It took a day and change to make it happen, but Mat Latos is finally going to Los Angeles. And a heck of a lot of other players are moving around too as that Dodgers-Marlins-Braves trade is finally done, per Ken Rosenthal. The deal, which has changed some since last night:
- To the Dodgers: Starter Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Marlins and starter Alex Wood, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, and infield prospect Jose Peraza from the Braves. Also from the Braves: Bronson Arroyo, who likely wasn’t going to pitch at all this year anyway and appears to be a financial move for Atlanta more than anything;
- To the Braves: Infielder Hector Olivera, left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez, and minor league pitcher Zachary Bird from the Dodgers and Miami’s 2016 Competitive Balance Draft pick (34th overall); and
- To the Marlins: Minor league pitchers Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo as well as cash.
For the Dodgers, the moves are obvious: bolstering the starting pitching, with both Latos and Wood presumably moving into the rotation and Johnson and Avilan moving in to bolster the bullpen. Peraza is an interesting piece who will likely go to Oklahoma City. I have no idea what they plan to do with Michael Morse.
The Marlins save cash and get kids. That’s generally the reason for any Marlins move.
The Braves? Man, I dunno. Olivera is an intriguing piece who has been raking at Triple-A. But he’s 30, so it’s not like he’s the sort of guy who will anchor their infield for years and years. Obviously Alex Wood and any other pitcher is an injury risk and the Braves have other infield prospects apart from Peraza, but that seems an awful lot to give up for, basically, one guy, a draft pick, a couple of random arms and some financial relief. On the bright side, taking on a 30-year-old centerpiece suggests that the Braves believe they will be competitive relatively soon.
Also: how about the Braves losing Arroyo? Which means that they picked up Touki Toussaint from the Diamondbacks for virtually nothing. That’s not too shabby.
There David Price, Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto deals were bigger in star power, but there likely will be no bigger deal in sheer mass than this one at the 2015 deadline.
Take it for what it’s worth — everyone was convinced Cole Hamels was going to Houston this time yesterday — but Bob Nightengale has some informed speculation:
Seems like a distinct possibility. The Dodgers just picked up a couple of nice pieces from the Braves in Alex Wood and Jose Peraza who could be packaged and sent to Detroit. And, of course, already had a decent set of prospects of their own, as well as random, rumored-to-be-on-the-block pieces such as Alex Guerrero and even Yasiel Puig.
Of course the Tigers and their fans should temper expectations on the return — Price is a two-month rental at the moment — and the last ace who went out on a rental, Johnny Cueto, brought back three pitching prospects. Still, these teams seem to match up nicely for a trade.
Just when you thought the trade deadline couldn’t possibly get any more exciting, the Pirates trumped every other move Wednesday night, landing Joe Blanton in a deal with the Royals.
Cash considerations were the reported return for Kansas City. Blanton had just been DFA’d to make room for Johnny Cueto on the roster.
Blanton had a 3.89 ERA and a 40/7 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings for the Royals, making four starts and 11 relief appearances. The 34-year-old former 16-game winner announced his retirement in 2014 before coming back this year.
The Pirates likely will use Blanton out of the pen and hope that their big ballpark can keep his home run totals down. He could always start if needed, but Vance Worley is ahead of him in line should anything open up.
This sort of sounds like the kind of hyperbole you tend to hear at the trade deadline, but it also makes a ton of sense:
That is, if the Tigers wake up and realize that, yeah, the need to sell. Which you have to think they have given that they’re about to complete their third straight losing month in a row and now find themselves in fourth place.
How pitched a “war” can be for a rental is an open question — Price is a free agent after this year — but Johnny Cueto brought the Reds three solid pitching prospects, so you have to think that’s where it starts.
Not satisfied with acquiring Reds ace Johnny Cueto for three minor leaguers, now the Royals have pulled off another major trade for an impending free agent.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the A’s have traded 34-year-old infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist to the Royals in exchange for pitching prospects Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks.
Zobrist has played just about everywhere defensively during his career, but the A’s mostly used him at second base and in left field. Those two spots are areas of need for the Royals too, as left fielder Alex Gordon is out until September with a groin injury and second baseman Omar Infante has struggled offensively all year.
In addition to the defensive versatility Zobrist brings to the Royals he’s also a switch-hitter with a lifetime .784 OPS, including hitting .268 with six homers, 20 doubles, more walks (33) than strikeouts (26), and an .801 OPS in 67 games this season.
Kansas City has the AL’s best record and now the Royals have added a top-of-the-rotation, Cy Young-caliber ace and an .800 OPS switch-hitter who can play anywhere. General manager Dayton Moore is not messing around.
Manaea was a Royals first-round draft pick in 2013 and the 23-year-old left-hander ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect coming into the season. He’s been limited to just 32 innings due to injuries and has a history of health problems, but Manaea has top-of-the-rotation upside and 185 strikeouts in 153 pro innings.
Brooks had brief stints with the Royals in 2013 and 2014 as a reliever, but the 25-year-old right-hander has been a starter in the minors with a 3.81 ERA and 189/46 K/BB ratio in 246 total innings at Triple-A. He lacks big upside, but should find a role with the A’s soon.