At the MLB Flea Market
Some good bargains to be found

Well, lookee what we found in the MLB flea market bin!  One of those Mallex Smiths!  Hot dang!*

From MLBTR:   8:23pm: The Mariners and Rays are closing in on a trade that would send catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Tampa Bay in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smithreports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.  Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that in addition to Smith, Zunino and Heredia, there are two minor leaguers involved in the deal — one on each side of the trade. More specifically, MLB.com’s Greg Johns tweets that the Rays will acquire a minor league pitcher, while the Mariners will add a minor league outfielder. Deal is pending physicals, of course.

*Of course, Smith didn't come at a Five-Finger Discount, we game up decent stuff.

All in all, however, I love this trade.  We got a guy who has had 4.6 oWAR over the past three years , 1.4 dWAR, and just finished a season where he hit .296-.367-.406.  Since he had part-time duty in '16-'17, shose 6 WAR come in two full seasons of PA's.  You will remember that Smith was ours for about 6 seconds two years ago, before we gave him away for next to nothing.  Or maybe it was Drew Smyly? Ah....same difference.

Some of us were particularly miffed about that trade.  Count me as one of them.  I love this one.  I wanted Smith then.

I've been ready to let Heredia go for a bag of balls and some pinetar, so I find no particular loss there.  Zunino, on the other hand, is a loss.  But to get something pretty, we had to give up something of value.  Zunino's glove is certainly of value.  If he can figure out how not to KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK, his bat is something really nice for a C.  That's a big "If", however.  This past seasons was not encouraging.  

Smith won't hit the ball out of many parks, but he gets on base 36% of the time vs. RHP, just killed lefties to a .800+ tune, and can pick it in the field.  Oh...he comes dollar cheap, too.

It will be interesting to see who we get as the MiLB OF and which farm arm we give up.........but I don't really car THAT much.  I like this deal.

Now, who else (someone young and blingy) are we going to get for Paxton in the trade we make with the Yankees  for Sonny Gray?**

Sort of kidding.  But I bet we trade Paxton and the Yankees seem like the logical place.

Comments

1

Gordon isn't going to be playing CF for us in '19....that's a fair bet.

Wonder what team he goes to?  

2

I think the surprise contender for Paxton might be the White Sox.  Their rebuild has to pick up steam fast--the fan base is unhappy and dwindling--and with a payroll of $14 million (no typo), there's a lot to play with.  Which is why some people are saying not to count them out on either Harper or Machado.  

They've got a top 3 prospect in baseball in Eloy Jimenez on the way.  Think about adding Paxton on top of that--and I'm proposing, maybe Kyle, too.  That group of additions would make headlines in Cub-crazed Chicago.

Their farm system is top 3.  A potential front line starter in either Kopech or Dylan Cease would be a must for us...and there's a lot more talent there for Jerry to choose from.  

Just musing.  It doesn't necessarily have to be one of the current top teams to land Paxton.  Great farm systems in San Diego and Atlanta, as well.  

3

My money is on the Phillies to land Paxton. Early rumblings about them being very interested.

The problem with this trade is that it's really...really...REALLY hard to fill the catching position. And they show no desire to sign a pricey free agent like Ramos.

4

M's give up Michael Plassmeyer, who just had a terrific season, his first, in Everett.

We get LHB Jake Fraley, who Baseball American identified as the Best Defensive OF in the Rays' system last December....and then he went off for a .347-.515-.547 A+ season this summer.   Last night, when I perused the Rays' minor league system looking for interesting OF's, he was the guy that sort of jumped out at me.  He's a former 2nd Round pick.

What I imagine the M's will do is stick him in AA for about 3 seasons, like we always seem to do with young OFs.  I hate that.   He's got a good Eye and has Ked only 105 times in 621 MiLBN PAs, which makes him sort of a high contact hitter in this day and age.  He hit .371 vs. RHPs, this summer.

Man, he's 23....get him to Tacoma in a hurry.

Oh, btw, Zunino got the Wilson award as the top Defensive Catcher in the game yesterday.

Here's one TB writer's take on it all:  https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/2018/11/08/5-things-about-the-rays-m...

And Jeff Sullivan on Fangraphs has a article on the swap.  But Fangraphs is down for a bit, so I can't clip it for you guys.

5

Here's a cool article:  https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/wladimir-balentien-needs-a-job/

And here's a youtube look at 55 of the homers he hit back in '13.   Somehow I don't remember him so still and quiet at the plate.  

Anyway, as a 4th OF bat, and a RH one to spell Gamel and Smith,  I would be willing to take a loooong look.  

Eric Thames came back from Asia with a rejuvinated bat.  Just sayin'..............................

7

Fraley is only 23 now.  This is exactly what I hoped I'd read when it came in that a MiL OF was also returning.  Well, I could do without the injuries, but...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.draysbay.com/platform/amp/2018/2/8/1698...

Unsent thought from lastnight...

Heredia and Zunino for Smith is kind of painful except Smith is now 25 and established with the last 2 years being decent then great offensively for a CF. Zunino turns 28 this spring, about 2 months after Heredia does. Smith will turn 26 in the middle of this summer. He's only coming into his own. 23rd in WAR among qualified CF during his 3 year career of only 1041 PA, just below 28yo Billy Hamilton.

Still hoping the MiL OF is a surprise of Haniger proportions. Even without it the move alone doesn't say sell to me. Paxton talk doesn't either until that trigger is pulled.  This is getting a couple years younger in a couple spots but who's to catch? 

Smyly, so painful

8

Cameron Rupp, stuffed down in Tacoma, has been a pretty decent MLB hitter, for a catcher.  From '15-'17, he was a 3.4 oWAR hitter;  .236 with 39 homers, in 1049 PAs (essentially 2 seasons).  He's a .705 OPS guy,  but that number jumps to .879 vL.  However, he was a decently dismal pitch framer, giving up 5 and 10 runs in '16 and '17, according to B-R's Strike Zone Runs Saved stat.  With some pitch framing improvement and paired with a LH hitting C, he's not terrible at all.

And I sense that some of the brain trust has a pretty decent crush on Joe DeCarlo, who threw out 35% of potential base-stealers and hit .779 in AA last season. 

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