This deadline had its share of earthquakes, nevertheless it additionally featured smaller aftershocks, as groups improved their depth or addressed smaller, particular wants. So let’s run down among the offers which may get buried by the higher-Richter scale shakes of the likes of Max Scherzer and Kris Bryant.
This commerce is definitely a barely uncommon one, because the workforce within the playoff shot — it’s not Cleveland — is the one giving up the very best participant. Straw’s offensive profile will possible stop him from being an precise star at any level, however he’s quick, performs sufficient protection, and will get on-base at a decent sufficient degree to be a median and even higher starter in heart; he’s already hit the 2-WAR threshold, in any case. UZR, our defensive enter for WAR, has him at +6.6 runs, whereas OAA has him at +5 runs and DRS has him at +2. I don’t suppose I’d ever play him besides in a pinch, however Straw’s theoretical means to no less than stand at second or quick in an emergency has some further worth, too.
ZiPS Projection – Myles Straw
ZiPS sees Straw as being a roughly common heart fielder for just a few extra years. That’s helpful for Cleveland, which has tremendously struggled to place collectively an ample outfield lately. They haven’t had a middle fielder begin probably the most video games on the place in two consecutive seasons since Michael Bourn and earlier than that, Grady Sizemore. It’s not flashy, nevertheless it’ll do and importantly for Cleveland, Straw gained’t be costly.
For the Astros, the extra bullpen depth was definitely worth the tradeoff. Kendall Graveman stands out as Houston’s status bullpen acquisition, and rightly so, however Maton additionally offers the aid corps some further heft. In simply 190 main league innings, his .331 profession BABIP is unlikely to be near a capability (or incapability). And he will get a variety of spin on his heater — spin that’s sustained itself within the wake of MLB’s sticky stuff crackdown — regardless of a fastball that sits within the low-90s; it has the fourth-highest whiff fee amongst gamers who’ve thrown no less than 100 four-seamers this 12 months. Houston will get Maton for 2 further seasons.
ZiPS Projection – Phil Maton
The Astros additionally choose up Diaz, a 22-year-old catcher who has good offensive instruments and a powerful arm behind the plate, however is in any other case nonetheless a piece in progress defensively. His .821 OPS within the minors is stable, however he’s additionally fairly outdated for a participant in Low-A. Exterior of Korey Lee, the Astros don’t have a variety of organizational depth on the catcher, in order that they’ll wait and see if Diaz develops.
Chas McCormick will possible get nearly all of the taking part in time with Straw’s departure.
There was a short interval just a few years in the past when Chavis threatened to develop into the following massive factor in Boston. Within the meh follow-up to the World Collection-winning 2018 season, he was our number-three prospect within the group and burst into the majors. Because it grew to become obvious that Dustin Pedroia would by no means really be again, Chavis hit .290/.398/.570 in his first month with the Sox, largely whereas taking part in second base. The plate self-discipline caught up with him, and he’s hit poorly since then; even his .263/.327/.474 for Triple-A Worcester isn’t notably thrilling.
Chavis is stretched at second, however he’s fascinating sufficient for a workforce just like the Pirates, who’re endeavor a significant rebuild, to provide some run to. The Pink Sox can’t afford to attend for him to determine issues out, and he’s spent 2021 going up and down from the minors when the gamers Boston really most popular had been injured.
ZiPS Projection – Michael Chavis
For Boston, a reliever in the back of the bullpen is solely extra helpful proper now than a participant who was the workforce’s fifth-best possibility at second base. Davis hasn’t been spectacular within the majors to this point, however the projection techniques all see him as being way more ample than his 5.65 main league ERA.
ZiPS Projection – Austin Davis
With out outing anybody, one other author on the website expressed shock that Watson wasn’t already a Large (Editor’s Observe: It was me, Meg, Dan’s editor). If I hadn’t spent the offseason projecting particular person gamers, I might need thought the identical factor, as Watson suits completely amongst San Francisco’s curiously limitless provide of nondescript relievers who move by, put up just a few stable seasons, after which go about their merry manner. It’s a bit like they’ve developed a specialised human cloning machine that solely works with George Kontos.
Watson is left-handed and thus will more likely to proceed to get contracts till the day he discovers he’d reasonably spend June taking part in golf. I like Selman greater than ZiPS does, however Watson is a greater match for a contending workforce. Marte is your typical fringe aid prospect with a dwell arm and unimpressive management. Armstrong is probably the most fascinating title right here, a big grownup reliever with an enormous fastball and management that’s considerably higher than hopeless. We’ll most likely know by the point he hits Double-A if he’s developed the secondary pitch he wants to not hit his ceiling within the excessive minors.
ZiPS Projection – Sam Selman
My colleague Kevin Goldstein tackled this one.
The Pink Sox added a little bit of bullpen depth within the remaining minutes earlier than the deadline, plucking right-hander Hansel Robles from the Twins in return for minor-league reliever Alex Scherff. Miscast as a better in Minnesota when Alex Colomé unexpectedly collapsed, Robles has at all times impressed along with his arm energy and at all times dissatisfied in the case of the life on his pitches and his sub-standard command and management. His fastball sits at 97 mph, nevertheless it’s awfully straight, and whereas his breaking ball has massive velocity within the higher 80s, it has little or no break. His finest pitch is an 88-92 mph changeup with good deception and respectable motion, and the Pink Sox could be finest served by having him throw it much more than the 34.8% of the time he already does. He’s unlikely to see high-leverage innings over the following two-plus months with Boston, however ought to assist a bit with depth when noticed in opposition to the fitting a part of a lineup.
In Scherff, the Twins discovered a prospect who has an opportunity to exceed Robles’ worth in Minnesota’s bullpen of the long run. A uncooked however power-armed product out of a Texas highschool, Scherff obtained an above-slot bonus of $700,000 as a fifth-round choose in 2017. After struggling as a starter, he’s taken an enormous step ahead in 2021 when utilized in shorter stints, putting out 46 over 29.1 innings whereas permitting 22 hits and strolling 13. Sherff has loads of arm energy, sitting within the mid-90s whereas incessantly stepping into the 97-98 mph vary. His spectacular changeup is his finest secondary providing, as his curveball will get tender at instances and lacks chew. He’s lastly the place he belongs by way of his future position and has an opportunity to be big-league prepared by the top of 2022 as a middle-reliever.
Toronto Blue Jays – Acquired pitcher Joakim Soria from the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2 gamers to be named later
A very long time in the past, Soria was an elite nearer for the Royals, primarily on the energy of a lively-if-slow fastball that he positioned extraordinary nicely and an enormous 12-6 curve. He was by no means fairly the identical post-Tommy John, however he’s nonetheless efficient when his management is on and he mixes in a reasonably gradual slider and a pair change of tempo pitches. Soria serves the identical function as Brad Hand: filling out a bullpen decimated by accidents.
John Curtiss is a kind of gamers who was lucky to be born within the Nineteen Nineties reasonably than the Seventies. Twenty years in the past, he’d most likely have been doomed as soon as he received the label “journeyman reliever” within the minors, however lately, for those who can hit 95 mph and iron out your management points, you’re going to get a shot. Fellow author Ben Clemens nailed the Curtiss turnaround with the Rays last year,and he’s continued to excel with the Marlins.
ZiPS Projection – John Curtiss
With 4 extra seasons till free company, Curtiss fetched a respectable fringe prospect in Henry. Henry has plate self-discipline points, however can crush the occasional round-tripper, management the working sport, and has reduce on the handed balls and errors. He’s near the majors, however the Brewers had higher catching prospects behind him and he’s not going to push Omar Narváez out of a job. Curtiss has extra a direct use because the fifth-or-sixth reliever out of the ‘pen.
Tampa Bay Rays – Acquired pitcher Shawn Armstrong from the Baltimore Orioles for money
This appears like a minor commerce for a minor commerce, however any time the Rays purchase a reliever, it’s often price paying consideration!
Armstrong has a good fastball, nevertheless it’s a decidedly non-explosive one, and and not using a actually good breaking pitch, he’s reliant on hitting his spots along with his stable cutter, which has the fourth finest spin fee within the majors. Sadly, his command of it has been an ongoing difficulty; reasonably than dangle the cutter simply on the sting of the strike zone, too many find yourself in hitters’ wheelhouses, leading to batters slugging .590 in opposition to it in 2021. Armstrong will possible primarily pitch in low-leverage innings on the Rays, who’ve quite a lot of aid arms on the IL. However Tampa being Tampa, it wouldn’t shock me if Armstrong rapidly received it collectively.
ZiPS Projection – Shawn Armstrong