Reaction To Yankees-Marlins Trade


When the Yankees announced that they had traded Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and pitching prospect Domingo German, I couldn’t figure out how I felt.

On one hand the Yankees traded one of their best players, Prado, who can play almost any position and be successful. However, they are bringing in two young power pitchers who’s best days may still be ahead of them. Not to mention a backup first baseman which they lacked in 2014.

Though it might be the unpopular opinion, I believe that the pros of the deal out way the cons and it’s a deal worth making in the long run, though it will benefit the Marlins in the more immediate future.

This was not known at the time of the trade, but the Marlins were set to trade third baseman Casey McGehee, who finished fourth in the National League in hits, to the Giants and needed to find new third baseman. Prado is the perfect solution and is likely an improvement.

In 2014, McGehee hit .287/.355/.357 with 4 home runs and 76 RBIs, but expecting him to put up similar numbers in 2015 might be unrealistic. His .335 BABIP was .087 points higher than the previous years mark (.248), which is a drastic improvement but could also indicate a certain amount of luck in terms of batted balls simply not being caught.

Adding to this conclusion is the fact that his line drive percentage only improved by 2.7%, which is good, but not enough to warrant the incredibly high BABIP. Also, over 50% of his hits last year were ground balls which could mean that a lot of them just happened to find holes and roll into the outfield.

Prado, on the other hand, consistently hits for a BABIP around .300 (.311 career mark) and is a .291/.340/.429 career hitter who hasn’t hit below 10 home runs since 2008. He is a safer bet in the field as well.

At third base, McGehee is erratic at best. His 2014 UZR sits at -1.6 and according to Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), he lost the Marlins two runs (-2.) Prado is a much more sure handed fielder.

Even though he has plays multiple positions Prado’s at his best while manning the hot corner. His UZR was 5.3 and he saved his teams (Diamondbacks and Yankees) 8 runs (using DRS as a measurement) in 2014.

Prado will be a huge asset to the Marlins immediately and Phelps will likely see a hike in his performance do to being in a more pitcher friendly ballpark in Miami and the less powerful offense of the NL East.

On the Yankees side of the trade, they are receiving a highly talented starter (Eovaldi) who has a ton of ability and could see an improvement in 2015.

Eovaldi’s stuff is electric as his average four-seam fastball speed is 95.5 MPH. He also features a two-seamer, a hard slider, and a decent curveball. He tries to throw a change-up, but gets shelled almost every time (opponents hit .385 against it in 2014.) Unfortunately, he didn’t have a great year in 2014 as he went 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. However, a better fielding team could help improve those numbers.

His main problem was hits as he gave up 223 of them in 199.2 innings pitched. However, that could’ve had something to do with a sub-par infield. According to DRS, every regular Marlins infielder had a DRS below zero. That certainly doesn’t help a pitcher who has a ground ball percentage of 44.8.

The Yankees infield defense is much better as none of the starting infielders (other than the second baseman as it’s unknown whether Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela will start and neither has a long enough track record) had a negative DRS. Two of them, Chase Headley (13) and Mark Teixeira (2), saved there team runs.

FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) evaluates a pitcher’s ERA based on outcomes that a pitcher can truly effect (strikeouts, walks, hit by pitch, and home runs.) Eovaldi’s FIP was a solid 3.37 in 2014.

The other players that were sent to the Yankees are first baseman Garrett Jones who crushes right handed pitching (career .267/.333/.479 with 101 home runs) and  pitching prospect Domingo German.

This deal should pat off for the Yankees, but it would be wise to stay patient.