San Francisco Giants: Full review of the 2019 MLB trade deadline
San Francisco Giants Acquired: OF Jaylin Davis, RHP Kai-Wei Teng, RHP Prelander Berroa
Minnesota Twins Acquired: RHP Sam Dyson
Taking a broader look around the league, one of the more peculiar occurrences was how the market for top-tier relief pitchers never developed.
Since Shane Greene was closing in Detroit, his move to the Atlanta Braves got the most coverage of any bullpen swap, Sam Dyson has a case for being the best reliever changing uniforms on Wednesday.
Regardless, neither approach the level of other players available like Will Smith, Felipe Vazquez, or Kirby Yates.
Many speculated, especially with so many contenders in clear need of bullpen help, that someone would pay a premium to get a dominant closer. Instead, teams seemed to target multiple mid-tier options rather than one big-fish.
In fact, it seems that the returns on players like Sergio Romo, Melancon, and the package of Pomeranz and Black, was not all that far off from what the Tigers got for Greene or the Giants got for Dyson.
If I had to offer a hypothesis, teams now have a greater understanding of prospect trends. Top prospects, those with at least 50 future-value grades, are no guarantee, but almost all game-changing big league players once ranked among them.
Teams believe in their ability to find and develop solid contributors from the scrap heap (see Donovan Solano, Mike Yastrzemski, and Sam Selman). Most mid-tier prospects, like Mauricio Dubon, hold ceilings of solid everyday players. That’s nice, but not something teams will look back on in with regret.
This has simultaneously made teams value elite prospects even more while valuing the next level of prospects substantially less.
Thus, teams selling elite bullpen talent were unable to receive any offers of elite prospect talent and had to choose between accepting a lower-ceiling package or holding their asset. Since the Giants are still in contention, that choice was easy with Smith.
With that said, the package for Dyson still contained three interesting prospects, each with their own flaws, but also upside.
Jaylin Davis, a 25-year-old outfielder, is easily the closest to the majors. Statistical models tend to be higher on Davis than scouts. He’s always had potential plus power and average tools across the rest of the board, except with his hit tool. That will determine if he ever becomes a big league contributor.
This season, splitting time between Double and Triple-A, he’s mashed 25 home runs, stolen nine bases, and walked 51 times. Not a bad way to earn an opportunity. As a right-handed hitter who is capable of handling all three outfield positions, he looks like a solid fourth outfielder option.
The other two pieces are considered better prospects, but are also further from contributing.
RIght-hander Kai-Wei Teng, signed out of Taiwan in 2017, is just 20 and he has been very good this season at Single-A. He’s a burly 6’4” starter who has good control and works off a low-90s fastball, curveball, and slider.
Prelander Berroa, a 19-year-old right-hander, has better stuff than Teng. His fastball has touched 97 mph and he’s shown a potentially above-average curveball. However, he has a long way to go as a pitcher. This season in rookie ball, inconsistencies with control and command have limited his effectiveness.
Berroa and Teng both immediately rank towards the back of the Giants top 30 prospects. Your view of Davis’ hit tool determines whether he does as well. He misses the cut for me.
The Twins did give up three intriguing pieces, but none rank among their top prospects. Their bullpen needed an upgrade at the deadline and Dyson has quietly been one of the best relievers in baseball this year. Furthermore, Dyson has another year of control through arbitration.