Brad Hand, Jeurys Familia, Zach Britton and Seunghwan Oh have all been dealt in the past week, increasing the need for relief pitching among contenders.
One of those contenders, the Milwaukee Brewers, satisfied that need on Thursday afternoon, trading for Chicago White Sox closer Joakim Soria.
Filthy @PitchingNinja worthy Joakim Soria slider to end the game. pic.twitter.com/vKliyUy4Mk— Patrick Brennan (@paintingcorner) July 24, 2018
Soria, 36, has put together a great 2018 campaign with the White Sox, going 0-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 40 appearances. Soria has recorded 16 saves, his most since 2015.
Acquired in a three-team trade with the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers in January, Soria looks to have regained his past form- a form that netted him two All-Star appearances, and a reputation as one of the game’s most dominant closers.
With the White Sox in their rebuilding state and Soria under contract through 2019 (mutual option for next season), a trade was imminent as the deadline neared.
In Soria, the Brewers add to an already dominant late-inning relief core. Soria will join All-Stars Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Hader, and 2017 All-Star Corey Knebel in Milwaukee, as the second-place Brewers look to make up for their three-game deficit behind the first-place Chicago Cubs.
Kodi Medeiros, 9 K's from yesterday. #Shuckers pic.twitter.com/CHqZ7zwnsl— Brewers Farm (@BrewersFarm) July 13, 2018
In return, the Chicago White Sox get a pair of young pitchers. Let’s take a look at what the South Siders are receiving:
Wilber Perez, RHP
Perez is essentially a throw-in. At 20-years old, Perez is over a year above the Dominican Summer League average age. Despite the progression concerns, Perez has been pretty dominant this summer for the DSL Brewers, going 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in eight appearances. Perez is yet to allow a home run, and has struck out 47 batters in 40.1 innings to just 13 walks. It’ll be interesting to see if the White Sox keep Perez in the D.R. for the remainder of the summer, or if they see him as ready to move up a level.
Kodi Medeiros, LHP
Kodi Medeiros is the headliner here. The 12th-overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Medeiros was the Brewers #12 prospect per MLB Pipeline. Drafted out of Waiakea High School in Hawaii, Medeiros has struggled with control issues throughout his professional career. However, in 2018, Medeiros has been great, going 7-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 20 appearances (15 starts). Medeiros’ strikeout rate has skyrocketed, as the 22-year old has struck out 107 batters in 103.1 innings.
Kodi Medeiros 3 more K's. 1.59 ERA in 17 IP out of the bullpen in 2017. #Mudcats pic.twitter.com/EllPlHlhKP— Brewers Farm (@BrewersFarm) May 13, 2017
John did not have Medeiros ranked among the Brewers Top-20 prospects back in February, but did have him ranked among the other C+ prospects in the Brewers system for 2018.
Due to his control problems (45 walks in 103.1 innings), and below-average fastball (88-92 MPH), Medeiros is likely destined for the bullpen, especially in the loaded White Sox system.
Regardless of where Medeiros will pitch, the White Sox did an excellent job of receiving high-upside value for a 36-year old reliever. The White Sox farm system had just two lefties among their Top-30 prospects prior to the move, so White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn also filled a need with the Medeiros acquisition.