MLB Trade Season Begins With Three Big Deals Around the League

Typically the week leading up to the July 31st trade deadline sees the most trades. Usually you see a few deals spread out during the week, with the majority of trades taking place the final two days. That hasn’t been the case today. We saw our first big trades made during the 2012 season, with the Chicago Cubs trading Ryan Dempster, the Miami Marlins trading Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante, and the Seattle Mariners trading Ichiro Suzuki.

Chicago dealt Dempster to the Atlanta Braves for top pitching prospect Randall Delgado. Delgado entered the year as the number 46 overall prospect in Baseball America’s rankings, although he’s fallen a bit this year. The trade is currently held up while they wait for Dempster to waive his no trade clause. Dempster is under control through the end of the year.

Miami dealt Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and a competitive balance pick to the Detroit Tigers for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantley, Brian Flynn, and a competitive balance pick. The Tigers moved up from the end of the second round to the end of the first round with the swap of competitive balance picks. Jacob Turner entered the year as the top prospect in their organization, and Baseball America’s 22nd overall prospect. Brantley entered the year as Detroit’s seventh best prospect, and their top catching prospect. Flynn was ranked 24th, and the sixth best left-handed starting pitching prospect. Anibal Sanchez is under control through the end of the season. Infante is under control through the 2013 season, making $4 M next year.

Shortly after the Miami/Detroit trade, the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners made a surprise deal for Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is under control through the end of the year, making $17 M this year. The Yankees gave up Danny Farquhar — who was acquired on waivers a month ago — and right-hander D.J. Mitchell, who was rated the number 16 prospect in the Yankees system and the number four right-handed starter pre-season. Ichiro is owed about $6.8 M the rest of the year, and the Yankees are only picking up about $2 M of that remaining salary.

All three deals involved two month rentals, which means we could see more rental players dealt in the coming days with the prices starting to be established. For the Pirates, it doesn’t look good if they want to acquire a rental player without giving up a big prospect. If they want to keep their top guys, they had better hope they can find a deal that is more like the Ichiro deal, and less like the Dempster or Sanchez deals.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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