By: Noah Wright
This off season, like many, had a handful of blockbuster trades. We’ve seen star players being moved from team to team, from division rival to division rival. However, it is interesting to look back and see each trade now that we’ve had time to see how the rest of each team’s offseason has panned out.
- Mets acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from Mariners for Justin Dunn, Jarred Kelenic, Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce, and Anthony Swarzak:
At the time, I thought this trade made almost no sense for the Mariners, and I still do. The M’s seriously watered down young all-star closer Edwin Diaz’s value by packaging him with Robinson Cano’s large contract. On his own, Diaz probably could have reeled in much more. However, they still did get something back half decent with Justin Dunn, and Jarred Kelenic. Plus, Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, if they bounce back even the slightest, are decent pieces the M’s can flip at the deadline. For the Mets, this trade really helps their team. Cano fills in at 2B for now, and even though he was suspended half the season last year, the former Yankee did post a .845 OPS and decent defensive statistics all around when he was healthy. Plus, they got that shut down closer they needed in the back end by acquiring Diaz.
- Cardinals acquire Paul Goldschmidt from Diamondbacks for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, and Andy Young:
This was one of the more fair trades all off season. Paul Goldschmidt was coming off another outstanding year both offensively and defensively for the D-backs. However, he only had 1 year of control left, so his value was at the lowest it could be at the time. Going to Arizona would be 2 former top prospects. The first was Luke Weaver. Weaver struggled greatly during the 2018 season, posting just a 4.95 ERA and 4.45 FIP in 136 innings of work. Though the right hander is only going to be 25 next season and pitched decently during his 2017 season (3.88 ERA, 3.17 FIP in 60 and a third innings). The other former prospect was Carson Kelly. The catcher/corner infielder would have been Yadier Molina’s back up next year, and while he’s never shown much in the bigs, he’s never gotten a fair shot at playing time either. Kelly is at best, a defensive heavy catcher, but he could be a solid .270/.330/.400 catcher if he can recognize big league pitching.
- Phillies acquire J.T. Realmuto from Marlins for Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro, and Will Stewart:
The long saga of a J.T. Realmuto trade came to an end during the beginning of the month when the Phillies acquired the all-star catcher for a hefty price. During 2018, JTR put up very good numbers for a catcher, with a .825 OPS in 531 plate appearances, and 21 home runs. Plus, JT threw out 38% of runners trying to take a base on him. JT can also run pretty well for a catcher, having a higher average sprint speed than Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Jose Altuve. Heading back to Philly was 3 fairly worthwhile pieces. The largest and most notable being Sixto Sanchez. Sanchez is only 20 years old, and he has the most potential of all 3 pieces. MLB.com ranked Sixto as the 27th/100 best prospect in the MLB. Alfaro also has some notable potential. Last year, Alfaro put up a solid .262/.324/.407 line in 377 PA’s for the Phils. While his defense has been so-so, he’ll definitely provide a solid glove behind the dish. Alfaro will only be 26 next season, and he was formerly a top 50 prospect. Now lhp Will Stewart may have been overlooked with so many large names in this deal, but he could be a future major league piece for the Marlins. Stewart put up a 2.06 ERA and 3.09 FIP in 113 and 2 thirds innings in single-A. Plus, he only walked 21 batters for a miniscule 1.7 BB/9 rate.
- Reds acquire Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer from Dodgers for Jeter Downs, Josiah Gray, and Homer Bailey:
This was more of a salary dump by the Reds to get rid of Homer Bailey’s contract, but the team did reel in some nice pieces from the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig, while he does have his struggles with left handed pitching, is a great defensive outfielder who can provide some speed and power. The last 2 seasons have seen Puig combine for a .827 OPS. Alex Wood really bolsters a very weak rotation. He’s a solid #2 starter who can provide a 3.00-3.50 ERA/FIP. The worse piece coming to the Reds is Matt Kemp. The 34 year old veteran started the year off strong during 2018, even earning a starting spot in the NL All-star game, but greatly faltered in the second half. Regardless, Kemp could still provide a useful .280/.330/.450 line with 20 home runs at the plate. Though his defense will come with some questions of itself. The pieces heading back to the Dodgers are not really noteworthy. Except for Homer Bailey, who the Reds just threw in to offset salary, none of the 3 really have done anything, or have gotten the chance to do anything in the minors.