Here are a few of Keith Law of ESPN’s takes on some of Wednesday’s key transactions. Law’s articles are Insider-only and contain significantly more detail that we’ll present here. We highly recommend subscribing.
- The trade for Neil Walker was a good one for the Mets, although Law is puzzled by the team’s addition of Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera’s deal would make sense if he were a second baseman, but with Walker in the fold, Cabrera will play shortstop, a position he can no longer play well. The Walker trade reflects the Mets’ skepticism that Dilson Herrera can take over second base next season, but Walker is a consistently solid player, and the Mets only gave up Jon Niese, who didn’t figure to play an important role for them going forward. Niese will allow the Pirates to move top prospect Tyler Glasnow along slowly, although Law notes that Niese’s lack of strikeout ability makes him a back-end starter and writes that Niese will have to improve next season to justify the Bucs picking up the first of his two options.
- In Ken Giles, the Astros got a strikeout reliever who will be a good addition to a bullpen that did register enough Ks in 2015, Law writes. They’ll also get five years of control, making Giles a valuable asset. The Phillies, however, did get plenty in return, including Vincent Velasquez, who Law thinks can stick as a starter, and Brett Oberholtzer, a back-of-the-rotation lefty who can soak up innings as the Phillies continue their rebuild.
- Adam Lind isn’t much of a defensive first baseman, Law writes, but for the Mariners, he’s still an upgrade over the recently traded Mark Trumbo. Platooning the left-handed Lind with the right-handed Jesus Montero would be a good plan, Law suggests. The Brewers, meanwhile, got three young pitchers who are possible future relievers. None of them are outstanding talents, but Milwaukee did well to get something in return for a player they didn’t really need in 2016.