Tag Archives: Bryce Harper

What Value Would the Trading of Draft Picks Add?


Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels interviewed Athletics GM Billy Beane, and this little nugget really caught my eye:

SICKELS: With the basic agreement up for negotiation as we approach 2012, what do you think of the idea of trading draft picks?

BEANE: I think it would be a great idea. I have always been in favor of that, it would create more interest in the draft for the fans, and as a GM anything that improves my flexibility is a good thing.
SICKELS: Will it happen? It always gets talked about but it never gets implemented.

BEANE: Well, I can’t say for sure obviously, we’ll have to see what gets negotiated. I would say that it is a better than 50/50 chance, but it is not guaranteed. We’ll just have to see.

This really caught my attention, as it is something that happens in both the NFL and NBA right now, and is another asset that allows for the movement of players. When you think about it, amateur draft picks are the only commodity in baseball that cannot be traded for something else.

The example I heard mentioned on the Baseball Prospectus Podcast was this: What if the Nationals had decided that they did not want to meet the demands of Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg in either of the last two years? Undoubtedly, there would have been a team that would have been willing to meet those demands if the Nationals had not, and as such this pick has trade value. Would the Nationals have been better if they had, say, traded the rights to the #1 overall pick (Bryce Harper) to the Yankees for a package of Jesus Montero and another top-10 prospect? I’m inclined to believe that both teams would have benefitted from this.

I could see using future draft picks as another commodity in the same way that the minor leagues are used now. Would the Mariners have wanted instead of some of the secondary players in the Cliff Lee trade, instead they received Justin Smoak and the Rangers’ 1st round pick in 2011?

The biggest concern to me would be that there probably would need to be a limitation on how far into the draft (rounds deep) and how many years in advance a team could trade, but I think that this bears consideration. Even if the owners are able to get a hard slotting system for the draft, there could still be a lot of value in the ability to trade picks, as teams may not want to take players at certain picks and “move down” like seems to happen in the NFL a lot.

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The Week in Review: June 7-June 13


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (40-23) vs. Minnesota Twins (36-27)
Texas Rangers (35-28) vs. New York Yankees (40-23)

Los Angeles Dodgers (36-27) vs. Atlanta Braves (37-27)
Cincinnati Reds (36-28) vs. San Diego Padres (37-26)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Robinson Cano (NYY) – .371
Runs – Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 54
Home Runs – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 19
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 56
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) – 25

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 12
Saves – Matt Capps (WAS) – 20
ERA – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 1.16
Strikeouts – Dan Haren (ARI) – 97
WHIP – Cliff Lee (SEA) – 0.93

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Nate McLouth, Rich Harden, J.J. Hardy, Jeremy Hermida, Aramis Ramirez, Orlando Hudson

Return from the Disabled List: Miguel Montero, George Sherrill, Ivan Rodriguez

To the Minors: Jake Fox, Lou Marson

Called Up: Stephen Strasburg, Mike Stanton, Carlos Santana, Brad Lincoln, Jose Tabata

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • Clearly, the dominant story on the baseball landscape this week was the much-anticipated debut of Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday. And boy did he not disappoint. 14 strikeouts and only 2 earned runs over 7 innings on Tuesday en route to his first major league victory. As a result of this, Sunday’s start at the Indians became almost as hyped. He pitched well enough to get a victory on Sunday, striking out 8 and only allowing 1 earned run. But there does appear to be a human being under there, as he walked 5 and only went 5 1/3 innings in that start.
  • Not to be outdone, the Marlins called up top prospect Mike Stanton to make his debut on Tuesday as well. In the 5 games he has played since being called up, he has hit .368 with 4 runs batted in and 2 stolen bases. The strikeouts will remain a bit of a concern for him, but let’s remember that the kid is still just 20 years old, and probably likely to see at least a bit of growing pains.
  • On Friday, the Indians called up their top prospect C Carlos Santana. He is hitting .273, but slugging .636 after a homerun and a double in Saturday’s game. He faced off against Strasburg in his start on Sunday, and was the only player in the Indians’ starting lineup to not strikeout against the phenom. Pretty good start so far.
  • Lost in all these top prospects making their debuts was the fact that on Monday, Bryce Harper’s rights officially became the property of the Washington Nationals. I did find it interesting that the Nationals have announced already that he will be moved to the outfield immediately upon his signing. Looking at the Nationals’ minor league system, this is probably the fastest way for him to get to the Majors, and the Nats also have a solid prospect (Derek Norris) already at the catcher position who is more likely to make it to the Majors behind the plated before Harper would. Either way, Harper could very well end up making it to the Majors in two to three seasons at most, and is very likely to be no older than 20 when he does so. Lots of paydays in his future.

Links are a bit light this week, as I’ve been pretty busy. I am looking for some input from the readers, as I am starting to look into which prospects I should review in the offseason. My only rules really for this for the next offseason is that I want to preview a prospect from each team again. So if you have someone you think is going to be a top-10 prospect in an organization that you’d like to see a scouting report for, leave a comment and let me know.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday: The Original Draft Series – Team #30 and #29
Wednesday: The Original Draft Series – Team #28 and #27
Thursday: The Original Draft Series – Team #26 and #25
Friday:  Trade Retrospective – Rickey Henderson to the Yankees

Team Preview – Washington Nationals


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Ivan Rodriguez SP 1 John Lannan
1B Adam Dunn SP 2 Jason Marquis
2B Adam Kennedy SP 3 Scott Olsen
3B Ryan Zimmerman SP 4 Garret Mock
SS Cristian Guzman SP 5 Livan Hernandez
LF Josh Willingham Bullpen
CF Nyjer Morgan CL Matt Capps
RF Roger Bernardina RP Brian Bruney
Bench RP Tyler Clippard
OF Willie Harris RP Sean Burnett
IF Alberto Gonzalez RP Tyler Walker

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
C Ivan Rodriguez Free Agency RF Elijah Dukes Released
2B Adam Kennedy Free Agency C Brian Schneider Free Agency
SP Jason Marquis Free Agency RP Mike MacDougal Free Agency

Top Prospects: Stephen Strasburg (P), Drew Storen (P), Chris Marrero (1B), Derek Norris (C), Ian Desmond (SS)

2009 Review

The Nationals finished 59-103 in 2009, as had been pretty much been expected. It cost manager Manny Acta his job in July, and was replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman. There weren’t a lot of bright spots for the team, but there were a few. On offense, 3B Ryan Zimmerman (.292, 33 HR, 106 RBI), and OF Adam Dunn (.267, 38 HR, 105 RBI) led the way. On the pitching side, Jordan Zimmerman pitched well until he got hurt, and John Lannan (9-13, 3.88) will lead the rotation coming into 2010.

The biggest news surrounding the Nationals throughout the 2009 season was their first round draft pick, and their eventual signing of uber-prospect Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg received a record contract for a draft pick, and his early performance in Spring Training point to the possibility of him starting the season in the Majors already.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Nationals are continuing in the process of rebuilding their team. They’ve added some good veteran presences in Jason Marquis and Ivan Rodriguez, and along with 3B Ryan Zimmerman, they are helping to build a good clubhouse feel for their team. They have added some more low-risk high-reward types in closer Matt Capps and Brian Bruney. This team is going to get better, and has a lot of help on the way in the form of C Derek Norris, RP Drew Storen, and of course top prospect Stephen Strasburg.

Again this season, the Nationals will be bombarded with stories and questions regarding their top draft pick, and the player who appears most likely to be taken by them: C Bryce Harper of Southern Nevada CC. Look for this to be a distraction up until the draft, and the potential to be one for the two months following as they try to sign their pick.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

There’s not a lot to like here, but there are a couple of players. 3B Ryan Zimmerman and OF/1B Adam Dunn are both solid players for any format. Also, OF Nyjer Morgan and SP Stephen Strasburg will both provide value, although there’s some risk involved with both of them.

Prediction for 2010

The Nationals aren’t ready yet. But they’re going to be better than last season, and as their pitching develops they should improve as well. 2010 isn’t going to be their year though.

62-100, 5th in the NL East