Wow. So there’s a stunning pre-Thanksgiving trade, and one that makes my blood boil a bit. I’m reactionary like that.
Gah! Shortstop Luis Urías and LHP Eric Lauer to Milwaukee, OF Trent Grisham and RHP Zach Davies to San Diego.
Zach Davies. Zach Davies. Zach Davies.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 27, 2019
I don’t like this trade one bit. I know, I know I’m overrating Urias based on the prospect pedigree, and I know that I’m probably underrating Grisham. But eff, man.
Grisham, 23, is best known for his game-costing error in the Wild Card Game against the Nationals, but before that, he was a reasonably productive outfield prospect who’d broken out in 2019 with the Brewers. He bats with a weird hand grip that leaves a lot of people questioning whether he can actually succeed long-term in the big leagues, and I don’t know that you can for sure project him to be a big league regular.
Urias, by contrast, has long been a top 30 prospect in the game, and reached the big leagues at age 21. There are legit concerns about his strikeout rate climbing rapidly in the big leagues after making his bones in the minors as a guy who never strikes out. He also has no projectable power, so he’s heavily reliant on BABIP and walks for production. But he takes a ton of walks, has a line-drive stroke, and can play excellent infield defense. He’s a guy that, if the Cubs had acquired him today, we’d be wondering if he was actually a better bet than Nico Hoerner to take over second base. That’s kinda the range we’re talking about in terms of the possibilities for Urias.
That said, I will acknowledge: the Padres pretty clearly gave up on him *last* year, so it’s not a surprise that they were looking to move on for whatever reason. I just find it very easy to see him winding up at shortstop with the Brewers and being a massive upgrade at the plate over Orlando Arcia, or even taking over at third base.
As for the pitchers, we all know Davies well as an annoying wannabe Kyle Hendricks, and he’s going to be effective in San Diego. He’s set to make $5 million or so in arbitration, so the Padres are giving up some control in exchange for more certainty in Davies – because the guy they’re giving up, 24-year-old lefty Eric Lauer, was nearly as good as Davies was last year anyway. And he’s not even arbitration-eligible until 2021. Give me my pick of those two, and going forward in total value, I’m taking Lauer.
So, basically, the Brewers here got the younger, cheaper pitcher who is probably just about as good, and they got the younger, much higher-upside position player. The Padres must really hate Luis Urias or something.
Great stuff. Great stuff. Enjoy your yams.
Hey, annoying bonus? The Padres are also signing our favorite Cubs relief target, Drew Pomeranz. I see you, San Diego. You are making an enemy today.