In a rare prospects-only swap, the Indians announced Tuesday that they have acquired minor league outfielder Oscar Mercado from the Cardinals in exchange for another pair of minor league outfielders: Conner Capel and Jhon Torres.
The acquisition of Mercado is an interesting one for the Indians, who spent much of the week leading up to the deadline seeking outfield upgrades but ultimately swung only a minor deal to acquire veteran Leonys Martin from the division-rival Tigers, While Martin can serve as a useful platoon partner for fellow veteran Rajai Davis, the addition of Mercado gives the Indians an advanced prospect capable of playing all three outfield spots who isn’t that far from MLB readiness.
Mercado, 23, has spent the season performing well with the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis. Through 427 trips to the plate, he’s batted .285/.351/.408 with eight homers, 21 doubles, a triple and a hefty 31 stolen bases (in 39 attempts). He was the No. 10 prospect in the Cardinals’ system on MLB.com’s midseason update, slotting in behind newly acquired Justin Williams (acquired earlier today in the Cardinals’ Tommy Pham trade with Tampa Bay). MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo note that the converted infielder is a plus runner with a plus arm who profiles as a plus defender and “looks like he was meant to roam the outfield.”
It’s a somewhat puzzling move for the Cardinals, who will receive a pair of lesser-regarded outfielders in return — albeit two that won’t have to be added to the 40-man roster this winter, thus giving the Redbirds a bit of flexibility in that regard. Capel is the higher-profile of the two, at least per prospect rankings (link to MLB.com, Fangraphs), though he’s not as well regarded as Mercado.
The 21-year-old Capel has spent the season in Class-A Advanced, where he’s posted a .261/.355/.388 slash with strong plate discipline despite facing older competition (12.8 percent walk rate vs. 18.8 percent strikeout rate). Reports on him praise his above-average power and speed, with MLB.com suggesting he has the potential to stick in center while Fangraphs pegs him as a corner bat with the ability to hit.
Torres is 18 years of age and has yet to progress beyond the Indians’ Rookie-level affiliate. He’s hitting .273/.351/.424 with four homers in 111 plate appearances thus far in short-season ball but generally hasn’t been regarded among Cleveland’s best prospects.
Robert Murray of The Athletic first reported the deal (on Twitter).
Why the heck would we trade mercado? Guys got excellent talent, probably more than the William’s kid we got from Tampa. Mercado currently has 9 Homer’s and 24 stolen bases I think, batting 285
8 and 31, I mean
Remember when mariner fans couldn’t understand trading Tyler O’Neil for Marco Gonzalez. Worst trade ever some said, and now Marco is their number 2 pitcher behind Paxton and has been reliable all year. Computer screen fans only see stats and rankings, not many see talent on the field like team scouts do
It’s not “computer screen fans” its “fans brainwashed by mlb network into putting way more emphasis on prospect ranking lists, when its absolutely ridiculous to put a number on the odds of a baseball player who in the future, how good he will be at baseball”.
They’re wrong constantly, too. You are right in that prospects really are a more visual than numbers thing, and way too often to prospects put up completely opposite stats after switching over the bigs, but saying a player is “ranked #32” is just so impossible to categorically claim, we really need to not care as much. Use number grades on skills – they have more weight to them – but the lists gotta go.
I great example of this is Jose Ramirez. MVP candidate in the AL and never cracked the Indians top ten prospect rankings.
Paul DeJong is a good example….he was second in rookie of the year voting and was never mentioned or cracked the list
Because of the 40 man roster slots. Mercado required one, the team has a major roster crunch coming this winter. It’ll be a lot easier if they can move some guys around and get similar value. Capel is currently mid-season ranked the Cards number 10, the same slot that Merchado was in.
What the what?!?
Do not understand at all
Also we trade mercado but not norris? And goold says they wont request waivers on him to possibly trade later? Wtf
He wants to stay in St. Louis. Hes done well here and trading him they would have to sign someone else in the offseason. The middling prospects wouldn’t have amounted to much. At least that’s my theory.
Quit listening to Goold. He has no clue bout baseball. He’s a kiss ass in St. Louis
The bullpen is full of rookies and a brand new Chasen Streve. It’s smart to keep a vet down there.
Cardinals are loaded with right hand hitters in majors and minors. Both Williams and Capel are very good prospects who can both play good defense and hit some as we. By the way both bat left handed!
Will all of these minor leaguers add up to an impact bat before this is all over???
It’s over already.
Be quiet Cardinals17 you have no clue and you are not a cardinals fan just a troll
I give up. I’m just confused at this point. None of these moves make sense. Cards trade Pham but keep Norris and J Martinez. And now we trade Mercado for what reason? MO is gonna have to answer to this one. Just puzzling and disappointing.
Martinez is a DH guy in the wrong league. Limited value plus you’ve seen his defense
Where does Mercado have a spot to play? Ozuna, fowler, O’Neil, Bader, Arozarena all ahead of him
Your a smart baseball guy. Much more than I can say for these so called baseball fans on. here that don’t know what they’re talking about
Everyone thinks they’re GMs because they look at BA top 30 list for each team. People are annoying
I don’t claim to be a GM, but when the GM of the cardinals makes questionable moves with no clear direction of what they are doing, I feel like fans are allowed to express these kind of opinions justificably. When Pham went, I figured it would signal that the cardinals had a clear move of selling, but then they moved no one else. They left everyone more confused than ever. Are we building for the future or not? That remains to be seen…
They traded Pham because they have two other players that are better and need to play…they traded Mercado because he has no where to go and they need to clear up roster spots for the offseason…does that make sense?
You can add Adolis Garcia, but Mercado is the most polished of all. Plus the Cards have announced that O’Neill will play center field. This just in, he can’t!
Not sure I’d ever bet against Tyler O’Neil
They have not announced that. He’s playing tonight. That’s all.
Uh, check the starting line-ups. It’s OK I had to check it myself. So much for defense. Flaherty better strike out 15.
You ask where he has a spot to play behind all these other outfielders but he was literally traded for two additional outfielders. We just cluttered things again in the outfield. Bad trade. Only benefit is getting the lefty. But Mercado was still a decent prospect. They could have gone another direction, if trading him at all.
Two outfitters in single A and rookie ball. Mercado was in triple A ready to go to the Show. This does not clutter the upper levels
Also, who said anyone even had an offer on Jose Martinez? I feel Not much market for Dh only
Simple. Cards do not want to win World Series. Cost too much. Believe me they don’t care. Moves they made prove this
I think it’s more that they are aware that trying this year, with this team, especially with who was on the market, is asinine. It makes much more sense to hold over for next year.
Pham should have been traded the beginning of the year when he was hot we would have gotten more out of it.
Couldn’t they at least trade for an infielder?
Cardinals are making completely un needed trades that make no sense. Tuivailala for Elledge, Voit for Gallegos and Shreve, Pham for Williams and 2 pitchers that I’ve never heard of, and now Mercado for two players I’ve never heard of. Mozeliak needs fired or start making trades that make sense
Just because you haven’t heard of them doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable?
Just because YOU don’t understand them, doesn’t mean the don’t make sense in a much grander vision than you are privy to.
WHY? He seems to have an average bat, but is a plus arm plus defender. That’s what the Cards need, better defense.
The second Jhon traded today.
Mo, as in Moron!
Mo needs to stay off the drugs next deadline
Mo isn’t the GM
Yes but he’s the one telling gircsh what to do.
But Mo calls the shots as president of baseball operations. Michael Girsch is his current and last fall guy before Mozeliak is given all of the blame for the Cardinals demise. The organization has put blame on everyone else and fired them because of Mozeliak’s inefficiency. Michael Girsch…..Beware!! The organization will be blaming you for all of these lackadaisical trades which make absolutely no sense. Unless you are senile!!!
You’re very spoiled.
Capel and Torres are A and rookie league players respectively. Odd. It does open another spot on the 40 man roster.
Yes. Plus it restocks the lower levels of the minors. Mercado was essentially blocked, 24 years old, and on the 40 man roster.
Another Cleveland trade that will probably go south. Masterson II.
Mercado was one of our best defenders up the middle. Not to mention could hit and steal a base, will do good things in Cleveland. We get hot garbage for him. At least Sierra, who I think was worse, helped get ozuna
Yeah because cle is so bad at trading… smh
It’s the opposite, its Cleveland wins pretty much every trade with st louis.
Cleveland flipped two middle of the road prospects for one higher ceiling guy…I’ll take it every time. Nice job Tribe!
How about the Trade that sent Ludwick to the Padres Westbrook to the Cardinals and Klubber to the Indians? At least the Cards didn’t give him up. Man the Padres love to give away players…Rizzo.
Rizzo for Cashner was no sure-thing. Go back and check your numbers. Cashner was coming off a nice season and Rizzo had flubbed thus far.
It was a great trade for them and the Indians should try him in center immediately
He’s not ready for major league pitching just yet…he’d be in so far over his head he’d look like Greg Allen out there.
And you’ve seen mercado how many times?
Uh, how many hits did Greg Allen get last night? And how many times did he score?
Enough to know the same as the scouts and organizations baseball people know, he belongs in the minors at this time.
Kudos, a nice night for him to go along with all those other nights he’s scuffling at the plate. You really love your AAAA singles hitters.
PS: three hits bumped his average up to .224 and slugging % up to a robust .299. He sure is deadly with a bat in his hand.
I thought Bud of Redbirds was a bully and a cancer that Matheny let run wild. Has he apologized/reformed?
Apologized for what? Holding a 21 year-old accountable for an issue that he was sent to the minors for? Every player that was talked to about this said that what Bud was doing was absolutely O.K.
Pirates are acquiring impact MLB players. Brewers are acquiring MLB impact Players. The Cubs are picking up MLB quality impact players. What the heck are the Cardinals doing??? Will all of these minor leaguers result in a quality impact bat for the Cardinals???? With a Mozeliak in charge……I’m sorry….but I just don’t have any confidence in his abilities. While I’ve got hope, it just looks like more backward steps by Mozeliak. I think tanking is the word if he doesn’t trade these young guys for an impact player!!!!
LOL! Pirates listed as the 1st team you mention as acquiring impact players. Is that a sign of the Apocalypse??
maybe the Pirates are foolish?
Can we please bring Walt Jocketty back.
not only is mo tanking in the majors, he’s tanking in the minors too
Well why not add more outfielders to an already overcrowded situation. *eye roll*
They traded a guy that was almost ready, but blocked for 2 guys they don’t have to put on the 40 man. The outfield is less crowded.
Shades of Chris Perez for Mark DeRosa…
Let’s see if I get this right.
Cards trade Pham. Cards trade a good prospect. A very good one.
Milw needs SP SP but gets a buster infielder 2nd baseman which spot is already taken by a guy who moved over because Milw traded for a 3rd baseman they didn’t need either. . So now they have 5 infielders to go with their outfielders. Ok I get it. Lol
Pitt gets Archer because they want to get better and look to the future which is why they dumbed dead weight and had the balls to do it.
Ok I got it.
Lol. I don’t understand it. But I got it. Sad
Lol ha ha yes sir fine group of men.
I guess I’ll like this trade, since Cards fans don’t.
Good player the Indians got today. Just last year figured it out after switching positions, has kept improving ever since.
Everyone always over values your own prospects and undervalues anything you would get in return.
Cardinals trade their #10 prospect OF Oscar Mercado to Cleveland for #9 RHP Lenny Torres and #14 OF Conner Capel. Torres is a 17 year old that was just drafted at #41. But if you ask Cardinals fans, they got screwed!!
Umm, except it’s not Lenny Torres, but Jhon Torres. This move doesn’t make much sense for STL, but I like it as a Royals’ fan:)
If it were Lenny, Cards fans would not be mad at all. But it’s a kid not inside the Indians top 30. Even the MLB writers are confused by the Cards trading for lesser talent. Only because it opens up a 40 man roster spot and gives us another LH hitter. But what gets me is why we keep trading for more OF when in the offseason Mozaliek said we had too many good OFs and were creating a log jam. So we get rid of 2 and acquire 4…. ok
Cards have a lot of RH hitting OFers. That is probably why they were willing to move Mercado for lower level guys. Capel is a lefty that looks like he is going to be a pretty good all around hitter. He has some pop and can run a bit. The key for Capel is being able to stick as a CF. I don’t know much about Torres.
It’s ok. I hear Whitey Herzog is waiting in the wings to make it all right. He’s got Joaquin Andujar with him
I think Mercado would’ve been Rule 5 eligible if he wasn’t on the 40-man, and with Ozuna/Fowler/Bader/O’Neill practical locks to be on the active roster next season, maybe they didn’t think they’d have the 40-man space to protect Mercado, so they flipped him rather than lose him to the Padres.
agreed….even the part about the padres picking up ANOTHER stl rule 5 guy
Mercado was already on the 40-man, just not ready to make his MLB debut. The Cardinals have a ton of outfielders who are just about ready. They had to trade at least one of them. (They could still trade a couple more before next season.)
Trading Mercado allowed them to clear up a spot on the 40-man (probably for Adolis Garcia) and get *two* much younger players who are further away.
Hey Mo, what’s that white stuff on your nostrils?
Are you implying that cocaine makes you make trades? Because it really just makes you awesome.
Mo isn’t the GM
The ghost of Oscar Taveras at work again.
As A Tribe Fan…..Sounds Good to Me…..but a #41 prospect I’m sure has some value…..
All these armchair GM’s need to cool it. Mo/Girsch are finally tired of being stuck in the middle of the pack. This mini sell-off serves to clear 40 man spots for this offseason and stock up on what they probably view as undervalued prospects. Cardinal fans have been belly aching for the last 3 years about how something needs to change, and now that moves are being made everyone is claiming the FO doesn’t know what they’re doing.
They don’t TBH
You can add Adolis Garcia, but Mercado is the most polished of all. Plus the Cards have announced that O’Neill will play center field. This just in, he can’t!
Clearing the OF for Harper and Trout 🙂
Those freaking out here….the Cards have a 40 man roster crunch. Merchado required a spot, and this winter a lot more prospects will need to be added. Merhado would potentially be exposed for free.
Exactly. He would’ve gone to San Diego for nothing.
Would be no surprise if the Cards player development helps Williams to become a solid regular. Odd moves from outside looking in.
I’m not a pro scout or anything, but he has big league power but hits every thing into the ground. I wonder if the Cards can get him into a new hitting position if he would see 30 homer power.
Another lackluster trade deadline has come and gone for the Cards…. Thanks Mo.
What would you have preferred he do?
Sell every thing?
They did a good job of re-tooling while still having a shot at a wild card, and still having a good roster for next year (along with payroll flexibility).
Terrible move by the Cardinals
Not a Cardinal fan and really don’t pay much attention to the big leagues, mainly only follow the minors. I will say I absolutely love Genesis Cabrera.. That young fella is going to be a fantastic pick-up.. You will like that trade in 3-4yrs down the road.
Yeah, our best minor league blogger has been raving about Cabrera since digging into his stats and video the past 24 hours.
Pham is a pretty good player if healthy. His eye condition is constantly changing and I think it causes a lot more problems than he lets on. I hope he does well in Tampa.
Why in the world would the Cardinals trade Mecada??? He could have started for them next season. Mozeliak moves always bring big question marks. Over the past 4 years, it seems he’s lost his mind. Then when trying to explain anything, he touches on everything except the questions ask.