Busy Monday: Tigers Cash in Chips, Ichiro Leaves Seattle, and Braves get Dempster
Monday was a busy one for MLB fans, reporters, and front office types. 3 deals of note were completed between the PSU Sanctions and last night’s Monday Night Baseball on ESPN. All 3 deals had one thing in common: A struggling team sent a solid veteran to a team in the midst of the playoff hunt in return for prospects or young big leaguers.
Atlanta Braves acquire Ryan Dempster
Coming into July, it was a well-known fact that Ryan Dempster would likely be dealt. The question was to who?
On Monday, those questions were answered, as the Braves have reportedly won the sweepstakes for the veteran right hander. In exchange, the Cubs will receive one of the Braves top pitching prospects in Randall Delgado.
Delgado has spent a majority of the 2012 season as a member of the Braves starting rotation. He has a career 3.98 ERA in 24 starts at the big league level. Delgado has a strong curveball as well as change-up and reaches the mid 90’s in fastball velocity. His main concern is he doesn’t command his fastball very well, and that has tapered his ceiling, which is now that of a number 3 starter.
Chicago arguably gets a solid haul for half a month of Dempster, and Atlanta gets the strong innings eating starter they need. I like this deal for both parties
Tigers strengthen rotation for playoff push
The Tigers have launched themselves from irrelevancy to the top of the Al Central in less than a month, and now they get even better. On Monday, the Tigers and Marlins made a swap that benefits each team.
The Tigers will receive RHP Anibal Sanchez, 2B Omar Infante and the Marlins 2013 Comp A round draft pick from the Miami Marlins, in exchange for top prospect Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantly, LHP Brian Flynn, and the Tigers 2013 Comp B round draft pick.
Anibal Sanchez adds to a Tigers rotation that now features the likes of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, Max Sherzer, and Sanchez. A solid rotation to say the least. Infante will likely replace the incompetent Ramon Santiago at 2nd for Detroit.
The Marlins receive Jacob Turner as the main piece in this deal. Turner is widely considered a top 30 prospect with number 2 starter upside. Turner has made 3 starts this season for the Tigers, and has fared quite well aside from a 7 run blow up on July 17th against the Angels. The Marlins will also get catching prospect Rob Brantly and LHP Brian Flynn, each of whom are solid prospects. Brantly has the upside of an average big league backstop, while Flynn will likely end up in the bullpen. For the Marlins, this deal largely hinges on the development of Turner.
The swap of the draft picks is quite interesting as it is the first of its kind. The Marlins will receive Detroit’s competitive balance lottery selection in Comp round B, which is after the 2nd round. The pick currently sits at 73rd overall, but could be lower depending on free agent compensation picks. The Tigers get the Marlins pick in Comp round A, which is directly after the 1st round and free agent supplementary round. The pick is currently 37th overall, but like Detroit, it could end up being lower
Initially, I believe this deal benefits the Tigers more than it does the Marlins. The Marlins receive some solid prospects, but that’s just what they are, prospects. The Tigers actually get 2 solid big leaguers that could potentially push them into a playoff spot. The Tigers definitely win in the short-term, but Miami could end up winning this deal come a few years from now.
Ichiro no longer a Mariner
In what might have been the most shocking news of the day, the Seattle Mariners traded long time fan favorite and future Hall of Famer, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees.
Seattle received pitching prospects DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar from the Yankees. Both have the upside of a 12th or 13th man on a pitching staff, so the Mariners did not receive much in return.
What they did get, was to avoid the scrutiny they would’ve faced this offseason on their decision of whether to resign Ichiro or let the veteran star leave town. Ichiro had 10 straight 200 hit/ .300 BA seasons before failing to reach those marks in each of the past 2 years. Age and loss of speed has been a large factor for his regression. Ichiro’s BABIP this season is .279, a far cry from his career .348 mark. Ichiro is unable to run out infield hits like he used to which has been a big reason why his BABIP has fallen. He is essentially a singles hitter, with slightly above average defense, who can steal some bases, now.
One rival executive I spoke with called this a “great move” for both parties. The same exec said an “aging [star] with fan appeal, can be the death of a GM.”
Overall, I like this deal for both sides. Seattle avoids the PR nightmare as I mentioned earlier, and New York gets an aging, but still decent everyday outfielder to offset the injuries to Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.
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