Huston Street was traded to the Los Angeles Angels tonight, as first reported by Jim Bowden. The deal is a six player move, and some parts are still unknown. What we do know is that Street and a minor leaguer will go to the Angels, while Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Jose Rondon, and one other minor leaguer will go to the Padres.
Lindsey came into the year as the top prospect in the Angels’ system, and was rated a top 100 prospect by Baseball America at number 93. I’m not sure where he would have ranked in the mid-season rankings, since those lists are rounded off at 50. Getting a top 100 prospect for a reliever is always a good value. R.J. Alvarez was rated the number four prospect for the Angels coming into the year, and projects as a future closer. Rondon was the number 12 prospect heading into the year, and has an upside of a utility player.
In these cases, you can’t exactly compare players based on team prospect rankings. The number one prospect for the Pirates is much more valuable than Lindsey. However, I think it would be fair to say that Alen Hanson is comparable value, as he’s a 51-100 ranked prospect, and a middle infielder like Lindsey. I’m not sure how Alvarez and Rondon would compare to prospects in the Pirates’ system. They don’t really have a dominant relief prospect like Alvarez, but they do have potential utility and bench players like Rondon. I’d say you’re probably talking about a prospect in the 15-20 range, and another prospect in the 21-30 range.
We don’t know what the final pieces of the deal are, but giving up a top 100 prospect for Street — in the Pirates’ case I think that would be Hanson — is not worth it for relievers. This is actually par for the course when trading relievers, and especially closers. These deals always get made, despite so much evidence showing that relievers aren’t worth this price.
The Pirates had checked on Street, but they seemed unlikely to be serious bidders for him. They’ve never made a move like this, so it was safe to say they never would make a move like this. I don’t think they ever should make this type of move. This is a deal that will probably look really bad for the Angels in the not too distant future, and good for the Padres, almost in the same way that the Melancon trade looked good for the Pirates right away. The Angels are a big market team that can make this type of move without ever thinking about Taylor Lindsey or anyone else they gave up. That’s not the case with a small market team like the Pirates, especially when the potential upside coming back is so small.