Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Senior Squids)
Senior Squids trades away
Hustle’s Toxic $.02
The nice thing I’ll say about this trade is that I do like it more than the last one. Paxton is a more volatile asset than Gary Sanchez is, thus I think it’s a better piece to trade if you’re rebuilding/tanking. Elton took my advice from the last review in trading Paxton. I still think it would be preferable to have made this trade rather than and instead of the last one.
That being said, I still think this isn’t a great trade, but it’s not awful. It’s basically a downgrade from a near ace level pitcher in Paxton to whatever Musgrove is with a wild card shot on Wright or Oneil being something. If Oneill becomes a middle of the order bopper year in and year out and Musgrove is a top 30ish pitcher, then it probably works out ok for him. That still seems like a lot of risk of both those things happening rather than Paxton just staying good. Paxton could get hurt, but Musgrove is no stranger to injuries either. Seems risky with not a ton of upside unless you think Paxton isn’t built to hold up for a few years or that Musgrove will become close to his tier of a player. Which I suppose is possible!
I still have trouble seeing how this puts Elton in a better position to beat the teams he made stronger in 2019 and beyond. Senior Squids finally has a top 10 farm, and their best course now is to let his prospects marinate and hopefully next year flip them for an elite asset like Gary Sanchez or James Paxton. This trade reminds me a lot of the Pirates trading Gerit Cole, when they sought elite future assets and ended up with… Joe Musgrove.
For Long Ball, this seems like a no brainer move. Sure Paxton has injury risk, but so does Musgrove. Every trade has inherent risks, but this seems like a pretty safe bet. With a rotation of Nola, Paxton, and Greinke, the Long Balls look to be serious contenders now and in the future.
James Paxton is a weird guy to value. He’s obviously very, very good, but he’s also constantly hurt. He’s never thrown more than 136 innings and I feel like if you’re buying him, you’re probably worried he won’t be available when it matters most (H2H playoff time). At the same time… he costs only $10, $12 minimum to keep, and that is effectively nothing. Even if he gets greeded up to $20, that’s peanuts for a player of his caliber. He could miss all of 2019 for whatever reason and still be cheap enough to keep into 2020. I guess what I’m saying is, he’s riskier than your average pitcher, but his price and ability outweigh a good majority of that risk. I agree with Hustle’s general sentiment that, for a rebuilding team, Paxton is the most obvious chip to move (and that he should’ve been traded first and instead of franchise piece Gary Sanchez).
On the other side, Joe Musgrove also appears to be an injury risk. He’s only pitched in four MLB games this year after battling injuries all winter and spring. I like Musgrove, but I’m a little shocked he’s the main piece in a deal for a Paxton-like stud. I’m having flashbacks to Lewis Brinson — in other words, a guy who pops up on the trade block sporadically for months, then is suddenly headlining a deal for a star. In this case, three of Musgrove’s four starts have been good, so I guess that’s enough to make him valuable.
In essence, Long Ball paid three prospects — O’Neill, Wright, and a pick — to upgrade Musgrove to Paxton. And I love it. He had to do it. He didn’t, in my opinion, touch any of his premium prospects to get this deal done (if I’m Squids and trading Paxton to Long Ball, I’m getting Juan Soto or Bo Bichette back or I’m shopping really hard elsewhere). Musgrove seems good, but Paxton is elite. To me, Tyler O’Neill is a depth piece in our league. The power will play, but his cost control clock has already started ticking and he’s on a team that doesn’t have room for him. Is he just a fourth outfielder? Kyle Wright ranked 24th on FanGraphs’ new prospect list, but I don’t know much about him. He’s a pitcher, and if I’m tanking this year and probably next as Squids appears to be doing, I’m just not pumped to do it all around pitchers.
Ultimately I can’t escape the feeling here that Squids decided Paxton had to go ASAP and just took whatever offer looked best. Yeah, Paxton’s risky, but given his performance and cost, literally every team should have shown interest. Paxton is more valuable to even a rebuilding team than almost any prospect or combo of 2-3 prospects. I’d love to know if any “rebuilding” teams inquired. I know Squids has taken some pleasure in trying to play the “top teams” against each other as he tears down, but the market for Paxton should’ve been vast and the return just seems underwhelming. Oh well. Paxton’s arm could melt off at any moment (he had forearm cramping during his last start!) and this deal could then look fantastic simply by virtue of getting something. There aren’t a lot of studs in the league for under $20, but Paxton’s one of them and injury history be damned, I feel like he should’ve fetched a Bichette, Soto, or some prospect of that ilk a tier or two below the Vlads and Acunas of the world. Kyle Wright feels very blah to me. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out and if injuries play a role in the narrative.