In the first 2 parts I covered a few prospects each from the Angels, Blue Jays, Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, Orioles and Mariners. Today we go all NL. Each of these three teams have the depth to make the trades they are rumored to be interested in.
Cardinals - Yesterday our sister site Viva el Birdos, who cover the Cardinals, and not the exciting sport of Spanish Pigeon Racing, posted a piece yesterday on trading for Lee. It was pretty exhaustive, but I'm focusing on the end where they talk cost. They immediately exclude Taveras and Martinez, which is fair. Ruben should ask for them and Mozeliak should say no (if Mozeliak did say yes, I would assume it's because of injury concerns with Taveras and I'd personally be a bit wary). So, who is there beyond them? Their top OF prospect beyond Taveras is Stephen Piscotty a Stanford product with some classic Stanford plus/minus issues. On the plus side, he's really patient rocking a 10.5% K rate and 7.4% BB rate for his Minor League career. He has good bat control and makes consistent contact. On the minus side, like Many stanford products he was coached to make contact and put the ball in play above all else. They coach a line drive swing and not selling out for power, as a result, the power profile for Piscotty is not great, he's got a career .152 ISO, which, if he can maintain that in the Majors, would be adequate, but not star level production.Sickels is higher on his power potential than I am, but I have a bias against Stanford hitters to consider. Randall Grichuk is a guy with above average power and not particularly good pitch recognition or plate discipline. He's still young and showing really good power which could develop further. His approach could also improve, but you don't see that often. A better name would be James Ramsey, a Florida State product who plays Right Field and has seen steady improvement in his power. Plate Discipline is good and pitch recognition seems good. Great reports on work ethic and dedication to improving. He's 24 and hitting in Double-A so I won't blame anyone for some skepticism. I think of him as a slightly older, smaller Kelly Dugan. On the mound, you could target local product Rob Kaminsky who is performing well in full season Low-A. His GB rate is higher than you'd expect for a Pitcher under 6 feet tall and his K and BB rates are both good. He'd come with the usual short pitcher caveats and risks though. Nick Petree is a good control Pitcher, but Righties with 89 mph Fastballs don't often succeed at higher levels.
Giants - The Giants have been rumored to be looking Reliever or possibly Byrd. Given that, I'll immediately get rid of Kyle Crick whose stuff is too good for that type of trade. You may still be able to get Edwin Escobar, a LEfty who mixes 3 pitches well, he has a mid-rotation ceiling and a back of the rotation floor. He'd probably be the big win if you could get him in a trade like this. I'm a fan of Andrew Susac. I know the last Catcher trade with the Giants hasn't gone well, but Susac's a good, patient hitter who defends pretty well. He doesn't have the power of ToJo, but he's a good contact hitter with nice patience. Clayton Blackburn could be a nice innings eater (as well as anything else he can get his hands on, har-har), back of the rotation type. Joe Panik is a great name, but only a decent utility player. Good contact profile though. Keury Mella would be a great risk pick. Pretty good control, with good stuff. Great ground ball profile. The Giants have a ton of prospects who could fit here and I can't cover all of them. Suffice it to say, a trade could work here, if the Giants were so inclined.
Pirates - Another system with lots of depth to trade from. The Pirates were rumored for Byrd (seems unlikely to me, but, well, rumors) and for a Starter along the lines of Kendrick or Burnett. For either scenario, there's a lot of depth. We can immediately eliminate a bunch of guys, as they aren't giving up Taillon (Tommy John or not, they aren't going to sell that low on him), Glasnow, Meadows, Polanco or Bell for a 2 month rental or a player in his mid-30's. I kind of like Alen Hanson as a Second Base prospect (currently playing Short, but defense is iffy). Decent power, good speed, questionable approach. He's got some warts on his game, but you can't expect too much when you're trading what we would be. Good risk. Harold Ramirez would be a nice young OF to take a risk on. He has the speed to play Center and good contact skills. His approach isn't great and his contact is a bit weak, he's young for the level and scouting reports are better than his numbers right now, at least 3 years from Majors beyond 2014, so quite a good bit of risk to gamble on. JaCoby Jones is a big Shortstop with power to spare and above average to Plus speed, His defense is spotty, his approach is bordeline, there were rumblings of off-field issues around the time of the draft last year and despite his speed he's not a great baserunner. A switch to Second is possible, but the ceiling is absurd. Might not be able to pry him away in this trade scenario, but would be a really nice grab, if they could.
The key to remember is each of these systems is deep if you want to take a risk on Low-A players. If any of these trades happen, it's possible I didn't profile any of the pieces moved. My goal here was to give a peek at what might be available to help people determine if they like the idea or not. Aside from Hamels to the Yankees insanity, I think any of these could happen and I could be happy with the return.