Regulation: Phillies, Reds, Mets, and so forth. MLB trades value noting

A few quick notes on a few more deals from Tuesday deadline. I haven’t discussed every trade that has taken place, instead focusing on the ones that involved prospects or that I otherwise found interesting.

Twins get: Tyler Mahle

Red ones Credit: Spencer Steer, Stephen Hajjar, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand

Mahle has been a bit unlucky this year, though his base numbers are pretty much the same as before, and his 3.60 FIP is actually the best of his career so far. He changed his pitch mix a bit, using more of a splitter and less of a slider. Both pitches were slightly less effective than in previous seasons, and his slider dropped about 2 mph. He missed a couple of July starts with a sore shoulder, but looked good when he returned and should be able to give the Twins some league-average work out of the rotation wherever he can. Sonny Gray with an FIP of less than 4 per year.

Steer has been one of the biggest hitters in the minors this year, as the 24-year-old has 20 homers and a .361 OBP with just 17 percent hitting between Double and Triple A. infield, playing mostly third base this year. He looks like he’ll be a regular as long as his defense holds up at third or second, and he has upside as a utility hitter thanks to his power and high contact rate, especially on fastballs. Hajjar is a 6-foot-5 left-hander with a below-average fastball and a below-average fastball, but he adds a bit of upside for his size, showing 55 innings. He has struggled to get left-handers out in the high A’s this season and has missed several weeks with a shoulder strain. Encarnacion-Strand was the Twins’ fourth baseman last year and continues to hit for surprising power given his short swing, with 25 homers already between high A and double A. His lackluster plate discipline in college hasn’t held him back. so far in pro ball. He’s probably an average third-down linebacker long-term, but could end up at first if not.


Parents get: Brandon Drury

Reds get: Victor Acosta

Drury bowled left-handers and had a solid bounce-back year for the Reds, helping them pitch comfortably. He can back off at every spot in the field except shortstop, or just flat out Will Myers, who has played terribly this year. Acosta is an 18-year-old shortstop with speed and a plus handle who can stay in position for long periods of time with a high-contact approach that should yield strong batting averages without much power. He still has far more tools than skill, needs time and reps in almost every area, but has above-average regular-season speed at shortstop or, failing that, center. He is hitting .243/.346/.360 in the Arizona Rookie League.


Phillies get: Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Marsh

Angels to: Logan O’Hoppe, Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez

It was technically two trades: Marsh for O’Hoppe and Syndergaard for Moniak and Sanchez. Starting with the one-on-one trade, I mean, if I were a sarcastic dude, I’d say the Phillies trading Marsh means they’ve discovered a defense. I think the Angels were more interested in this trade because Marsh was a local player, a rarity in this system, and still has some upside in both power and contact, even though his 24-year-old window is closing. They traded him for Logan O’Hoppe, a hard-hitting catcher out of Long Island High School who went from a 23rd-round pick to a potential everyday guy who at 22 is playing well in Double A. He lags behind perfectly. plate, he’ll stay there without a doubt and should be a 15-20 guy with some skill and high contact. Better O’Hoppe.

Syndergaard hasn’t shown his pre-Tommy John traits or form this year, with significantly lower velocity on all pitches than in 2019, less movement on two breaking pitches and what at least looks to be worse. Maybe he’ll be back next year, but he’s on loan from the Phillies and is probably just rotation insurance Zach Eflin does not return when due in late August. Currently, Moniak is a four-man guy, a 24-year-old corner outfielder with tremendous power and tremendous trouble hitting off-speed, who doesn’t do enough damage to right-handers to even be a platoon guy. He’s going to play close to home, if that’s worth anything. Sanchez has even less value because he’s an old low-A and doesn’t strike out and is limited to the outfield corners.


The Phillies get: David Robertson

Cubs get: Ben Brown

And the irony. The Phillies signed Robertson to a two-year contract through 2019 and got a 6.2 ration from him, which isn’t bad. He’s back, and the 37-year-old is coming off his best year since 2018, making up for lost velocity with his cutter as a fastball, followed by that curveball. I saw Brown pitch for High-A Jersey Shore a few weeks ago and was impressed with the Long Island native because he has a 94-97 mph fastball that is very difficult for hitters to beat, with three secondary pitches but nothing more than average for the time of year. He’s 6-foot-6, but doesn’t use his height to full advantage with his stride or reach, so there could be a little more upside.


The Blue Jays get: Whit Merrifield

The royals get: Max Castillo and Samad Taylor

Merrifield 2019 won three and a half victories, mostly without playing, and in 2021 – get more out of your glove; however, he has been below replacement this year at age 33, hitting .240/.290/.352 while playing average to slightly above average defensively. The backbone of Santiago actually outplayed Merrifield this year, and he managed to get out, but Merrifield could take Cavan Biggio‘s spot on the bench, providing more defensive value and speed without sacrificing anything else. But the Jays didn’t give up much. Castillo is a middle reliever at best, right-handed with some deception, but a faster than average fastball and hitters hit the pitch hard. Outfielder Samad Taylor sat out the 40 last winter, but could develop into a capable complementary infielder, though he’s more of a second/third baseman than a true utility man who can handle shortstop.


year get: There reputation

Giants get: JD DavisCarson Seymour, Thomas Szapucki, and Nick Zwack

Two quick thoughts here. One, it’s very surprising that the Giants turned Rufa, who had nearly 800 plate appearances in five years with the Phillies before he washed up and left to play in Korea, into someone who would get a positive return from the trade. He’s still just a platoon bat who can hit lefties and has no value defensively; but still, if still in 2019 had you said the Giants were going to get some interesting players in exchange for Rufa by this point, I would have laughed. Of the returners, I’m most intrigued by Seymour, 23, a 6-foot-6 right-hander who touches 100 mph but had a high walk rate at Kansas State, so he’s a 2020 prospect. he went undrafted. The Mets made it to the sixth round in 2021. Played him slowly this year, making seven starts in low A before moving him to high A in late May, but he doesn’t walk a lot of guys and it showed. didn’t split the pack, even reducing his walk rate as the season ended. I said he might have to be a reliever in the draft because of his control issues, but I’d keep him as a starter right now and push him to Double A.

(Photo by Darin Ruff: Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

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