The Trade Deadline
Trade season is picking up momentum with five days left until the July 31 deadline. Big names have been on the move since the All-Star break. Manny Machado, the best player available on the trade block, landed in Hollywood. Brad Hand and Adam Cimber packed their bags and headed from San Diego to Cleveland to boost their bullpen. Zach Britton is going to the city that never sleeps to form one of the most dominant relief trios in baseball with Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. Thursday morning two more big trade chips were moved. J.A. Happ went to New York as well, while Joakim Soria will try to help Milwaukee finish games in the bullpen.
While the trade deadline is fun to follow, it is never known how the trade will work out and who will benefit the most. Often times it is the team that trades the big name players that get the last laugh, since the team trading for them is in a World Series or bust state of mind and give up top prospects.
With Brandon Dixon seeing time on the Reds major league roster and Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler having solid seasons, it is a great time to remember the trade that brought them here in 2015.
The Frazier Deal
The White Sox felt that 2016 was a year they would compete for the division crown and a World Series. They made a splash and traded for Reds’ fan favorite Todd Frazier. In a three-way deal involving the Dodgers, they sent Frankie Montas, Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson to Los Angeles, who sent Dixon, Peraza and Schebler to Cincinnati. They almost traded Frazier for the package the Dodgers received, but when Los Angeles got involved, they could not pass up their offer.
White Sox Return
Frazier provided the power numbers that Chicago was hoping for with 40 home runs and 98 RBIs, but slashed a measly .225/.302/.464. As for the rest of the White Sox, they did not fare much better. The team finished fourth in the AL Central with a 78-84 record. After a poor start to the 2017 season, the White Sox dealt Frazier to the Yankees.
For the Dodgers, the result was not much better. Montas was injured soon after the trade and only pitched 16 innings among two minor league levels. In 2018 he has pitched decently in nine major league games, however, those games are being played in Oakland. After his shortened season he was traded to Oakland as a part of a package that sent Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Dodgers during the 2016 trade deadline.
Johnson’s tenure in Los Angeles lasted longer, but not by much. He did reach the major league level with the Dodgers, but only collected one hit in six at-bats. In the following offseason, Johnson was dealt to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later or cash. He has 26 hits at the major league level.
Trayce Thompson appeared in 107 games across two seasons for the Dodgers. He was never able to attain the level of success he showed flashes of in 44 games in Chicago. Thompson had the least potential of the three, yet had the most success with the Dodgers. His stint with the Dodgers was short lived as well. He was designated for assignment on March 27, 2018, before the Athletics picked him up a week later.
The Reds are the only team in the trade to still have any players from the trade and they manage to maintain all three players. Not only were they able to keep their three, they have all made a level of contribution to the Major League roster.
As soon as Schebler became a Red, he became the club’s number 13 prospect. Schebler played in 82 games in 2016, as well as 141 in 2017. His first two seasons were not exactly great, but he showed signs that he could be a legitimate major leaguer on both sides of the ball. Schebler was having a breakout season before landing on the disabled list.
In 76 games, mostly out of the leadoff spot or in the five and six hole, he is slashing .278/.351/.470 with 12 home runs. His patience at the plate has been an encouraging sign and he only appears to be getting better. Defensively, he has manned right and center field at a respectable level. Schebler’s name has been mentioned in trade talks, but it is unlikely he will leave.
Peraza was the centerpiece of the 2015 trade. He immediately took over the position as the Reds’ top prospect and appeared in 72 games his rookie season slashing .324/.352/.411 while swiping 21 bags. In 2017, he gave fans the idea that he may not be the answer the Reds were looking for. People were tired of watching Peraza not live up to the hype a number one prospect commands.
After an up and down start of the season, Peraza has found consistency and is playing respectable ball. He still needs to work on getting on base at a higher rate, but if he continues trending upwards, he should make a quality major league shortstop.
Dixon made his major league debut on May 22, 2018. The 26-year-old has been the weakest link the Reds received in the deal. Although his sample size consists of 37 at-bats, he has just seven hits. It is unlikely that a player at his age that has been a career minor leaguer will ever turn it around, but it is definitely not impossible. He does sport a .958 OPS in Louisville.
Regardless of his major league performance, he is still with the club and ready to compete when called upon, something the Dodgers and White Sox cannot say about their return.
In the two and a half years since the Reds executed this trade, it is clear who won the trade. Walt Jocketty and crew waited for the Dodgers to get involved and pulled off a trade that was terrible for two teams involved. Luckily, the Reds were not one of them. With five days left until the deadline, it is not clear who will be dealt, if anyone. The Reds are improving every day this season, but should not be satisfied with where they are just yet.
The Reds front office have made some poor trades in the past, mostly in the Aroldis Chapman deal due to unfortunate circumstances, and fans grill them. It is unclear if Dilson Herrera will find his swing and make the Jay Bruce deal look good. This trade was a clear win for Cincinnati, will they win another one this year? Let’s wait and find out over the madness sure to take place this week.
“From Our Haus to Yours”