TODAY: Cincinnati will pick up infielder Josh VanMeter from the Padres in the trade for Torrens, per club announcements. The 21-year-old struggled after a promotion to Double-A last year, but earned that bump up with a strong .267/.355/.443 batting line over 401 High-A plate appearances. Notably, he ended up hitting 14 total home runs in 2016 — a rather significant tally for a player who had hit just three total long balls as a professional coming into the year.
YESTERDAY: The Padres will acquire the top two Rule 5 Draft picks, righty Miguel Diaz (in a trade with the Twins) and catcher Luis Torrens (in a trade with the Reds), MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes (Twitter links). (Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper tweeted that the Reds would trade Torrens to San Diego.) The Padres already had the third Rule 5 pick and used it to select infielder Allen Cordoba, so it appears they’ve ended up with the first three Rule 5 picks.
The Reds will receive a player to be named and cash from the Padres. The Twins will receive a player to be named or cash, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune tweets, and they’ll also get Rule 5 pick Justin Haley, who the Padres had previously acquired from the Angels. Diaz and Torrens were previously with the Brewers and Yankees, respectively. Haley had been with the Red Sox.
That’s all incredibly confusing, so here’s a different way of representing where each player went this morning:
Diaz: Brewers –> Twins –> Padres
Torrens: Yankees –> Reds –> Padres
Haley: Red Sox –> Angels –> Padres –> Twins
The 22-year-old Diaz ranked 21st on MLB.com’s list of the Brewers’ top prospects. He throws in the mid-90s from a three-quarters arm slot, and he has the makings of a good slider, according to MLB.com. He’s a bit small, at 6’1″ and 175 pounds, and he’s had elbow trouble in the past. He fared well for Class A Wisconsin in 2016, however, with a 3.71 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 94 2/3 innings.
Torrens, 20, ranked as the Yankees’ 17th-best prospect. The Yankees signed him out of Venezuela for $1.3MM in 2012. He hasn’t hit much, batting .250/.350/.337 in the lower levels in 2016, and his experience is limited, due to shoulder troubles that cost him much of 2014 and all of 2015, but MLB.com praises his work behind the plate. He seems hard-pressed to stick in the Majors all season, but perhaps it’s not out of the question he could make the Padres out of Spring Training as Austin Hedges’ backup.