Trade Review: Isotopes and X-Rayz Cut A Deal

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THE  TRADE:

The Point Loma X-Rayz trade SS Jean Segura and [High Minors] OF Manuel Margot to the Springfield Isotopes for 3B Evan Longoria and [Low Minors] SS Jorge Mateo.

OoOoOoOoOo THIS ONE FEELS REALLY RISK/REWARDY AGAIN…..

RISK/REWARD FOR THE X-RAYZ RETURN:

Evan Longoria:  Evan Longoria comes with the general aging risks (more on this in a sec) but also comes with the strongest track record, leaving the X-Rayz with perhaps a low “ceiling” as far as what numbers to expect from him but also a high “floor”.  There is a beauty in Longoria’s consistency (20+ HRs, 70+ Rs, 70+ RBIs in each of last 4 seasons) and durability (160 games in 3 of his last 4 seasons, the full 162 in the other).  Longoria represents a power bat headed to a team where power bats are at a premium, traded for a speed bat from a team where speed is very much in surplus.  FOR THAT ALONE a fascinating deal for the X-Rayz in that it represents an attempt to balance the offense a bit.  There is nothing to indicate that in 2017 Longo won’t play a lot of games and drive in a lot of runs with a solid HR total, all of which could prove helpful in giving the X-Rayz lineup some balance week to week.  If there is a risk it is in his changing batted ball profile, and here is where I will plug Fangraphs and say that if you haven’t looked at hitter contact quality reports YOU ARE MISSING OUT:

The Longoria section in question:  “Now for a word about ‘harvesting.’ This is what I call it when a player begins to elevate and pull more, with his K and BB rate suffering in the process, all in pursuit of the long ball. Evan Longoria meets those criteria. He narrowly missed a grounder-pulling penalty. His fly-ball rate has always been high, but was dangerously so in 2016. It has nowhere to go but down. Harvesting gives a short-term boost to the power numbers, but ultimately opens holes that pitchers will exploit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairly substantial decline in performance over the next couple of seasons.”

Whether or not this guy generally knows what the fuck he is talking about is open to interpretation (predicting declines after 31 isn’t exactly groundbreaking), but it will be interesting to see where Longo’s power numbers end up in 2017 and where the X-Rayz roster evolves from here.

Jorge Mateo:  Jorge Mateo is perhaps less interesting, as he profiles as your typical young prospect with typical prospect volatility.  The most recent “Baseball America top 100 prospects” has dropped him down to #85, but he was as high as #26 after the 2015 season and was #19 last August.  So VOLATILITY the name of the game with prospects, and who knows what the fuck they are doing over there at Baseball America and I know for a fact X-Rayz ownership understands these things.  If Mateo is right, he is probably up at some point in 2018 and would again give the X-Rayz above average speed and base stealing from the shortstop position (something they are parting with in this trade).  If Mateo flames out along the way, he did end up suspended last July for a stretch, then he will just be another FAILED Yankee prospect in a long line of failed Yankee prospects.  Their farm system is actually a farm system these days but STILL I can make that point and I did.

RISK/REWARD FOR THE ISOTOPES RETURN:

Jean Segura:  THE WILD CARD IN THIS WHOLE DEAL, and I am not just saying this because it fit in with the copy and pasted previous version of risk/reward’s section on Dexter Fowler.  Jean Segura has probably the widest range of possible outcomes here, as last year in Arizona he put together a top 20 fantasy season and prior to last year had two seasons that were pretty fucking awful in Milwaukee (I think he had a child death at some point which you can argue played a role in at least one of those seasons)(also his first full season in 2013 was good I will give him that).  Now Segura takes himself to Seattle, and a home hitter’s environment that is markedly worse than the one he enjoyed in Arizona.  It would be simple to conclude that Segura’s numbers will suffer based on this fact alone, but a deeper look at the numbers and one can’t be so sure:

Jean Segura 2016 Home:  .362 OBP, 21 doubles, 5 triples, 12HRs, 37RBIs, 47Rs, 12SBs

Jean Segura 2016 Away:  .375 OBP, 20 doubles, 2 triple, 8HRs, 27RBIs, 55Rs, 21SBs (14 fewer PAs)

Now one of those away environments was Coors YADA YADA YADA POINT IS you can’t say Segura’s year was helped by the Arizona air/stadium.  He turns 27 as the season starts and if he’s even 85% of what he was last year he’s a stud.  Just tough to declare if he has turned a corner of sorts or if the ‘Topes just paid for a career year.

Manuel Margot:  If Jorge Mateo’s risk/reward takes a hit from how far away he is from The Show, Margot’s takes a hit for the fact that he already arrived late last year.  And upon arrival, he quite frankly looked terrible (.243 OBP, couldn’t draw a SINGLE walk in 37 ABs).  Margot’s glove will give him some real world value likely no matter what but THIS IS FANTASY, and in fantasy you need to hit.  Fortunately for the ‘Topes, Margot’s track record in the minors and his AAA performance last year give hope. Last year playing in his first season of AAA, Margot ripped 12 triples and stole 30 bases with an OBP of .351.  That performance puts him on track to grab a starting role in the Padres OF as early as this spring, at which point in time the Isotopes will have 93 High Minors ABs to see what they have.  Anyone putting too much stock in 37 ABs last season is an idiot, but a similar line of thinking can go towards people putting too much stock in AAA stats.  Margot is currently the #24 ranked prospect in Baseball America’s top 100 (#56 after the 2015 season) and there is certainly a chance he becomes the top speed threat on the ‘Topes roster as soon as this season.

TRADE WINNER SIDE I LIKE MORE:

This trade forces me to confront the fact that I HATE the “winner” and “loser” term, because quite frankly I think there’s almost never a clear winner or loser in most trades and I like this trade for both sides.  So I will be switching this section going forward to SIDE I LIKE MORE, and in this case that goes to the Springfield Isotopes.  The Isotopes were due ANY DAY NOW to get some article about their aging roster but they went out and got themselves a possible stud 27 year old SS and a possible stud 22 year old CF.  If Segura does it again he is clearly the best player in this deal and the average draft positions between the two for this season certainly reflect that (Segura around 52-63, Longoria around 102-105).  However that does not mean Longo’s consistency and power production aren’t a great addition to the X-Rayz, and they could certainly just plug a Jose Peraza in Segura’s place and possibly keep on chugging.  On the other end, Margot did absolutely nothing in a limited appearance last year but he did plenty in AAA prior to the callup.  My personal prospect philosophy says I would take his AAA numbers and possible 2017 contributions over Mateo’s A+ numbers and possible 2018 or 2019 contributions in this scenario, although both seem to ultimately have about the same boom or bust potential (Mateo arguably at a more valuable position).  GOOD DEAL ALL AROUND, I like the ‘Topes side slightly more and THAT’S HOW I AM GOING TO TERM THESE INTO THE FUTURE.

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Anddd one more piece of Simpsons based X ray based content to close this out, DAMMIT if I am not getting good at this……
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Trade Review: Isotopes and X-Rayz Cut A Deal

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