Posted by: portersprospectreport | August 1, 2008

Trade Deadline: Manny to the Dodgers in 3 Way Trade

Will Manny still be Manny in L.A.?

Will Manny still be Manny in L.A.?

 

Seconds before the trade deadline, Manny Ramirez became the second pouter of the day to be traded to a new club and new league.  A three-way trade involving the Boston Red Sox, L.A. Dodgers, and Pittsburgh Pirates highlighted an otherwise lackluster July 31st.  The trade breaks down as follows:

L.A. Dodgers get: OF Manny Ramirez

Boston Red Sox get: OF Jason Bay

Pittsburgh Pirates get : OF/1B Brandon Moss, RHP Craig Hansen, 3B Andy LaRoche, and RHP Bryan Morris

Manny Ramirez

ManRam's Dodger blue jersey cards coming soon!

ManRam's Dodger blue jersey cards coming soon!

  • Manny Ramirez will provide a mammoth boost to the offense of the Dodgers who are in a tough battle with Arizona for the NL West crown.  Now that ManRam has gotten his way, the sulking and lackadasical play will likely cease and Manny will play, and play well, for a fat new contract.  As for Ramirez’s market value, I don’t see any indicators that they could have any more value than they had as a member of the Red Sox.
Will Bay get to relieve himself in the Green Monster too?

Will Bay get to relieve himself in the Green Monster too?

  • Jason Bay, on the other hand, must feel as if he has won the lottery.  A two time All-Star, he has been stuck in baseball siberia for his entire career.  Following up Manny is no easy task, but Bay’s overall game is not a far departure from Manny’s.  His demeanor and work ethic is, and the Red Sox are in need of an infusion of positivity, having lost 7 straight to the mighty L.A. Angels.  Bay’s hobby presence will be drastically improved as he dons the red and white in Fenway.  Early market returns have shown this to be the case as several of his 2002 first year cards are being snatched up in BUY IT NOW bids.  If Bay is able to adjust quickly to the limelight of Fenway and the Red Sox can turn around their recent slump, his cards will continue to rise. 

 

Let’s get to the prospects.  Pittsburgh has been the most active team over the past week trading Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, and now, Jason Bay.  The four prospects the Pirates got in this deal are solid, young, and projectible.  Here’s a closer look:

Andy Laroche:

The LaRoche brothers united at last!

The LaRoche brothers united at last!

  • The acquisition of Casey Blake last week made LaRoche available.  Now at Pittsburgh, Andy joins his brother Adam.  LaRoche missed the first couple months of this season recovering from surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb.  In his absence, Blake Dewitt played well enough to keep LaRoche at AAA.  LaRoche received his opportunity in early June and struggled hitting .203 in 58 AB.  LaRoche profiles as a .290-.300 hitter with 25-30 HR power and solid skills at the hot corner.  I think he will enjoy hitting in PNC Park and the move to Pittsburgh should alleviate a great deal of pressure to perform.  LaRoche has several 2005 first year cards that are very affordable right now.  His best card is an autograph that can be found in the ’05 Bowman Chrome set at $15-18 each.  Another nice option is the 2005 Bowman’s Best autos which vary from $7.50-10.00 each.  LaRoche’s acquisition also signals the demise of Neil Walker’s cards.  Walker failed to make progress as the 3B of the future for Pittsburgh.  Walker, though a superior and younger athlete, has not improved his plate discipline or batting average this season.  He is still young, but he may need to find a new position (perhaps right field) in order to carve out a future for the Bucs.

 

Brandon Moss

Final two months should indicate Moss' potential

Final two months should indicate Moss' potential

  • Moss performed pretty well for the Sox this year in his brief audition hitting .295 with 2 HR and 11 RBI.  Moss is a 1B/OF who will probably play at 1B in Adam LaRoche’s absence.  Long term, Moss is a .270-285 hitter with 20 HR power.  Moss needs to cut down his K rate if he wants to stick as an everyday player.  Moss has 1st year cards in the 2005 Topps set with an auto in the ’05 Topps Chrome.  Currently, his autos have been selling for $8-10 each.  Additionally, he has autos in the 2006 Bowman Sterling that sell for $6-8 each.  Moss’ ceiling, in my opinion, is as an average major league player with a more real destination as a platooning 1B or 4th outfielder.  If you haven’t sold his stuff, sell it now.

 

Craig Hansen

Auditioning for Pittsburgh's 9th inning job

Auditioning for Pittsburgh's 9th inning job

  • The AAA version of Hansen is straight up unhittable (.107 BAA in ’08), but Hansen has struggled in each of his stints in Boston over the past two seasons.  Hansen has electric stuff with a lively 93-96 MPH fastball and a big breaking slider.  His control issues impede him from being anything more than a middle reliever to set up man.  Hansen will get a shot to close games for the Pirates, but his value will never be what it could have been for the Sox.

 

Bryan Morris

20 yr. old pitching well after T.J. surgery

20 yr. old pitching well after T.J. surgery

  • The young RHP is the most unknown of the four prospects, but Baseball America thought enough of him to rank him as the Dodgers’ 12th best prospect even after missing all of 2007 recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Morris has a 95 MPH fastball and a tight curveball which ranks as a plus pitch.  This season has been a productive one for Morris has accumulated a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts at Hickory this season with 72 K’s in 81.2 IP.  Morris profiles as a solid innings eater who could be pitching in the middle of Pittsburgh’s rotation by the end of 2010.  Morris has autographed 1st year cards in the popular 2007 Donruss Elite Extra series.  Recently, these have been selling for $5-7 each.  I don’t think Morris has star potential, but an auto for $5 is not an outrageous price to pay for a first year auto of a young, projectible pitcher with upside.

 

There’s my market spin on this trade.  Though the trade deadline has come and passed, there will be several waiver deals coming soon.  Keep your eyes peeled for more analysis right here!

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