A truly bizarre – well, it’s not so bizarre when you break it down – trade between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 21, 2015
If you’re looking at that and thinking that you vaguely recognize Gosselin as a light-hitting utility type, and Toussaint as a borderline top 100 pitching prospect, you’d be correct. So why the swap?
Well, Tommy John-recoveree Arroyo is the answer, with about $10 million guaranteed to him between this year and a buyout on a $13 million option for 2016.
In other words, the Diamondbacks just sold Toussaint to the Braves for about $10 million (or maybe slightly less than that if you think Gosselin has a little value – or maybe back up to about $10 million if you think Arroyo has a little value).
Ben Badler sums up that decision by the D-Backs:
The D-Backs sold Touki Toussaint for $10 million, five months after paying $16 million (with tax) for Yoan Lopez, who is not as good.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) June 21, 2015
Whether this was a reflection of the D-Backs evaluating Toussaint – just one year after drafting him in the first round, and traded on the very first day he was eligible to be traded – or a reflection of ownership desperately wanting some cash, we might not know. The Braves will get plaudits for using cash to buy a prospect, and the D-Backs will be derided (though I’m not so sure they didn’t get good value here for a young pitching prospect that they did get a chance to work with for quite a while – maybe they know that he’s not worth $10 million).
You can bet MLB doesn’t love these kinds of trades, though at least it wasn’t a traditional money bags operation buying the prospect.
We’ll see what the fallout is from this in the coming days – I don’t think this will necessarily spur activity, but I wonder what other teams will be saying about this one.