The Trade grades are a set of values used to assign letter grades from A through F based on the quality and quantity of data provided by business analysts, economists and other financial professionals. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia: “The grade scale was developed in 1969.”
The “trade grades fantasy football” is a topic that is discussed in the fantasy football community. The trade grades are often used to evaluate players before making a trade.
The deal: The New York Yankees trade C Gary Sanchez and IF Gio Urshela to the Minnesota Twins for 3B Josh Donaldson, IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and C Ben Rortvedt.
Perhaps Sunday’s late-night deal between the Yankees and Twins won’t push March Madness brackets and Tom Brady’s comeback to the forefront of sports fans’ minds, but it was a shock and a headliner in its own right. It was also a little perplexing. Not in the sense of “what the hell are these teams doing?” but rather “whoa, there’s a lot going on there.”
This transaction has a lot of moving components, and we’ll start sorting them out with the assumption that some of the background of the trade is likely to remain hidden. Whatever happens, at the very least, we can start with this: It’s a classic old-fashioned baseball deal, with two clubs looking to improve for the next season and both transferring excellent veterans in a transaction that has a lot of implications for both teams’ squads.
Let’s see if we can figure this out.
Gary Sanchez was hitting.283/.353/.567 following his age-24 season, with 48 home runs and 121 RBI per 162 games played. He finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, made the All-Star team, won the Silver Slugger Award, and received a few MVP votes.
Then it all went bad, slowly at first, then quickly. Sanchez has hit.201/.299/.444 in the majors since 2017, and his defensive deficiencies have enraged Yankees fans. Balls were passed back and forth. The bases have been stolen. Pitches that are out of control. It’s probably better for everyone’s piece of mind that Sanchez has finally moved on at this point.
Still, someone needs to catch, and it’s uncertain how much of that issue will be addressed by the signing of Rortvedt, a 23-year-old second-year catcher who has garnered praise for his defensive abilities but doesn’t seem to be a major-league regular at the moment. He bats left-handed, but if the Yankees see enough in him, he might be the heavy hitter in a platoon with right-handed returnee Kyle Higashioka.
Urshela was a journeyman who landed in pinstripes and became a fan favorite at Yankee Stadium. However, his stats have dropped in each of the previous two seasons following a career year at the age of 27 in 2019. He’s also not the best option as an every-day defensive shortstop, which was his role on the Yankees’ depth chart before to the trade.
The Yankees have a bona fide elite defender in Kiner-Falefa, who was a Twin for all of one day after Minnesota traded for him on Saturday, to hold down shortstop for the next season or two until top prospects Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza take over. He’s also a former Gold Glover at third base and has seen action behind the plate in the majors.
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While Kiner-Falefa lacks Urshela’s power, he has an even greater ability to get the bat on the ball, which is crucial in the Yankees’ strikeout-prone offense. He’s not as likely as Urshela to make a big move to New York since he doesn’t smash the ball as hard. According to TruMedia, Kiner-WOBA Falefa’s was in the 11th percentile among the 209 qualified batters in baseball last season when he hit the ball in the air.
Kiner-Falefa adds pace to the mix as well. Last season, he stole 20 bases, which was the most among the Yankees. While he lacks star potential due to his below-average power, Kiner-endurance Falefa’s and comprehensive set of abilities are enough that his bWAR in 2021 (3.7) was the highest of the players in this trade.
Then there’s Donaldson, who comes to New York with elite power, a history of injuries, a fiery temper, and a lucrative contract. He’s more than a half-decade older than the other players in the trade, at 36. According to Cot’s Contracts, he’ll make $21.75 million in each of the following two seasons and has a club option with a high buyout for 2024. According to reports, the Bombers will be responsible for the whole contract.
To be honest, this seems like something the Yankees would have done in 1984, when you knew if an old, pricey slugger was available, New York would be first in line to get him. Donaldson, on the other hand, brings even more power to the New York lineup, and given Sanchez’s career track, Donaldson seems to be a better chance to really deliver on his power potential, even at 36. And he’ll do it while striking out fewer batters and walking a lot more.
If the Yankees can make the catcher position work, they will have added depth and flexibility to their lineup. They are faster and have a superior defense. Donaldson’s deal would be an issue for other clubs, but we’re not going to worry about the Yankees’ salary. This trade may not have boosted the Yankees’ bottom-line projections all that much, if at all, but I believe they now have a more versatile and balanced team, even if it still favors right-handed batters.
And the Yankees and their fans won’t have to deal with the screams to get Sanchez out of town any longer. No, now they have to deal with Donaldson and Gerrit Cole sharing a locker room.
A+ for the Yankees.
Despite all of the attention paid to the Yankees, the majority of my conversations with colleagues on this trade revolved around the Twins. What exactly are they attempting to accomplish? What’s more, what’s next? That final question may be the most intriguing of all, yet we have no way of knowing whether or not we are asking it correctly.
Since the lockout ended, Minnesota has been one of MLB’s more active clubs. It all started with a Saturday deal with Texas, in which catcher Mitch Garver was shipped to Texas in exchange for Kiner-Falefa and a prospect. The Twins then acquired Sonny Gray from the Reds for two prospects, including 18-year-old fireballer Chase Petty, early Sunday. Then there’s this. Derek Falvey, the Minnesota Twins’ general manager, is reportedly attempting to grab the title of baseball’s most frantic executive from Seattle’s Jerry DiPito.
It’s possible that there will be more. Minnesota might attempt to trade Sanchez, who is in his last year before becoming a free agent. However, they may be able to retain him. The Twins have a young backstop in Ryan Jeffers, who may be the starter, while Sanchez fills in and also gets time at DH, which may be his best position. After the losses of Garver and Rortvedt, Minnesota now needs to add depth to the position.
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The Twins’ near-term infield conundrum seems to be a lot more convoluted than it was before the trade, but not in a negative way. While Donaldson’s contract was significant, his departure does not imply that the Twins are abandoning their plan to rapidly recover from their poor 2021 season. We know this because the trade of Petty for Gray, a veteran, signals a squad that is desperate to win right now. So, how does this reorganization on the field help that cause?
We’ll have to wait and see.
Kiner-Falefa seemed to be a good fit for the Twins’ everyday shortstop position. He now seems to be a good fit for the Yankees’ everyday shortstop position. In the meanwhile, Minnesota’s past need for a starting shortstop has resurfaced. Urshela can take Donaldson’s place at third base, but the Twins may prefer him at shortstop. That’s good, but you’ll need a third baseman.
Not to mention Jorge Polanco, who blasted 33 home runs while largely playing second base last season, but also made 26 starts at shortstop, where he has a history of mediocre defensive stats. He’s started nine games at third base, but he hasn’t played the hot corner in six years. Finally, there’s bat-on-ball star Luis Arraez, who can play second or third base and can play all over the field.
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Plus, in Austin Martin, Royce Lewis, and Jose Miranda, the Twins have three near-ready prospects who have played infield. Martin’s fielding percentage at Double-A was under.900 last season, indicating that he either needs a lot more work or is on his way to center field, where he will play around half of the time in 2021.
Lewis has missed the previous two seasons due to injury, so the Twins aren’t going to put too much pressure on him if he impresses. Meanwhile, Miranda is of an age to break into the majors (he turns 24 this season), and after being promoted to Triple-A St. Paul in 2021, he hit.343/.397/.563 in 80 games. Nick Gordon, a perennial infield prospect, is still around.
Then there’s a third option to consider. The Twins have a very clean salary position this season and, more importantly, in the future, thanks to Donaldson’s departure. You may have also observed that some of the best free agency infielders are still looking for a new club. Just a thought.
The Twins’ roster for 2022 is still a work in progress. Moving Donaldson, on the other hand, provides them with a variety of options, all of which are intriguing and thrilling in some manner.
B+ for the twins
NFL trades are the most popular trade grades on the internet. These grades have been around for a while, and they provide a lot of information about how each team fared in their trades. Reference: nfl trades.
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