With the non-waiver Trade Deadline less than 24 hours away, two trades were completed Tuesday night involving players who have been dominating Triple-A pitching this season.
The White Sox acquired promising outfielder Avisail Garcia as part of a three-team deal involving the Red Sox and Tigers, while the Angels obtained versatile infielder Grant Green from the American League West-rival Athletics.
In the three-team trade, the Red Sox landed veteran right-hander Jake Peavy from Chicago and Triple-A reliever Brayan Villarreal from Detroit. The Tigers got slick-fielding infielder Jose Iglesias, while Garcia and a trio of Boston Minor Leaguers -- right-handers J.B. Wendelken and Francelis Montas and infielder Cleuluis Rondon -- went to the White Sox.
For Chicago, the biggest piece is Garcia, a 22-year-old who was tearing up the International League after he was assigned to Toledo in late June. He was batting .374 with a .948 OPS in 33 Triple-A games and hit for the cycle on July 7. Ranked No. 3 in the Tigers' farm system before the season by MLB.com, Garcia has played in 53 Major League games over the past two seasons, hitting .269 with a .309 on-base percentage and .354 slugging percentage.
I want to thank EVERYONE in the @tigers organization, Lakeland, West Michigan, Erie and Toledo for everything you guys did for me...- Avisail Garcia (@AvisailGarcia34) July 31, 2013
"Garcia is a very young, five-tool player who already has spent time in the Major Leagues," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn in a statement. "Our scouts are extremely optimistic about his future and view him as a potential impact talent for many years to come."
Wendelken had a 0.20 ERA over 44 innings while closing at Middle Georgia Junior College before the Red Sox selected him in the 13th round of last year's Draft. The 20-year-old posted a 1.27 ERA in 13 appearances last season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and managed a 2.77 ERA with 10 saves in 27 appearances this year for Class A Advanced Salem. Over 65 innings, he struck out 54, walked 20 and held opponents to four homers and a .238 batting average.
Montas was 2-9 with a 5.70 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 85 1/3 innings in 19 appearances (18 starts) for Salem this season. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic was one of the hardest throwers in the Red Sox farm system.
Rondon has a reputation as a stellar defensive shortstop. The 19-year-old hit .276 with one homer and a .675 OPS in 37 games with short-season Lowell.
In Villarreal, Boston added a reliever who's showcased an ability to strike batters out at every level. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 3.15 ERA over 34 1/3 innings for Toledo this season, striking out 41 batters and walking 26 without allowing a home run. He's also thrown 4 1/3 innings in the Majors this year and last season had a 2.63 ERA in 50 appearances for the Tigers.
On the West Coast, the Angels flipped infielder Alberto Callaspo for Green, who had been the A's No. 3 prospect.
Callaspo takes his .253 batting average and .671 OPS in 293 at-bats to the division's top team, while the Angels got a 2009 first-round Draft pick (13th overall) who made his Major League debut earlier this month.
Green is a Fullerton, Calif., native who played shortstop at the University of Southern California. He rose steadily through Oakland's system until repeating the Pacific Coast League this season. The A's moved him to the outfield in 2011 and 2012 in an attempt to hasten his arrival in the big leagues but returned him to the infield this year as a second baseman.
The 24-year-old is hitting .325 with an .879 OPS in 87 Triple-A games but went 0-for-15 with six strikeouts after he was called up to Oakland. Prior to the season, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo wrote that Green had the ability to be an "offensive-minded player" at second base.