Last night the Seattle Mariners and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed the Arquimedes Caminero trade, with Seattle sending minor league pitchers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez to the Bucs. Let's take a look at what they offer.
Jake Brentz, LHP: Brentz was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round in 2013 from high school in St. Louis, Missouri. He was committed to his home state Missouri Tigers for college and could have been drafted as high as the second round if his signability had been more clear, but the Jays were able to get him under contract with an overslot $700,000 bonus. The Mariners acquired him in the July 2015 Mark Lowe trade. This year he has a 5.32 ERA in 46 innings between the Northwest League, the Midwest League, and two quick bullpen outings in Triple-A, posting a 50/36 K/BB.
Brentz is a 6-2, 195 pound left-handed hitter and thrower born September 15, 1994. He's been clocked as high as 96 MPH but doesn't always maintain his peak velocities. Both his breaking ball and change-up need further development, as does his overall sense of command and control. He's a fine overall athlete and was also a hot prospect as a hitter in high school. Brentz is still a raw talent and his progress has been slow, but there's plenty of physical upside.
Pedro Vasquez, RHP: The Mariners signed Pedro Vasquez as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. He's been excellent in 2016, posting a 2.26 ERA in 72 innings between the Arizona Rookie League and the Midwest League, with a 52/9 K/BB and 59 hits allowed.
Vasquez is listed at 6-4, 190, a right-handed hitter and thrower born September 23, 1995. Midwest League observers report a fastball in the low-90s along with a very good change-up and adequate breaking ball. His control is excellent and at 6-4, 190, he may have additional velocity projection left in his frame. Sabermetrically his lowish strikeout rate is a caution flag, but the overall results have been undeniable to this point and he looks like a very intriguing prospect sleeper.
Overall I like this deal for the Pirates: Caminero is a decent reliever but is 29 years old and fairly fungible, while both Brentz and Vasquez add some intriguing (if very different from each other) pitching talent to the system.