The Braves and Angels swap prospects

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The Braves and Angels agreed to a trade involving prospects this evening, with left-hander Ricardo Sanchez headed to Atlanta in exchange for third baseman Kyle Kubitza and right-hander Nate Hyatt.

Sanchez was recently ranked as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America, but he doesn’t turn 18 until April, so he’s a long ways off. Still, new Braves president John Hart continues to add high-upside young arms to his system. Sanchez had a 3.49 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 38 2/3 innings last season in rookie ball. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that he throws 94-95 mph with his fastball and has a very good curveball.

Kubitza, 24, was added to the Angels’ 40-man roster in November after batting .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs, 55 RBI, and 21 stolen bases over 132 games with Double-A Mississippi last season. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said that he believes Kubitza will be part of the major league roster in 2016. It’s worth noting that third baseman David Freese is set to become a free agent after 2015.

Hyatt, 24, is a hard-thrower who posted a 2.71 ERA with three saves and a 73/27 K/BB ratio over 63 innings last season with High-A Lynchburg.

The Angels designated first baseman Marc Krauss for assignment in order to clear a spot for Kubitza on their 40-man roster. Krauss, who was claimed off waivers from the Astros last month, owns a .200/.274/.341 batting line with 10 home runs over 119 games in the majors.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.