Padres acquire Sean Manaea in trade with Athletics
After just missing the postseason a year ago and having a roster in place that could feasibly compete in an expanded playoff field, the Athletics have decided to go in the other direction, selling off a number of their key players after the lockout. They traded starter Chris Bassitt to the Mets, while Matts Olson and Chapman went to Atlanta and Toronto, respectively. Over the weekend, they traded another key player, this time sending Sean Manaea and Aaron Holiday to the Padres in exchange for prospects Eruibiel Angeles and Adrian Martinez.
On the Padres side of things, they are building up a whole lot of rotation depth after learning the hard way last season what can happen when key arms go down. Manaea joins a rotation that already included Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove at the top, along with Nick Martinez and Blake Snell. They also have guys like MacKenzie Gore, Chris Paddack, and Mike Clevinger (who is currently injured) in the mix as well. Manaea has had his own injury issues and struggles a bit with the long ball, but he’s a really solid mid-rotation arm with upside for more.
On the Oakland side of this deal, it’s really shameful that they are tearing things down like this. (While raising ticket prices, by the way.) In Angeles, they get a young infielder who had an impressive full-season debut as a 19-year-old last season, hitting .343/.397/.461 in A-Ball and getting a late-season taste of High-A. Martinez, meanwhile, pitched well at Double-A last season with a 2.34 ERA and 3.14 FIP over 80 2⁄3 innings, but struggled in 44 1⁄3 innings at Triple-A. Angeles and Martinez rank 11th and 25th on the updated Athletics top prospect list at MLB Pipeline.
Why Red Sox fans should care: The Red Sox could use another starter, especially after the Chris Sale injury, and this really doesn’t seem like that big of a package. A rough comparison could maybe be Matthew Lugo and Kutter Crawford, though these kinds of comparisons are often oversimplistic. It’s likely Oakland sees something in one or both of these prospects which makes them rate them more highly than public evaluators. Even so, with growing farm depth these are the types of deals the Red Sox should be looking at.
The other big trade news is a couple days old but happened at the start of the weekend with a good old fashioned challenge trade between contenders. We need more deals like these, which are always fun to look at and don’t need a half decade before you can truly evaluate it. Here, the White Sox sent Craig Kimbrel to the Dodgers, getting A.J. Pollock in return.
We’ll start with the Chicago side of things. You can never really have too many relievers, so the White Sox didn’t need to trade Kimbrel. That said, they had Liam Hendriks in the ninth and also signed Joe Kelly this winter, giving them a glut of late-inning arms. They found a taker for Kimbrel, and even better got to fill a clear need. Chicago was very much an outfielder short for a contending roster, and in Pollock they get a really good veteran who has had a wRC+ over 130 in each of the last two years, including a 137 mark in 422 plate appearances last season.
As for the Dodgers, they have a ton of position player depth, and it seems like every year it’s their bullpen that needs more help come postseason time. Even after losing Kenley Jansen, they didn’t look terrible on paper as far as relievers go, but as we said above you can never really have too many relievers. With Pollock gone, they have more playing time to now give former top prospect Gavin Lux, with Chris Taylor shifting to fill Pollock’s absence in the outfield. Kimbrel, meanwhile, now slides in as the closer on the best roster in baseball coming off a season in which he pitched to a 2.26 ERA and a 2.43 FIP, though his numbers took a nosedive in the second half after the trade to the White Sox.
Why Red Sox fans should care: Well, for one thing, Kimbrel is an old friend and we always like to keep tabs on them. On top of that, both of these players actually would fill a need for Boston. They definitely need late-inning help, though I don’t think an encore in Boston for Kimbrel would serve anyone well. Pollock would be a huge get to help them in the corner outfield, but I don’t know what the Red Sox could offer that would interest the Dodgers in the same way as Kimbrel.
- The Orioles traded relievers Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott to the Marlins for prospects Antonio Velez and Kevin Guerrero, a player to be named later, and a competitive balance pick for this summer’s draft. Miami gets to bolster their bullpen with two really intriguing relievers for a quantity over quality deal, while the Orioles make their bullpen one of the worst on paper I can remember.
- The Yankees traded reliever Joely Rodriguez to the Mets for reliever Miguel Castro. This is really just a swap of middle relievers, with the Yankees adding another righty and the Mets getting a southpaw.
- The Blue Jays traded catcher Reese McGuire to the White Sox for catcher Zack Collins. Another trade involving two players at the same position. McGuire, though, is more of a true catcher, while Collins will likely slot in more often as a DH or pinch hitter.