With the non-waiver trade deadline coming to a fast and furious close last night, I wanted to take a look back to see what kind of return teams received from last season's biggest trades. There were a lot of minor league players exchanging hands and it's interesting to see what kind of talent teams were giving up in barter for established veterans and short term rentals.
Milwaukee trades Greinke
One of the biggest deals of last July saw 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke move from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and Greinke proved to be an expensive rental piece for the Angels. The Angels fell off the pace in the second half of 2012 and cruised to a third place finish after the trade. Greinke was stellar in red and white however, earning a 6-2 record with a 3.53 ERA in 13 starts.
The Angels were unable to resign the free agent in the off season and lost him to the crosstown rival Dodgers. In return for the former Royal, the Angels gave up three players who are all providing quality returns for the Brewers from the major league level on down.
Jean Segura - A career .313 hitter in the minors, Segura has made the seamless transition to the majors this season, batting .317 with 12 home runs for the Brewers. Segura was rated the #55 prospect in the minors by Baseball America prior to the trade.
Johnny Hellweg - A former 16th round pick by Anaheim, Hellweg was putting up strong numbers in Double-A last year. This season Hellweg is having a dominant Triple-A with a 2.28 ERA while displaying a top notch curveball. The 24 year-old was given three major league starts early in July, but failed to impress with a 10.97 ERA.
Ariel Pena - Repeating Double-A after a slow finish last year, had a strong season prior to the trade with a 2.99 ERA and a 8.74 K/9. The 24 year-old has one of the best sliders in the Brewers system and has produced a 4.14 ERA through 21 games at Double-A Huntsville this season.
Cubs ship Dempster and Maholm
The Rangers were looking to bolster their rotation last July when they acquired Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. The Rangers finished the season with a chance to advance in the playoffs, but lost out on the inaugural Wild Card playoff game to the Baltimore Orioles. Dempster went 7-3 in his 12 starts for the Rangers, but produced a lofty 5.09 ERA in the process. In return the Cubs received a couple of solid prospects.
The Cubs continued to clean house as they also sent Paul Maholm to the Braves for a possible future No. 1 starter. Maholm has been a solid No. 5 starter in the Braves rotation, but went on the disabled list on July 22nd and was replaced by phenom Alex Wood.
Arodys Vizcaino - Has made Baseball America's Top 100 list for four consecutive seasons. Originally part a deal which brought Javier Lopez to the Braves in exchange for Melky Cabrera. Vizcaino underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2012 and then arthroscopic surgery in May of this year to clean out a calcium build up. Is not expected to pitch again until 2014.
Christian Villanueva - A solid defensive third baseman who shows some pop, the 22 year-old has struggled to make contact at the Double-A level. Batting just .263 with 14 home runs, the Mexico native has nearly exceeded 100 strikeouts thus far in the season.
Kyle Hendricks - Has been stellar in his first full season of Double-A, pitching a 1.87 ERA with a 7-3 record in 20 starts. The California native has ratcheted up his ground ball rate this year to limit the number of hits, while still maintaining a decent strikeout rate of 7.3 K/9.
Phillies deal Pence
The San Francisco Giants were looking for the final piece of the puzzle in a push for their 2012 World Series run. Hunter Pence was acquired to add punch to their outfield and while his output was well below average, he did create this magical gif moment while hitting .286 in the World Series. In return the Phillies received Nate Schierholtz and two prospects who haven't been impressive in their initial year in Philadelphia's system.
Tommy Joseph - A catching prospect with a clearer path to the majors now that he isn't behind the 26 year-old Buster Posey. The Arizona native is a strong defensive catcher with some serious home run power. This year Joseph has been hampered by injuries which have landed him on the disabled list three separate times.
Seth Rosin - Showed some serious strikeout potential in High-A last year, has since fallen off with his promotion to Double-A Reading. The 24 year-old has maintained a 4.34 ERA in 21 starts and a 6.4 K/9 this season.