Huston Street Traded to the Angels; Shows Overpriced Market For Closers

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.

  • I think this is a good trade for the Angels, they can replace these prospects via Free Agency. They have one of the best records in baseball and they are going for a championship now, which makes perfect sense.

    How much longer are the Pirates going to wait? It’s been 35 years since there last World Series appearance! I keep hearing the refrain that Pittsburgh is a small market so they cannot afford to be active in free agency. I understand that they cannot spend with New York or LA but there are other areas in the US that are the same or similar size. Cincinnati, Denver, St. Louis, Cleveland, KC, Milwaukee are all cities with roughly the same population, yet they all (for the most part) spend more on their teams than the Pirates.

    What does a balance sheet on the Pirates (or Nutting) look like? I don’t think there is a lot of motivation to improve the team if they can fill the stadium by teasing the populace into believing they have a chance.

  • Good trade for the Angels, they needed a top of the line closer and they got one. The Angels won’t go into the off season putting a team together from their farm, they will go into the off season buying players, so giving up prospects that are not even ranked that high was a good deal. If I were the Pirates and I could get Street for players that were this poorly ranked and would never make my parent club, I make that trade any day. I would give up Hanson for Street any day, think about it, what better talent could Hanson bring?

    • Uhhh….I wouldn’t. Trading a hitting prospect like Hanson for any reliever like Street would be a big overpay.

  • Agree completely!!!

  • Even a straight up hanson 4 street deal would have been terrible for the Pirates IMO.
    Good 4 the 2 teams involved , just glad NH wasn’t stupid enough to do that deal .
    But I’m sure the Huntington is too Cheap! We need to go All-In! crowd will have another rallying cry

  • Small market team with the tenth richest owner in baseball.

  • Would have been a horrible deal for the Bucs but given that the Angels have a horrible back end of the bullpen, an owner who is willing to spend what ever it takes. This deal is great for the Angels. I say its a smart move for the Padres a good trade fr the Angels. If the same trade happened with the Bucs given our financial constraints and our quality back end relievers, I would say it would be a horrible trade for us.