Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
From MLBTR -
Recent agreements by the Blue Jays (Jose Bautista) and Phillies (Michael Saunders) have caused the Mets’ potential trade options for right fielder Jay Bruce to dwindle, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. (I’d also note the Orioles’ acquisition of Seth Smith in that list of deterrents to a Bruce swap.) The Giants and Rangers could be the only two remaining plausible landing spots for Bruce, Puma continues, noting that each team has had previous interest in Bruce. However, according to Puma, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has not yet shown a willingness to absorb any of Bruce’s $13MM salary in a trade, which only further exacerbates the difficulty of trading him in a market flooded with cheaper corner options. Puma speculates that the Mets may be forced to open the season with Bruce on the roster and look to move him early in the regular season, as they did with Ike Davis back in 2014.
So, let’s move on to both the Giants and Rangers and see what they have in the pipeline, per John Sickels:
Giants http://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/12/20/14025292/san-francisco-giants-top-50-prospects-for-2017 -
Christian Arroyo, INF, Grade B+/B: Age 21, first round pick in 2013; hit .274/.316/.373 with 36 doubles, three homers, 29 walks, 72 strikeouts in 474 at-bats in Double-A; draws constant praise for swing mechanics, doubles power, and general heady play; hit .315/.348/.438 on the road last year, just .224/.278/.294 in difficult home park; long-term should be a .280ish hitter with doubles power; aggressive and could stand to draw more walks but he makes hard contact on pitches other hitters miss; arm and range fit better at third base than shortstop, has also played well in limited looks at second base; ETA 2018.
Mack – I( don’t think there is any chance the Giants would trade their number one prospect. But if they did, this guy could possibly be the replacement some day for David Wright.
Ty Blach, LHP, Grade B-/B: Age 26, posted 3.43 ERA with 113/38 K/BB in 163 innings in Triple-A, 147 hits; 1.06 ERA in 17 major league innings with 10/5 K/BB; fifth round pick in 2012 from Creighton University in Omaha; velocity has picked up a hair since college and sits in low-90s now, mixes in slider, change-up, curve; stuff similar to Andrew Suarez and overall approach is comparable though I think Blach throws slightly harder; Blach is two years older but has a better track record of durability. ETA 2017.
Mack – I’m looking for at least one good reliever for Bruce and this guy could be the guy.
Steven Okert, LHP, Grade B-: Age 25, fourth round pick in 2012 from University of Oklahoma; 3.80 ERA with 60/11 K/BB in 47 innings in Triple-A; 3.21 ERA in 14 major league innings with 14/4 K/BB; what he did in the majors is representative of his ability; fastball up to 96, mixes in slider, cutter; below-average change-up keeps him in bullpen; ranking relievers as prospects is problematic but Okert should be a valued pen member for a long time. ETA 2017.
Heath Quinn, OF, Grade B-: Age 21, third round pick in 2016 out of Samford; hit .337/.423/571 with nine homers, 26 walks, 50 strikeouts in 205 at-bats in Northwest League, then went 6-for-17 (.353) in four games in High-A; 6-2, 190 pound right-handed hitter with 55-60 grades in raw power and throwing arm along with average running speed; likely to strike out a lot but also draws walks; right field profile and glove may be under-rated; not sure the batting average will hold up but should be productive with OBP and SLG. ETA late 2019.
Chris Stratton, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 26, first round pick in 2012 from Mississippi State, 3.87 ERA in 126 innings in Triple-A, 103/39 K/BB, 120 hits; posted 3.60 ERA in 10 major league innings; long-standing prospect with little left to prove in minors; fastball has steadied at 90-94; has curve, slider, change; all pitches generally average but not weak, it works when his command is sharp; like Blackburn, a potential four/five starter but might show more per-inning dominance if used in bullpen. ETA 2017.
Rangers http://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/12/23/14064042/texas-rangers-top-20-prospects-for-2017 -
Ariel Jurado, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 20, signed out of Panama in 2012; 3.66 ERA in 123 innings between High-A and Double-A, 106/34 K/BB, 1.98 GO/AO; fastball sits at 90-93 but with terrific sink; throws strikes and hits his spots with it; mixes in solid-average change-up and a breaking ball of varying quality; mound presence and pitchability are better than his pure stuff but should be a solid workhorse type; perhaps more dominant on a per-inning basis if he moves to pen at some point. ETA late 2017.
Josh Morgan, INF-C, Grade B-: Age 21, third round pick in 2014 from high school in California; hit .300/.367/.394 with seven homers, 44 walks, 61 strikeouts in 470 at-bats in High-A; contact hitter, not a lot of power at this point but gets on base; pop may increase as he matures, perhaps to a surprising extent; versatile glove, competent at second, third, and short; has played catcher on an experimental basis and reportedly will see more time at that position in ’17; projection as super-utility player with impressive versatility and on-base skills; ETA 2019.
Joe Palumbo, LHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 22, 30th round pick in 2013 from high school in West Islip, New York; breakthrough season in ’16 with 2.24 ERA, 122/36 K/BB in 96 innings in Low-A, 71 hits; had success as both starter and reliever; fastball up to 93-95, also has above-average curveball; change-up needs additional work but there’s enough there to think he can keep starting; command within strike zone still needs more work but he’s made considerable progress; nice combination of strikeouts and ground balls; just now getting noticed outside Rangers circles. ETA 2019.
Jose Trevino, C, Grade C+: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2014 out of Oral Roberts; hit .303/.342/.434 with 30 doubles, nine homers, 26 walks, 49 strikeouts in 433 at-bats in High-A; compact but strong build at 5-11, 195, athletic enough to have played shortstop in college; good throwing arm with quick release, threw out 47% of runners; excellent receiving and leadership skills; as a hitter features occasional pop and contact approach but seldom draws walks and did much of his damage in friendly home park; glove will get him to the majors and there’s still some hope for the bat. ETA 2019.
Connor Sadzeck, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, 11th round pick in 2011 from Howard Junior College; huge 6-7, 240 pounder with fastball in mid-90s, touching 100 at his best; posted 4.16 ERA with 133/52 K/BB in 141 innings in Double-A, 127 hits; flashes plus slider, but still inconsistent with it; change-up is below average; command also spotty at times although walk rate isn’t bad; may fit best ultimately in bullpen; even a small improvement in command could result in a breakthrough without much warning. ETA late 2017.