The first trade of 2018 was an intricate one.
The Royals acquired Dodgers No. 14 prospect Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia in exchange for relievers Scott Alexander and Joakim Soria as part of a three-team deal Thursday. Los Angeles flipped Soria, lefty Luis Avilan and cash to the White Sox for Minor League infielder Jake Peter.
The deal's key component, Oaks, was taken in the seventh round of the 2014 Draft out of California Baptist University and became Kansas City's 19th-ranked prospect. The right-hander missed time last season with an oblique injury, but finished 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 18 walks over 84 innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Though his fastball sits in the 92-95 mph range, the 24-year-old has earned praise from scouts for his plus command and efficiency. In 404 career frames, he has walked just 1.6 batters per nine innings.
Video: Oklahoma City's Oaks whiffs two to end outing
"As you know, the Dodgers have a pretty deep system and yet they thought to protect him," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com. "We believe he is a guy with great makeup and is a great competitor who can compete for a spot in our rotation."
Mejia came to the Dodgers from the Mariners in a trade for righty Joe Wieland almost exactly one year ago. The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic hit .278 with eight homers, 41 RBIs and 28 steals in 127 games between Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.
"He's a guy who fits our makeup of players," Moore told MLB.com. "He's a plus-plus runner who is a good defender. We've got a guy in Nicky Lopez and he is somewhat like him."
Alexander and Soria played key roles in the Royals bullpen last season. Lefty Alexander went 5-4 with a 2.48 ERA over 69 innings in 58 appearances in the big leagues. The 28-year-old was 4-for-6 on save opportunities. Soria finished 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA over 56 frames in 59 appearances.
Offseason MiLB include
Meanwhile, the Dodgers netted Peter, a 24-year-old infielder taken 24 picks before Oaks in the seventh round of the 2014 Draft. The Creighton University product, who quickly slotted in as Los Angeles' No. 30 prospect, split each of the past two seasons between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He ended last year with a .279 average, a career-high 13 homers, 19 doubles, 49 RBIs and 11 steals in 120 games.
Avilan has spent the past 11 seasons with the Braves and Dodgers. He posted a 2-3 record and 2.93 ERA over 46 innings in 61 appearances in Los Angeles last season.