Salary dump or building blocks? Prospect expert analyzes Marlins' Gordon trade haul
Chris Crawford, a prospect expert for Rotoworld, tells us about players the Marlins got for Gordon
While Gordon looks to transition to center field for the Mariners, we decided to evaluate the Marlins' return -- Nick Neidert, Christopher Torres, and Robert Dugger -- by asking Rotoworld prospect expert Christopher Crawford for his insight. Remember to follow Crawford on Twitter.
Would you say the Marlins got a legit return for Gordon, or was this a salary dump?
I would say that it's closer to a salary dump than a legit return, but it's definitely somewhere in the middle. When healthy, Gordon has shown the ability to be one of the better contact hitters in baseball, and he still has the speed to be among the league leaders in steals. Getting two of the Mariners' best prospects is certainly a positive, but when you consider that Seattle still has one of the worst groups in the sport, it isn't saying quite as much as that should.
What's Nick Neidert's long-term outlook?
Neidert is a starter, and should be a good one. He has a plus change -- some have given it plus-plus grades -- and he pounds the zone with four unique pitches that he commands as well as throwing them for strikes. The question is going to be if his 88-92 mph fastball can play up with the change, and if either breaking ball is good enough to miss bats. If it is, he's a three. If not, he's a four, but a good, reliable four.
Can Christopher Torres be the Marlins' shortstop of the future?
Defensively, I don't think there's any question Torres can. His actions are excellent, and he has the athleticism and arm strength to be a real asset in the field. Offensively, there's some question marks here. There's very little power, and there's significant contact issues. He does have good speed, however, and with some mechanical adjustments he might make enough contact to have a 50-grade hit tool. He's definitely interesting, but risky.
Is Robert Dugger a name to keep in mind?
If only because he pitched well in 2017. It's almost all based on deception rather than stuff, but he did put up quality numbers at two levels, and he showed some versatility by pitching out of the bullpen and starting. It'd be a major surprise if he's anything more than a 12th man on a staff.
Do the Mariners have any prospect pieces left to make more moves?
I think so, yes. The issue is how interested teams are going to be in the remaining pieces. Kyle Lewis is immensely talented, but has serious knee issues. Evan White and Sam Carlson are both 2017 draft picks, and there's not much track record there as of yet. There's some other depth pieces, but in order to get another big time player, a team is going to have to bet big on Lewis.
So, there you have it. The Marlins didn't just give away Gordon. They did get a potential mid-rotation starter and perhaps a little more in return. Obviously the money saved was the main draw for the Fish -- consider the nonstop rumors about their desire to shed payroll -- but they could've done worse here, all things considered. Many thanks to Crawford for taking the time to share his expertise.
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