Two Guys Talking Trades – Frazier Deal and Mental Gymnastics

7-26-21 – By Justin Verno

Sunday afternoon, while I attended the Graduation Party for my niece, Congratulations Olivia big things are ahead for you, the Pirates made their first trade of the deadline moving Adam Frazier to the Padres. I’ll get to the return soon enough, but first I want to talk about mental gymnastics. 

Mental Gymnastics- Inventive, complex arguments used to justify unjustifiable decisions or situations.

Remember this term because I’m about to use some.  Joe and I made a choice to use only Fangraphs values while building these trade values and packages and there are reasons for this. Fangraphs has a live board (comparatively) It consistently seems ahead of the competition in it’s process. It better defines how it got to the evaluation of the  prospects.  It’s just more thorough. But in order for me to justify the return Cherington got for Adam Frazier I have to exercise mental gymnastics.

Bear with me here. If we step out of our comfort zone and quickly look at MLBPipeline, this is a good trade as the main piece has a 50 grade. The same prospect on Fangraphs has a 40+ grade, and I just agree with this grade more for a few reasons. I will lay out soon enough, but there are reasons to like Tucupita Marcano, and if we use mental gymnastics we can get there. He has excellent discipline at the plate, waking more than he strikes out. He has a frame that suggests power could develop. He plays multiple positions to the point some Bucco fans have compared him to Adam Frazier. The thing is the power hasn’t developed. Despite that plate discipline his slash line isn’t particularly scintillating coming in at 278/356/361. His best season he had a 366/450/438 slash line between Rk and A- ball. The pirates will need more of that to justify this move. 

But there is good news there, he’s young. He is 21 and has 50 PA in the majors. Adam Frazier slashed 295/358/365 in the minors but it’s extremely important to note he was 21-24 years old to Morcano’s 17-21.

Now On to the Values

Tucupita Marcano–Utility–ETA-ASAP– 40+ FV ($4M)

Incredible discipline at the plate. Has the frame to develop a little power and we may be  seeing some of that now as he has 6 HR in 199 trips to the plate. 

Jack Suwinski–OF/DH–ETA:2023–35+ FV ($1M)

I will keep this short and sweet. Possible that Jack found that big adjustment as the power has been special so far in AA. 15 HR, 8 2B and 4 trip, trip triples. Cross your fingers on this one!

Michell Miliano-MiRP–ETA: 2023–35+ ($0M)

2 pitch mix with  a promising fastball and curveball with a 55 FV and 60 FV, respectively.

A front office deserves a pat on the back when they hit a homerun, no doubt. They also deserve to be called out when they come up short. Getting a 5 million $ return on 16 million of surplus is in the later category. The clear upside and helium prospects we’ve seen in all of this front office’s previous moves just aren’t present here. That’s not to say these guys won’t pan out, there’s a reason I sit where I sit and Cherington sits where he sits. But on the surface and using surplus values this package seems well shy of what we thought Cherington should get, and please keep in mind we never thought a 50 FV prospect was in the cards for Adam Frazier’s return. We didn’t “shoot for the moon” here. The only word I can use is disappointed. 

Parting Shots

A few extra points here. Gary pointed out that Cherington had asked for Marcano in the Musgrove trade so it’s evident that BC and his staff really like this kid. Also evident in pulling the trigger 5 days before the 4 PM deadline on Friday.  1.4 million. That was the price tag on the remainder of Frazier’s contract this year. Important to note the Bucs are picking that up, and they did so in order to get a better return, so they must really love Marcano. It’s worth noting because the Bucs were willing to “buy” a prospect, hopefully we see more of that.

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