On Wednesday afternoon Ken Rosenthal reported that Todd Frazier had been traded to the Chicago White Sox as part of a three-team deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 16, 2015
Here is a breakdown of the trade:
- The Chicago White Sox receive Todd Frazier
- The Los Angeles Dodgers receive Micah Johnson, Frankie Montas, and Trayce Thompson
- The Cincinnati Reds receive Jose Peraza, Brandon Dixon, and Scott Schebler
Outside of Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton, the White Sox struggled offensively in 2015. Frazier, who slumped down the stretch, is a major improvement to the middle of Chicago’s order. He is under contract for one more season ($7.5 million), and will have a remaining year of arbitration eligibility. Coupled with the addition of Brett Lawrie, the White Sox have overturned half of their starting infield this week. As it stands now their infield would consist of: Jose Abreu (1B), Brett Lawrie (2B), Alexi Ramirez (SS), and Todd Frazier (3B).
The Dodgers acquired three pieces from Chicago. Micah Johnson spent time at second base with the White Sox major league club this season. In 36 games he hit .230/.306/.270. Frankie Montas (#54 prospect in baseball by MLB.com) is a hard throwing 22 year old. In 7 games for the White Sox in 2015, his fastball averaged 96 MPH. Trayce Thompson, the brother of Warriors guard Klay, was the White Sox 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft. He too spent a little time at the major league level this season hitting .295/.363/.533.
In return for trading their star third basemen, the Reds received three prospects from the Dodgers. Jose Peraza (#24 prospect in baseball by MLB.com) spent the bulk of 2015 in AAA for both the Braves and Dodgers. Los Angeles acquired him as part of the deal that sent Hector Olivera to Atlanta. Over the course of 2015 Peraza hit .293/.316/.378 and stole 33 bases. Brandon Dixon, an outfielder, was the third round pick of the Dodgers in 2013. He spent time in High A and AA this year hitting .263/.303/.433. Scott Schebler was picked in the 26th round of the 2010 draft.
Early reactions seem to like this deal for the White Sox and Dodgers. Frazier adds an impact bat with two years of team control remaining. While Montas was a significant piece to part with, Chicago wasn’t required trade anyone who could contribute this season. Last off-season the White Sox made a number of moves that made it clear they were in win now mode. Their “stars and scrubs” approach didn’t work out last year, but the additions of Frazier and Lawrie could get them closer to .500. In MLB’s current playoff format, that gives you a puncher’s chance of stealing a playoff spot.
Clearly Montas was the major addition for the Dodgers. The Dodgers have been looking to upgrade their bullpen as evidenced by their recent attempt to acquire Aroldis Chapman. While Montas isn’t Chapman (nobody is), he could potentially be a nice late inning piece.
However, there are a lot of questions about this deal for the Reds. Frazier was expected to be a key chip that brought back building blocks. To that end this deal hinges on Peraza. As noted below by Jeff Passan, if he does not turn into a star then this could end up being a regrettable move for Cincinnati. While the Reds are in a position where they need to move some established pieces to build for the future, Cincinnati fans were likely hoping for more.
Here are a few reactions to the trade:
One evaluator: “If Jose Peraza isn’t a star the Reds got fleeced. I’m not sure Jose Peraza is a star.” Schebler a big leaguer, Dixon fringy.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 16, 2015
Frankie Montas best prospect moved in three way deal.and Dodgers get him not Reds? Has to be more to this deal…doesn’t make sense on surface
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 16, 2015
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instant reaction – a good, although tough, deal for #reds
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) December 16, 2015
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