The MLB Trade Deadline has come and passed and the Diamondbacks have traded many players whom to put it bluntly, are a large reason for the disappointing 2014 season. Traded from the roster was Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels, Brandon McCarthy and Martin Prado to the Yankees (separate deals) and Gerardo Parra to the Brewers.
So what did the team get in return?
Starting with the deal with the Angels. The main piece the Diamondbacks received in return was outfielder Zach Borenstein. The 24 year old entered this season as the Angels’ ninth-best prospect as rated by Baseball America and was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. In 2013, he was named the Angels’ Minor League Player of the Year and California League Most Valuable Player after hitting .337 with 28 homers, 95 RBI and a 1.034 OPS at Single-A Advanced Inland. He has spent a few weeks now with the Mobile BayBears and has hit .250 AVG, with 19 hits, 11 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 Home runs and 13 RBI in 20 games played. According to MLB.com, the lefty Borenstein has an open stance, he’s stronger to the pull side, but the left-handed hitter has shown the ability to hit the ball out the other way, even against left-handed pitching. Borenstein’s defensive tools fit best in left field, but his power potential could profile well in an outfield corner.
The Diamondbacks also received RHP Joey Krehbiel from the Angels in the Thatcher deal. He held opponents scoreless in 14 of 17 relief appearances between Single-A Burlington and Single-A Advanced Inland Empire while recording 5 saves and a 2.00 ERA before coming to the D-backs.
The Diamondbacks acquired Vidal Nuño in the McCarthy deal whom we have seen at the big league level for a few weeks now. The players in return from the Prado deal leaves much more to be desired. The main piece in return from the Yankees for Prado is catcher, Peter O’Brien. 6-foot-3, 215-pounder was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2012 Draft out of the University of Miami.
The 24 year-old catcher comes with plenty of accolades. He entered the season ranked by MLB.com as the Yankees’ No. 9 prospect, was selected to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game at Target Field earlier this month. In three seasons in the Yankees’ organization, O’Brien batted .266 with 72 doubles, 65 home runs, 200 RBI and a .533 slugging percentage in 273 games. He has appeared in 144 games at catcher, 38 at third base, 27 at first and 11 in right field. While the top Diamondbacks catching prospect, Stryker Trahan, was moved to the outfield season, O’Brien provides much needed depth to the catcher position in the D-Backs system.
In exchange for Parra, the Diamondbacks added another top-10 level prospect in outfielder Mitch Hangier from the Brewers. The from Cal Poly standout came into 2014 as the Brew Crew’s number eight prospect and according to MLB.com, scouts thought Haniger could be a quick-moving college bat when he was coming out of Cal Poly in 2012, and so far, he’s proved them right. He was a Brewers supplemental pick in 2012 making him the 38th overall selection.
The right handed outfielder spent 3 seasons in the Brewers’ system and hit .263 with 47 doubles, 6 triples, 22 homers and 110 RBI in 210 games. Haniger was a member of the 2013 Arizona Fall League All-Prospect Team, was also rated by Baseball America as possessing the Best Outfield Arm in Milwaukee’s organization in 2013-14.
The other player brought over in the Parra deal was pitcher Anthony Banda. In 3 seasons in Milwaukee’s farm system, he was 11-13 with 2 saves and a 4.40 ERA in 48 games, 32 of which were starts. He stands 6-2, 190-pounds and was drafted by the Brewers in the 10th round of the 2012 Draft out of San Jacinto College.
The Diamondbacks checked off many needs through these trades. They needed outfield depth and between these trades as well as the two outfielders they selected in the first three rounds of the 2014 draft, they did so. They needed pitching and while there were no frontline caliber starters brought in from trades, there was added depth which is always needed. And possibly the replacement for Miguel Montero one day could be in place with O’Brien, a guy who has already hit 33 home runs this season.
Now that Martin Prado has been dealt, it opens up the gates for the future third baseman in the system which happens to be one of the deepest, if not the deepest position in the system. Jake Lamb is next in line and is having a monster 2014 season. Right behind him is Brandon Drury who is currently leading the entire farm system in hits and RBI and is two home runs shy of leading in home runs playing currently for Visalia. Those upset that the Justin Upton trade hasn’t panned out because of the unmet expectations from Martin Prado and Randall Delgado, can look forward to what Drury can bring.