The Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds are keeping us busy around here. The Reds being buyers and the A’s sellers, and yet they haven’t consummated a deal among themselves – go figure. After dealing 3 of their top prospects away to the San Diego Padres for SP Matt Latos, the Reds turn around and deal LHP Travis Wood, along with minor league OF Dave Sappelt and prospect 2B Ronald Torreyes, who was recently #7 on our top 10 Cincinnati Reds Prospects to the Chicago Cubs for LHRP Sean Marshall.
After trading for Marshall, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said that “Sean has been one of the best and most durable relievers in baseball the last couple of seasons.’’ The 28-year-old had a 6-6 record and a 2.26 ERA to go with an impressive 9.4 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9 ration over 75.2 innings in 2011. He also recorded 5 saves and may be an option to close for the Reds if they can’t reach an agreement with Francisco Cordero, who has been the Reds closer for the past several years.
This trade would further indicate that LHP Aroldis Chapman will likely join RHP Johnny Cueto and recently acquired RHP Mat Latos in the rotation along with two of the following: RHP Mike Leake, RHP Bronson Arroyo, and RHP Homer Bailey. Much of this depends on the Reds resigning Cordero, but this would appear to be the plan as the Reds need a lefty in the rotation. We recently discussed the Mat Latos trade here.
As we mentioned recently in our Nationals|Athletics trade discussion, we will be revising the Reds and Cubs top 10 prospect lists shortly too. For the Cubs, the key player in this trade is LHP Travis Wood. “Twenty-four-year old left-handed starters who have already had success in the big leagues don’t grow on trees,’’ Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told the Associated Press. “We had to give up a great relief pitcher in Sean Marshall and someone we were proud to call a Cub, but we think to acquire Wood and the two young guys, it was worth doing.’’ Wood is 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA, 162 Ks, and 66 BB in 208.2 innings over 2 seasons in the major leagues.
OF Dave Sappelt joins the Cubs after breaking into the majors in 2011. The 24-year-old had a triple slash of .313/.377/.458 in 297 at bats for Triple-A Louisville before hitting .243/.289/.318 for the Reds in 107 at bats in 2011. While he doesn’t walk a ton, he doesn’t strikeout excessively either (36bb:52k in 405ab at Triple-A). He’s got some power potential and hits to all fields. He’s definitely a sleeper candidate for the 2012 season, a player to keep an eye on this spring.
We recently ranked 2B Ronald Torreyes #7 on the Reds top 10 prospects list. This of course after we revised our last to reflect the Trade that sent 1B/OF Yonder Alonso, C Yasmani Grandal, and RP Brad Boxberger to San Diego. Here’s what we said about Torreyes:
7. Ronald Torreyes 09/02/92 2B H:5’9” W:140 – Signed out of Venezuela in 2010, Ronald Torreyes has done everything that the Reds could have hoped for since beginning his professional career. He was very young compared to his competition, but still has excellent numbers to show for it. Playing in single-A ball, he hit an outstanding .356 average in 278 at-bats. Very few hits were for extra bases so his swing has little power. However, he augmented his high contact rates with 12 steals and 53 runs scored. His glove work is quite good and looks to be above average for the major league level. Though his .356 batting-average is eye-popping, it is not accompanied by very many walks. With a paltry 14 free passes in 306 plate appearances, he relies on contact to get on base. He must improve his strike zone management or he becomes a one-dimensional player at the plate. This could be exacerbated as he faces more talented pitchers in higher levels of competition. Another detriment to Torreyes’ long-term future is his diminutive size. At 5’9” and 140 pounds, there aren’t many hugely successful major leaguers that share that same physique. That being said, he is only 19-years-old and one would expect more changes in his body type as he matures. Nevertheless, the contact rate just can’t be ignored.
Our Instinct: Anyone that can hit for a .356 batting average demands to be monitored. One would expect Torreyes to start in High A ball, and time is needed to see how he develops his body and his game. Very intriguing set of skills.
In Chicago, our assessment still rings pretty true, but now, fortunately, he doesn’t have Billy Hamilton to contend with in the higher ranks of the system. Torreyes should crack the top 10 in our Chicago Cubs top 10 prospects list after we revise it.
Check back soon, as we get ready to launch into our top prospect list for all of baseball, the Baseball Instinct 360. Later this winter, we will also get our baseball geek on and take a look at the top 21 players for each MLB team. While you’re here, take a look at a recent article in this series: New York Yankees Top 10 List and be a step ahead of the game. Also, check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be. So don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.