Blog Red Machine, the FanSided page covering the Cincinnati Reds recently proposed a mock trade for Seattle Mariners reliever Kendall Graveman. The Reds need relief pitchers and Drew Koch has his eyes on Graveman.
I don’t think the Mariners will be buyers at the trade deadline so it’s reasonable to assume that Kendall Graveman will be wearing a different uniform after the mid-way point. Let’s go through Blog Red Machine’s trade offer and determine if it’s something we might see this summer.
Blog Red Machine’s trade offer for Seattle Mariners reliever Kendall Graveman
Here is what Drew Koch proposed:
Yan Contreras is currently the 22nd ranked prospect in the Reds organization. He is a 20-year-old shortstop born in Puerto Rico, and drafted in 2019 in the 12th round. Here is his scouting report card:
- Hit – 45
- Power – 50
- Run – 50
- Arm – 55
- Field – 55
- Overall – 40
Some scouts have compared him to Asdrubal Cabrera and the Reds have another shortstop in the farm system so Contreras is relatively expendable. Yan Contreras is currently with the Daytona Tortugas in the AZL and has a ways to go until reaching the big leagues.
He also added Brian Rey to the package, an unranked prospect. Rey is a 23-year-old prospect who was drafted in the 13th round of the 2018 draft by the Reds. The 5’11” outfielder is with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and has been lighting it up.
Up until this morning, he has a .301 batting average, hit six home runs, and stolen two bases. In his first two years in professional baseball (2018 and 2019), he played alright. He hovered around the .250 mark and drove in a handful of runs.
My reactions to the trade offer
With all that being said, I am not so impressed with the package Blog Red Machine offered. I took a peek at Baseball Trade Values to evaluate the trade and while the website agrees it’s fair, I don’t know if Kendall Graveman’s value has been updated.
Graveman, arguably the best reliever in the Seattle Mariners pen, has been elite. Even after struggling since his return to the clubhouse, he owns a 0.92 ERA and has struck out roughly a batter an inning. Opposing hitters are also hitting .128 against him.
I think it’s also helpful to look at past trades involving relievers to better inform my reaction.
Yankees trade for Zach Britton in 2018
Zach Britton was one of the most deadly closers in his prime, and when the Yankees traded for him, he wasn’t even at his best. The southpaw had a 3.45 ERA and pitched just 15.2 innings before being dealt near the trade deadline.
And when did the Orioles receive in return? Dillon Tate (8th ranked prospect), Cody Carroll (15th ranked prospect), and Josh Rogers (unranked). Tate was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Carroll was taken in the 22nd round in the same draft, and Rogers was an 11th round pick.
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Just by the look of it, this is a much better package than the one the Blog Red Machine offered.
The Reds also have the 20th ranked farm system in the MLB so a 22nd ranked prospect in their system doesn’t mean a whole lot for the Seattle Mariners. I am not even sure if Yan Contreras would be included in our Top 30 right now.
One could argue that Zach Britton and Kendall Graveman are two different pitchers but from what we have seen, Graveman has been unhittable. Also important to note, Britton was going to be a free agent after that season, so he was a “rental” and the Orioles still got a very good prospect package.
Cubs trade for Aroldis Chapman in 2016
Another good example is the Aroldis Chapman trade in 2016. The Chicago Cubs acquired the flame thrower in exchange for four players: Adam Warren, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford.
Gleyber Torres was the 24th ranked prospect in the MLB, and obviously the top-ranked prospect in the Cubs organization. McKinney was the 5th ranked prospect in the organization, and a former first-round pick in the 2013 draft. Crawford was an 11th round pick in the 2012 draft.
That year, Chapman was one of the best closers, if not the best, so his value is larger than Graveman’s but it’s still helpful for context. Like Britton, Chapman would be a free agent by the end of the 2016 season, which makes this comparison for the Seattle Mariners reliever even better.
So, if the Yankees were able to get one elite prospect, one good prospect, one throw in prospect, and one throw in reliever, shouldn’t the Seattle Mariners receive more than the 22nd ranked Reds prospect and one unranked prospect?
Sorry Drew, but Kendall Graveman is better than you think, and two prospects might be enough, but not the two you proposed. If you want to entice me, you need to at least offer Riley O’Brien or Ivan Johnson.