Evan Gattis traded to the Astros
Well, the Braves are well into the their rebuild and yesterday they finally traded catcher Evan Gattis to the Astros, and they received a nice haul in return. I don't think the deal is official yet, as the reported trade may change according to Evan Drellich, an Astros beat writer, and David O'Brien, Braves beat writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Here is Drellich via Twitter earlier:
Source: Astros-Braves Gattis deal, which is not completed, would include player/players not known at this point. We don’t have full picture.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 14, 2015
Apparently there are concerns about the health of Gattis, more from Drellich:
Heading into physical, the worry about Evan Gattis' health was centered on his right knee and back, sources say. Concern not light, either— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) January 14, 2015
Anyway, reports indicate the Astros have dealt pitching prospect Mike Foltynewicz, third base prospect Rio Ruiz and pitching prospect Andrew Thurman. You cannot argue that the Braves made out VERY well in this deal. I have to admit I am shocked they received so much in return for Gattis, who is injury prone, but owns huge power.
To learn more about the prospects the Astros traded, make sure you check out our Astros top 10 fantasy prospects for 2015, written by Jason Hunt and Brian Creagh. Here are a few excerpts on Folty and Ruiz:
Mike Foltynewicz - Astros #7 fantasy prospect
My best guess is that Foltynewicz settles in as a starter long-term. It will be tempting to let him grip it and rip it in bursts out of the pen, but his value is far superior to the Astros as a starter and as long as his body can handle it (and all signs indicate it can) he'll get every chance to make it in the rotation. My fear from a fantasy perspective is that Foltynewicz was getting by on his elite velocity and his minor league strikeout totals are inflated as a result. Major League hitters won't have a problem getting around on 100 mph fastballs if he has nothing else to chase them from the scent. This is why he falls down a few spots farther than you might see him on other prospect Top 10's.
The Braves have collected several pitching prospects in need of help, and earlier reports indicate the Braves feel that pitching coach Roger McDowell can straighten out Folty and a few of the other prospects.
Rio Ruiz - Astros #4 fantasy prospect
Ruiz slashed a tasty .293/.387/.436 in Lancaster last year, with 11 HRs and a 91/82 K/BB ratio in 131 games. The HR totals are disappointing especially considering the park factors, but the slash line is still impressive and his approach at the plate is advanced for his age. The hit tool is a plus weapon, and if paired with average in-game power, we could be looking at a .270 - .280 hitter with 20 HRs at 3B. There is still plenty of risk in the profile since the power is still very much a dream based on his body and less based on actual production, plus Ruiz has not faced AA pitching yet. If we see 17+ HRs from Ruiz in AA next year and he continues to look motivated on the field, he's a Top 50 fantasy prospect heading into 2016.
Ruiz is now the Braves third baseman of the future, and should be ready for when the Braves open up their new ball park in 2017.
Now that Gattis is gone, I think it is only a matter of time before the Braves deal closer Craig Kimbrel, as this team may finish in last place in the National League East this season. You have to think that the Blue Jays, Tigers and maybe even the Cubs and Nationals, could have interest in dealing for the best closer in the game. There is a possibility that the Nationals aren't crazy about Drew Storen as their closer now that they have traded Tyler Clippard to the Athletics for Yunel Escobar.
Getting back to Gattis. The Astros now have two hitters in Gattis and Chris Carter who are basically the same type of hitter, lots of power and strikeouts. Do they want two of these guys in their lineup every day along with Jonathan Singleton and George Springer who also strike out a ton? Maybe Carter is on the trading block now?
Dodgers in on Yoan Moncada
It warmed my heart to read that the Dodgers are now very interested in signing Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. I have to imagine 29 other teams are interested as well, but not many have the bank roll that the Dodgers have. Remember that they freed themselves of $75 million by dealing outfielder Matt Kemp to the Padres, so they have some cash laying around to invest in the young Cuban infield prospect.
To learn more about what kind of prospect Moncada is, make sure you read this piece written by Ben Badler from Baseball America, written back on August 22nd:
Meet Yoan Moncada, The Next Cuban Baseball Star
Here is an excerpt:
How good is Moncada? He has more upside than Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who just reached a $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox. He's better than Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who's in the Dominican Republic but is still likely several months away from free agency. If Moncada were eligible for the 2015 draft, he would be in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Some have compared Moncada to a young Robinson Cano. The Yankees and Red Sox are also reported to be very interested in Moncada, for what it's worth.
If Moncada should sign with a team before drafts start, he should probably be the #1 overall pick should your league have a minor league draft like a few of my leagues have, although he is probably at 4-5 years away from making it to the big leagues.
Joc Pederson could start in AAA
There is a chance that Dodgers outfield prospect Joc Pederson could start the 2015 season in AAA. Eric Stephen from True Blue LA, SB Nations Dodgers site, has the following quotes from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Pederson:
Pederson, who turns 23 in April, is the best defensive center fielder on the roster, and with his minor league track record - he will likely be a consensus top-20 prospect in baseball heading into the season - is the ideal long-term solution at the position. But it sounds like Pederson has some chores to do before dad hands over the keys.
"I think Joc should have the opportunity to compete for the position. I don't think we should hand anything over," Mattingly said. "It's a spot where there will be competition."
One thing is clear: if Pederson doesn't win the center field job in spring training, he'll be ticketed to Tripe-A Oklahoma City to start the season rather than sitting on the Dodgers bench and playing sporadically.
"To me in general, young guys don't do real well sitting on the bench," Mattingly said. "In my opinion, for Joc to be here he needs to be playing a lot."
I think things will sort themselves out during spring training and Pederson will be the Dodgers starting center fielder on Opening Day, but you never know. The Dodgers have the luxury of starting him in AAA for the first month or so and adding a year before he becomes eligible for free agency, especially with all of the outfielders they already have on their roster who can play center field, including Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke and Chris Heisey.
Miguel Cabrera not ready for spring training?
It was reported a few days ago that Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera may not be ready for the start of spring training. Here is Anthony Fenech, Tigers beat writer from the Detroit Free Press, via Twitter:
It’s safe to say Cabrera won’t be ready for the start of spring training a week later, Rand said, but too soon to tell for Opening Day.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) January 12, 2015
Miggy had offseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, and will wear a walking boot till mid-February, when he will be re-examined. If all is well, he will be cleared for baseball activities, but there is no telling what kind of shape he will be in once he is cleared.
I will keep an open mind about this report, but I am tempted to move him down my rankings a bit, especially after he saw his power output drop in 2014.
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