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Twins get genuine prospect for Drew Butera

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Drew Butera
Drew Butera

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins completed the Drew Butera trade today, the Dodgers sending lefty Miguel Sulbaran to Minnesota. Although Sulbaran isn't an outstanding prospect, he's an interesting one, and getting anything at all for a 30-year-old catcher hitting .208 in Triple-A counts as a steal for the Twins. Here's a report.

Miguel Sulbaran, LHP: Sulbaran was signed by the Dodgers out of Venezuela in 2011. He debuted that summer with a fine performance in the Dominican Summer League, posting a 2.81 ERA with a 52/18 K/BB in 58 innings. Moved up to North America in 2012, he spent most of the summer with the Arizona Rookie League Dodgers, posting a 2.51 ERA with a 62/9 K/BB in 57 innings. He also made a trio of spot starts at higher levels.

Moved up to Great Lakes in the Low-A Midwest League for 2013, he's had a very good season with a 3.01 ERA and an 85/27 K/BB in 93 innings, with 89 hits allowed, being used as both a starter and reliever.

Sulbaran is a 5-10, 185-pound lefty born March 19, 1994. Despite his size, he has a good arm, boosting his fastball from the 86-88 range when he signed into the low-90s now. He has a curveball and slider, is working on a changeup, throws strikes, and has trained in the past with Pedro and Ramon Martinez. Thus far he's performed very well as a professional, and at age 19 he has plenty of development time ahead of him.

Short pitchers often generate skepticism, but so far Sulbaran looks pretty solid. He has a chance to make it as a fourth or fifth starter, and failing that he has enough arm strength and command to fit in a bullpen. That's a nice return for a journeyman like Butera.