Toolshed: Five Trade Deadline takeaways
It was certainly eventful. And in a welcome way, normal. In a year in which so much is different about baseball and the world at large, the Trade Deadline felt fairly similar. Sure, it happened on Aug. 31 instead of July. Sure, there were new buyers at the market thanks
It was certainly eventful. And in a welcome way, normal.
In a year in which so much is different about baseball and the world at large, the Trade Deadline felt fairly similar. Sure, it happened on Aug. 31 instead of July. Sure, there were new buyers at the market thanks to an expanded postseason. But there were blockbusters. There were moves for rentals. There were some swaps that didn’t end up happening. (Here’s looking at you,
Now that the Trade Deadline is past us, today’s Toolshed takes a breath and breaks down some prospect-related takeaways from Aug. 31.
The Padres improved without mortgaging their future: Let's start with who San Diego picked up in the last week alone --
Now a reminder of who is still in the system --
The Padres entered trade season with six Top-100 prospects, went out and filled several of their holes (including finding a new ace in Clevinger) and ended traded season with ... five Top-100 prospects. (More on the one they lost in a bit.) That feels like a tremendous accomplishment for general manager A.J. Preller and the San Diego front office.
Sure, there aren't many Major Leaguers the club picked up who could have justified a price as high as any of the Padres' top young talents, but the Clevinger deal was an indication of just how many prospects the club could afford to give up and still remain one of the strongest systems in the game. Losing
San Diego already had its best odds of reaching the postseason since 2006. With the moves made in the last couple days, the Padres increased their chances of making a deep playoff run. They also gave themselves pretty good odds that this run won't be a one-off too.
"More waves coming," Preller told reporters, including MLB.com's AJ Cassavell, on Monday.
Mariners become latest to bet on Trammell: As for that one Top-100 prospect San Diego did part with, that was No. 59
That's a story in itself, that the Mariners could turn a 30-year-old catcher -- who they signed as a Minor League free agent in January 2019 -- into a Top-100 prospect (and more) after 20 months in the organization. Such was Nola's late-blooming development in the Pacific Northwest.
But back to Trammell, who can be divisive as a prospect even though he's ranked highly by MLB.com. The left-handed slugger is a plus runner, can handle outfield defense well and has the chance to be above-average overall with the bat. His arm is the only below-average tool on paper. What perhaps made him expendable to two different organizations was the fact that the skill set hasn't yet translated into on-field production. Trammell hit just .234/.340/.349 in 126 games between two Double-A clubs last season. He certainly ended on a bright note, however, by going 13-for-42 (.310) with three homers in the Texas League postseason. (One of those homers was a ninth-inning grand slam in the series-clinching win by Amarillo.) These brief tastes of potential -- which also include an MVP turn at the 2018 All-Star Futures Game in which Trammell homered and tripled -- keep prospect evaluators and clubs coming back for more, even if they haven't been matched with consistency yet.
For his part, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said he'd been chasing Trammell for years, dating back to the 2016 Draft when the club held the 11th overall pick. They took
Therein lies the rub of Trammell's new system. Lewis has developed into one of the Majors' most exciting outfielders, and
But in the midst of a rebuild, Seattle needs to take on all the talent it can get regardless of position. The outfield situation will sort itself out in due course, and if it comes down to finding three spots for five legitimate Major League outfielders, then Dipoto's dreams will have come true. Trammell is a talent worth betting on. The next part of that bet is seeing his talent translate into performance on the field, and the wait for that in his new organization will need to spill into 2021.
Indians got deeper: If someone said at the beginning of the 2020 season that Cleveland would be selling on Clevinger at the Deadline, it would have caused some panic in northeast Ohio that the coming season had gone horribly wrong. On a team level, it really hasn't. At 21-14, the Tribe sits one game behind the White Sox in the AL Central and would be the AL's fourth seed if the season ended today. However, Clevinger's disregard of the COVID-19 protocols (leading to a trip to the restricted list and an option back to the alternate site), along with
In exchange for the 29-year-old, outfielder Allen and a player to be named later, the Indians received Major Leaguers
The Indians have proved incredibly adept at turning pitching prospects with impressive control into even better Major Leaguers. Current Cy Young favorite
Similarly, Arias and Miller don't fill needs in the Indians system so much as they fit a mold. Following their arrivals, seven of Cleveland's top 19 prospects are of the middle-infield variety. Miller might be the most advanced of the group from a developmental standpoint, having played all of 2019 at Double-A, and he could compete for a second-base job in Cleveland soon, thanks to an above-average hit tool from the right side. Arias will be in the mix as
Players to be named: Thirty -- count 'em, thirty -- players to be named later were traded in August alone. Three were sent from the Phillies to the Brewers in the
This mockery of the process was laid bare when the names of certain yet-to-be-traded prospects were leaked. We know that 2019 picks
Being able to unofficially trade prospects only to leave them in limbo for weeks until the end of the season is reminiscent of the reason why the
What didn't happen: Yes, there was a blockbuster between Cleveland and San Diego and plenty of other smaller deals to chew on across baseball. But there was no
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.