Senior Squids trades away:
The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away:
Jordan’s thoughts: Squids punches the ticket on three prospects who are or were recently on top 100 lists. The shine on Alcantara, Lewis and Jones is not as bright as it once was, but likely it is not all gone either.
In return, he gets two fairly priced starters. Both players are currently MLB free agents so there is definitely more than a healthy dose of uncertainty. In a vacuum I really enjoy this trade for Squids. You trade three prospects who might be useful, might not be, and turn them into players you should be able to bank on holding down 3B and C for you.
If you’re punting your season before Christmas like WBFD here, I guess tossing away two guys for three prospects is fine. I don’t love it, but its fine.
Andrew’s thoughts: I like this one for the Squids.
Neither Mike Moustakas or Wilson Ramos are super exciting players but they’re the kind of players contending teams need and frankly, as cheap as they are, I’m not sure why WBFD didn’t just hang onto them. I can’t imagine buying better players for better salary at auction, and this trifecta of prospects strike me as guys that you hope develop into depth pieces rather than building blocks.
I mean, I get that WBFD is rebuilding. But this isn’t a move that slashes a ton of salary. Neither Moustakas or Ramos were in position to be cuts. They weren’t “take whatever I can get” salary dumps. Like, if you re-invest the $29 into a single player at auction, what is that likely to buy you? Adam Jones? Curtis Granderson went for $27 last year. Is a $29 Steven Matz plus these three prospects better than Moustakas and Ramos? Maybe! I don’t really know. These prospects just don’t excite me enough to want to dump proven major league talent for them and then have to gamble on getting decent replacement talent at auction.
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 2018 1st Round Pick
The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses sends: SS Addison Russell ($42)
Andrew’s Thoughts: In light of the news that Carlos Correa will miss 6-8 weeks, this trade happened. And I like it for both teams.
Addison Russell is still much more hype than substance. He’s the 25th highest scoring shortstop and is averaging 1.058 points per plate appearance, which is completely uninspiring. He’s got a dismal .297 wOBA, 17th among qualified shortstops. But for Hustle’s purposes, he plays every day and seems like a serviceable accumulator. He won’t fill Correa’s shoes, but doesn’t necessarily need to. I think for the rest of the season, he’s better than his year to date numbers, though maybe not by a ton. Between Russell and Jonathan Villar, Hustle likely has one competent SS to play until Correa gets back around playoff time. I don’t think the first round pick is too steep a price to rent a shortstop when your alternatives are bums on waivers or accepting my troll offers for Taylor Motter.
For WBFD, this is a no-brainer. At $44 minimum next year, he would’ve been nuts to keep Russell anyway. That cost is just way too high to pay for a former top prospect with a .308 wOBA going on 1,500 MLB plate appearances now. Corey Seager comes to mind as a big price paid for a prospect that has panned out. Russell hasn’t. He still has upside, but even a big second half doesn’t seem like it’d turn him into a keeper. So to get a first round pick for him now, while he has value as a rental to a contender, seems wise.
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 2B/3B/SS Jonathan Villar ($12)
Senior Squids sends: SP Sandy Alcantara (minors)
Andrew’s Thoughts: I suppose last year’s stats don’t matter much, but in 2016 Jonathan Villar was the 4th highest scoring shortstop, 7th at 2B, and 5th at 3B. He’s been absolutely dreadful this season to the tune of a .271 wOBA. Of qualified hitters, that ranks 157th out of 166. Byron Buxton ranks 165th on that list. Villar being ranked near Buxton just by itself is devastating to his value. At least Villar only costs $12 and not like, I don’t know, $38 or something. Man, can you imagine paying Byron Buxton $38 to sit on your bench every day? I sure can’t.
I think if you were looking at this season alone, completely ignorant of last year, sure, dump Villar for an okay prospect. But last year exists, and so I can’t see dumping him for a prospect of Sandy Alcantara‘s caliber. I don’t even dislike Alcantara necessarily, but how much of his scouting report can be written about how many other pitching prospects?
Villar just turned 26. He’s already had a season where he finished in the top seven in scoring at three infield positions. How is his value equal to a guy with 76 uninspiring Double-A innings to his name? How does that one line on a 26-year-old’s resume, inflated as it may have been by a .373 BABIP, not trump whatever list you see where Alcantara appears?
I think Hustle will pick someone up this morning that either already is on some other list somewhere or will be before long, essentially replacing Alcantara for free, while adding Villar as a depth piece with proven upside. Villar’s isn’t prospect upside. It’s legitimate, “hey guys, I’m super young and already finished a full season as the 22nd highest scoring hitter” upside. And at $14 next year, Villar’s keepable if he closes out the year strong. He could be keepable if he merely shows life. Sure, he’s likely to be 2B-only next year and that dings his value some, but just rest of season, I’d much rather gamble on what Villar’s already done in the majors than gamble on what Alcantara might some day do.
Team Canada sends: P – Sandy Alcantara (STL)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: $2 in 2016 Auction Budget & the 203rd overall draft pick in 2016.
Jordan’s thoughts: Well hey we finally had our first snap trade immediately after someone got drafted by someone else. Alcantara is a fine prospect, who knows where it goes. But, this was late in the draft and HLR paid double the price paid for other similar trades. Them the breaks. If you want the prospect its a fine trade. If you were Team Canada and not married to what was likely a choice between fifteen similar guys, well you made $2, awesome.