In order to acquire elite closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs had to give up a package of four players. The package included top prospect Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney, whom the Cubs acquired with Addison Russell from the Oakland Athletics for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel two years ago.
With Chapman now off the market, teams are turning their heads to other options. They include other top Yankees’ reliever Andrew Miller, Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis, and Atlanta Braves righty Arodys Vizcaino.
In a recent column looking at the Chapman deal and what it means for this year’s MLB trade deadline, Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports wrote about how the Chapman trade could impact the asking price for Davis.
“The Royals are valuing him that way, according to sources. In one internal conversation, Kansas City was discussing possible destinations for Davis and considered the Washington Nationals, whose desire for a closer to replace Jonathan Papelbon would grow even stronger if they couldn’t get Chapman. With Davis under contract the rest of this season and for just $10 million next season, the Royals bandied about a potential target, according to sources: Lucas Giolito.”
Wait. Let’s take a look at that last sentence again, specifically the second part of it…
“The Royals bandied about a potential target, according to sources: Lucas Giolito.”
Giolito has been at times this year listed by multiple outlets as the top prospect in Major League Baseball. While Davis is possibly one of if not the best closers in the game right now, a season and a half of Davis probably isn’t worth Giolito.
Over the next week before the MLB trade deadline on August 1st (it’s on the 1st this year since July 31st falls on a Sunday), there will be a lot of crazy trade rumors that swirl. Some of those will simply be rumors about a team’s interest in a player and others will be rumors about a top closer being worth the top prospect in the game.
If for some reason the Nationals traded their prized pitching prospect to the Royals for Davis, the Royals should be awarded the crown for best flip in MLB history.
On December 9, 2012, Kansas City acquired Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays as a secondary piece in in the bigger Wil Myers for James Shields trade. Davis had a 2.43 ERA in 54 relief appearances for the Rays in 2012, but the year before had an ERA of 4.45 in his last full year as a starter (he made 29 starts in 2011). Davis went with Shields to the Royals while KC sent to the Rays a package of Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Jake Odorizzi. In short, turning an afterthought in Davis into the top prospect in baseball would be pretty spectacular, though quite unlikely.