Prospects were on the move Thursday as the Blue Jays, Yankees, Brewers, Astros, White Sox, Rockies and Angels were among the teams wheeling and dealing leading up to the trade deadline.Forrest Wall and Chad Spanberger will each stay stateside for now, but their goal has now shifted north of the
Prospects were on the move Thursday as the Blue Jays, Yankees, Brewers, Astros, White Sox, Rockies and Angels were among the teams wheeling and dealing leading up to the trade deadline.
Forrest Wall and Chad Spanberger will each stay stateside for now, but their goal has now shifted north of the border.
The Blue Jays acquired Wall and Spanberger, the No. 13 and 24 prospects in the Rockies system, respectively, for right-handed reliever Seunghwan Oh, both organizations confirmed Tuesday morning. Toronto will also pick up a player to be named later or cash from Colorado as part of the deal.
Wall was the 35th overall pick in the 2014 Draft but struggled to rise above Class A Advanced, in part due to a separated shoulder that limited him to only 22 games in 2017. He returned to Class A Advanced Lancaster to begin this season -- his third successive campaign at the level -- and hit .305/.382/.453 with three homers and 20 steals in 47 games before his promotion to Double-A Hartford on May 28. He has shown more power in the higher level, with six homers in 46 games, but otherwise struggled offensively, posting a .206/.289/.359 line.
A second baseman during his first three years in the Minors, Wall was moved to the outfield in 2017 and has played mostly center this season. His greatest asset is his plus speed, which has helped him post three seasons with at least 20 stolen bases. The 22-year-old will be Rule 5-eligible this offseason.
Spanberger, a sixth-round pick last year out of the University of Arkansas, has shown big power in his first full season at Class A Asheville. He leads the South Atlantic League with a .579 slugging percentage, .942 OPS, 45 extra-base hits, 202 total bases and a 161 wRC+ while ranking third with 22 home runs through 92 games. Some of that success stems from the 22-year-old, left-handed slugger playing his home games at hitter-friendly McCormick Field, where he slugged .683, compared to a .484 mark on the road. With below-average range and an OK arm, the former Razorback is limited to first base.
Wall has become the Blue Jays' No. 23 prospect after the deal while MLB.com did not include Spanberger among the top 30 prospects in his new system.
Oh will try to help Colorado compete in crowded National League West and Wild Card races -- they're currently 1 1/2 games back in both. The 36-year-old right-hander sported a 2.68 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 10 walks in 47 innings out of the Toronto bullpen. He signed for $1.8 million as a free agent last offseason and has a $2.5 million team option for the 2019 season with a $200,000 buyout.
Yankees send Drury, McKinney to Jays for Happ: Though less notable from a prospect perspective, the Blue Jays made another big trade Thursday when they sent left-handed starter J.A. Happ to the Yankees for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.
Drury was acquired by the Yankees as part of a three-team trade in February but played only 18 games in the Majors after getting stuck behind younger players Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar. The 25-year-old right-handed slugger hit .294/.403/.447 with 19 extra-base hits in 55 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but had produced just a .176/.263/.275 line in 57 Major League plate appearances. He's primarily played third base this season but also has experience at first and second. Drury is a controllable infielder for his new club in Toronto as he isn't set to become a free agent until after the 2021 season.
McKinney is on the move in the third July trade of his career after having previously been dealt from the A's (2014) and Cubs (2016) systems. Ranked as the No. 20 Yankees prospect by MLB.com, the 23-year-old is hitting .227/.297/.498 with 13 homers in 55 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He made his Major League debut on March 30 but suffered a shoulder injury in his second game with the big club and hadn't been back since. McKinney has undergone a power surge in the last year-and-a-half with 23 homers in 110 career Triple-A games. Though the Yankees tried to move him to first base last fall, he's played in the outfield this season with most of his starts coming in right.
The Yankees hope Happ will provide some help with their rotation. He has a 4.18 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 35 walks in 114 innings this season. His 27.4 percent strikeout rate this year is the highest of his career. Happ will be a free agent at the end of the season, making this a rental for New York.
White Sox get Medeiros, Perez for Soria: The White Sox added a solid left-handed pitching prospect to their deep system Thursday in Kodi Medeiros, picking him up along with right-hander Wilber Perez from the Brewers for reliever Joakim Soria.
Medeiros was Milwaukee's No. 13 prospect. The 22-year-old left-hander, who was the 12th overall pick out of a Hawaii high school in 2014, has put up a 3.14 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 45 walks in 103 1/3 innings at Double-A Biloxi. His 24.3 percent strikeout rate is the highest of his career at a full-season affiliate, but he has had control issues, posting a 10.4 percent walk rate. Medeiros draws plus grades for his slider, but he may not remain a starter long-term with a three-quarters arm slot that can look violent at times.
Perez has yet to pitch stateside after signing out of the Dominican Republic last year. The 20-year-old owns a 2.01 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 47 strikeouts and 13 walks in 40 1/3 innings in his second season in the Dominican Summer League.
Soria should help Milwaukee's bullpen as the Brewers try to chase the Cubs down in the NL Central or hold onto one of the two Wild Card spots. The 34-year-old right-hander notched 16 saves and posted a 2.56 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings with the White Sox this season. He has a $10 million club option for 2019 with a $1 million buyout.
Angels grab Sandoval from Astros: Houston and Los Angeles completed a intradivision trade Thursday with the Astros acquiring Major League catcher Martin Maldonado and the Angels picking up left-handed pitching prospect Patrick Sandoval.
Though Sandoval was not ranked among Houston's top 30 prospects, the 2015 11th-rounder has had a very solid season. Sandoval owns a 2.56 ERA and 0.97 WHIP with 97 strikeouts and 15 walks in 88 innings between Class A Quad Cities and Class A Advanced Buies Creek. He was Pitcher of the Week three times this season, twice in the Midwest League and once in the Carolina League.
Maldonado should help shore up Houston's situation behind the plate. The 31-year-old backstop is hitting just .223/.284/.332 with five homers in 78 games this season but is coming off a Gold Glove-winning campaign last year. He will be a free agent at season's end.
Rangers reportedly get Lacy in Hamels deal: The Cubs and Rangers reportedly completed a trade that will send four-time All-Star Cole Hamels to the Cubs. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later will head to Texas in the deal.
Lacy was scheduled to start Thursday's game for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach but was scratched from the outing. In his first full professional season, the right-hander sports a 5-2 record, a 2.45 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 18 appearances (12 starts) between the Midwest and Carolina Leagues. Across 80 2/3 innings, he has amassed 94 strikeouts and 24 walks.
Hamels, who sports a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts with the Rangers this season, will boost a Cubs' rotation that ranks 12th in baseball with a 4.01 starters' ERA.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.