On Thursday, former Rays ace Tyler Glasnow was sent to the Dodgers, along with Manuel Margot, in exchange for Ryan Pepiot and Jonny Deluca. Given the enormity of Glasnow's five year, $136.5 million contract extension with Los Angeles, and the reality that the Rays had no interest in paying him for even one season, one would think that the squad that gave him up had gotten fleeced by the return.
The $27.3 million, ace-lite sum Glasnow will be making every year until 2028 could point to yes, the Rays did get fleeced in the return. Pepiot, Glasnow's apparent counterpart in the trade, only pitched 42 innings this season, which was only his second in the major leagues. However, the Rays can never be discounted when it comes to acquiring young talent whose potential is yet to be tapped, and Pepiot has a lot of upside (and a lot of team control) that could be getting overlooked in the wake of Glasnow's mammoth extension.
Did Dodgers properly value Ryan Pepiot in Tyler Glasnow trade with Rays?
Pepiot was a third-round draft pick for the Dodgers in 2019, and he managed to peak at No. 6 on MLB Pipeline's organizational prospect rankings in 2022, the highest-ranked pitching prospect behind Bobby Miller, who has worked his way into a rotation spot in LA next year. Analysis on Pepiot's pitch arsenal and promise at the major league level focused mostly on his changeup, which MLB Pipeline called "the best in the minors" in 2022. His fastball, which improved by 3 MPH throughout his time in the minor leagues, combined with his changeup "is so good that he should be at least a valuable multi-inning reliever."
Glasnow, on the other hand, is well-known enough in baseball that it's somewhat surprising that he's never received Cy Young votes or an All-Star appearance, despite eight years in the major leagues and some impressive numbers. The rub on Glasnow, which is most likely why he doesn't have many of the biggest accolades under his belt and which will make the five-year extension the Dodgers gave him potentially dicey, is that he's never pitched more than 150 innings in a season, and 2023 was the first time he's ever pitched 120 innings. Injuries have plagued him since 2019, peaking in 2021 with elbow issues and then a resulting Tommy John, which kept him off the mound for all but 6 2/3 innings in 2022.
So the pros and cons on Pepiot and Glasnow are clear: youth vs. experience, clean bill of health vs. history of injury. Hopefully, Pepiot will be able to excel with the Rays and live up to the potential that made him a top-ranked prospect with the Dodgers, and hopefully Glasnow will be able to remain healthy so that the $136.5 million he's set to make won't go down the injury drain. Thanks to the extension, both will be in their new homes for quite a while (though one will cost significantly less).