The Dodgers pulled off their first complicated trade of the offseason, helping the White Sox acquire an all-star third baseman.
The Dodgers kicked off Wednesday morning with a lone announcement from Jeff Passan, who announced the Dodgers would be acquiring Frankie Montas from the White Sox, and how it could be part of a huge trade.
Most of his replies to that tweet involved the word “Puig”, until he squashed that rumor a bit later. It seemed to be a straight trade between the White Sox and Dodgers, until this news broke.
So the final form of the trade turned out to be pretty minor from the Dodgers perspective. Todd Frazier to Chicago was definitely the main part of it. The Dodgers come away with three White Sox prospects, and they traded three prospects to the Reds.
As for the departed, Jose Peraza was a candidate to possibly win the second base job out of Spring Training. He was acquired at the trade deadline and had a cup of coffee with the Dodgers, showing off his +++ speed that will probably give him a career and rated him as the Dodgers’ fourth-best prospect. His on-base skills were always a little concerning, and his profile reminded me a bit of Dee Gordon. Doesn’t walk a lot, but when he gets on base he reeks havoc. Peraza also has a highly-rated glove, which was something Gordon never really had. I was excited to see what Peraza could do, but it sounds like Dodger scouts were cooling off on him. Either way, they probably replaced him in this trade.
Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson (7) drops back to make a catch during the game against the Minnesota Twins at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Dixon was the Dodgers’ third round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2013, and really had no place to go with the Dodgers. He’s listed as a 2b, 3b and OF and is a really minor piece in this move. He’s not listed on the Dodgers’ top 30 prospects on MLB.com.
Scott Schebler appeared in a handful of games for the Dodgers last year and can be a solid outfielder moving forward, but the Dodgers probably also got an upgrade there. Schebler was the 13th rated prospect on the Dodgers, but it was hard to see a place for him on this team moving forward.
As for the return, Francelis “Frankie” Montas is the big get. He struggled in seven appearances/two starts for the White Sox last year, but was very good in the minors and was the number three prospect in their system. He game up three home runs in 23 starts/112 innings in AA and has hit as high as 102 on the radar gun. MLB.com gives up the ceiling of a number two starter and the floor of a reliever (potentially very good one).
Micah Johnson was the fifth best prospect on the White Sox, and like Peraza his big tool is his speed. He’s not a highly-rated defender, but his offensive profile seems a lot more stable than Peraza’s, with better on-base skills and less dependency on BABIP. He could be a new Opening Day candidate for the Dodgers, at the very least splitting time with Enrique Hernandez.
Let’s talk about Kiké for a second, because he gave Twitter a collective heart attack. Before the names were announced to writers, but after players were reportedly informed, Kiké hopped on Twitter.
"Oh sorry people, didn't realize there was a trade going on! Just meant that today was track day!"
That was 10 minutes of panic that I will never get back.
The final piece coming back to the Dodgers is outfielder Trayce Thompson. He’s the son of former Laker Mychal Thompson and brother of Splash Brother Klay Thompson. More importantly, he was the White Sox’ 14th-best prospect and should at the very least be an upgrade over Schebler. He may not amount to an everyday starter, but he MLB.com’s description states that Thompson could become a 20-20 guy if everything comes together.
This isn’t the big splash people wanted, but the Dodgers are a slightly better team than they were yesterday. We would also be foolish to think they were done. There’s a lot of speculation that the Dodgers are amassing prospects as a precursor to a major move, and Jose Fernandez‘s name has popped up on Twitter a bunch this morning. Who knows. The Dodgers traded a package of solid prospects for a package of slightly better prospects, so all that really matters right now is what happens next. They may have found a good future starter or great future reliever and a solid second baseman moving forward if they keep them. Or they could be building to something huge.
On an unrelated note, George Lombard will be the Dodgers first base coach next year, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Lombard had been in the Red Sox organization for the last five years and was their minor league baserunning coordinator for the last two. It still remains to be seen what role Gabe Kapler will play next year.