, he was never going to return, especially at his age. Turner had just one more year left and reports indicated that the team tried and failed to lock him up to an extension. When they couldn’t sign him, they traded him. The package that Washington got back still feels disappointing despite two highly regarded prospects coming in. Ruiz and Gray are the top two prospects in the Dodgers organization, per MLB Pipeline. They ranked them as the 41st and 42nd best prospects in all of baseball. Ruiz is their fifth best catcher while Gray is their eighth best right-handed pitcher. Ruiz is a complicated prospect to evaluate. For years, his stats never really lined up with his reputation. That is until this season. Ruiz has completely exploded at AAA this year. He has earned call-ups in 2020 and 2021 and in eight combined games he has gone 3-for-15 with two home runs and an .800 OPS. Gray has been steadily amazing in the minors after the Reds drafted him in the 2nd round of 2018. The Dodgers acquired him along with Jeter Downs from the Betts trade and the contract of Homer Bailey for Yasiel Puig, Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood. It’s safe to say that the deal has worked out for Los Angeles. Gray also has pitched a bit for the big-league club this year, allowing six runs with 13 strikeouts in eight innings. Carrillo is a young, flame throwing righty who has a ton of strikeouts in AA and is ranked by Pipeline as the 17th best prospect in Los Angeles’ system. Casey was drafted in the 20th round in 2017 who has raked in the minors this year.

Ruiz, 23, has hit 16 home runs with a .381 OBP and a 1.012 OPS in 231 Plate Appearances for AAA Oklahoma City this year. In his minor league career, Ruiz has hit 45 home runs with a .355 OBP and an .802 OPS in 1811 Plate Appearances.

Gray, 23, has a 2.87 ERA with 22 strikeouts and a 0.638 WHIP in 15.2 innings at AAA this year. In his minor league career he has a 2.41 ERA with 228 strikeouts and a 0.934 WHIP in 198 innings.

Carrillo, 22, has a 4.25 ERA with 70 strikeouts and a 1.315 WHIP in 59.1 innings for AA Tulsa this year. In his minor league career, Carrillo has a 3.73 ERA with 238 strikeouts and a 1.309 WHIP in 253.2 innings pitched.

Casey, 25, has hit 11 home runs with 15 stolen bases, a .362 OBP, and an .824 OPS in 334 Plate Appearances for Tulsa in 2021. In his minor league career he has hit 48 homers with 45 stolen bases, a .348 OBP, and an .822 OPS in 1340 Plate Appearances.

MLB Trade Review: Mariners Acquire Castillo

The Seattle Mariners have acquired RHP Diego Castillo from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP JT Chargois and 3B Austin Shenton.

Man, do the Rays love to sell when they are up. Castillo is their best relief pitcher and the closest thing that they have to a closer. He also has not hit arbitration yet. He starts the process next year and will have three extra years of team control for Seattle. If you are dealing a player as good as Castillo with years left, you better get a haul. What the Rays got is about standard for a rental. That is not to say that the Rays got nothing in return. Chargois signed a minor league contract this offseason with Seattle and has become a very solid relief arm for them. He has over six inches of extension on his pitches, making his velocity seem faster than it really is. At an average of just under 96 mph, he throws hard at surface value. Batters have just a 5.1 BB% this year against him and Chargois has a very solid 3.56 xERA. He can turn into a late-inning arm in Tampa Bay. MLB Pipeline ranked Shenton as the 17th best prospect in the Seattle system prior to the deal. He was a 5th round pick in 2019 and his lit up the minor leagues since arriving. Knowing the Rays, this deal has a ton of potential.

Chargois, 30, has a 3.00 ERA with 29 strikeouts and a 0.967 WHIP in 30 innings for the Mariners this year. In his MLB career for the Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Minnesota Twins, Chargois has a 4.13 ERA with 114 strikeouts and a 1.247 WHIP in 106.2 innings.

Shenton, 23, has hit 11 home runs with a .414 OBP and a .980 OPS in 321 Plate Appearances for Single-A Everett and AA Arkansas this season. In his minor league career Shenton has hit 19 homers with a .399 OBP and a .940 OPS in 547 Plate Appearances.

The Rays could easily develop Chargois and Shenton into great players but that should not hold the Mariners back. Castillo is as elite as it comes in the pen and is a perfect make-right for the clubhouse that was irate after closer Kendall Graveman was dealt. He has a 2.34 xERA with a .185 xBA, a .302 xSLG, and a .237 xwOBA. Those are all amazing numbers. He has also decreased his walk rate this year. His slider’s whiff rate has gone down in 2021, but to a very good 40 percent. This is a great add for GM Jerry DiPoto.

Castillo, 27, has a 2.72 ERA with 49 strikeouts, a 0.991 WHIP, and a 3.15 FIP in 36.1 innings for the Rays this year. In his MLB career, all for Tampa Bay, Castillo has a 2.99 ERA with 218 strikeouts, a 1.080 WHIP, and a 3.58 FIP in 183.1 innings.