The Cincinnati Reds have traded Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal which saw them acquire infielder Jose Peraza, outfielder Scott Schebler, and infielder Brandon Dixon. The Los Angeles Dodgers were the third party in the deal, and they landed pitcher Frankie Montas, infielder Micah Johnson, and outfielder Trayce Thompson. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was first to report a deal was taking place.
Reds acquire Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler & Brandon Dixon from Dodgers as part of a 3-team deal; Send Todd Frazier to White Sox
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 16, 2015
The Reds have been in full fir esale mode this offseason, making everybody available following a horrific 2015 where they lost 98 games, so trading Frazier seemed inevitable. Cincinnati apparently wasn’t interested in any prospects from the White Sox, as all three players they acquired are from the Dodgers organization.
Peraza must have some commitment issues now because it’s the second time he’s been in a trade in 2015. The Atlanta Braves dealt him to the Dodgers in the Hector Olivera three-team deal mid-season, while the Reds almost acquired Peraza from the Dodgers following the called-off Aroldis Chapman deal earlier this month. Now, he’s officially a Red following the completion of the Frazier trade. Peraza is ranked the 24th best prospect by MLB.com. They say he’s got top-tier speed while also giving him above-average hit and fielding grades. The 21-year-old appeared in seven games in the majors with the Dodgers last season, hitting .182/.250/.318 in 25 plate appearances.
Dixon is a 23-year-old infielder/outfielder who hit 19 home runs and stole 26 bases in 128 games split between A+/AA. He strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk all that much, with six times more strikeouts than walks in his MiLB career, and hasn’t display great on-base skills. He was the Dodgers’ third round pick (92nd overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Schebler appeared in 19 games with the Dodgers and hit three home runs with a .250 average. He’s shown some power in the minors, but he’s also prone to striking out a lot (although his on-base skills are much better than Dixon’s). It doesn’t seem like the greatest return for a player of Frazier’s caliber.
The White Sox get the best, most experienced player in the trade. Frazier, an All-Star in both 2014 and 2015, hit 35 home runs last season with the Reds and hit .255/.309/.498. The third baseman tallied +6 DRS n 2015, and can play some first base if the need arises (though the presence of both Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche in Chicago will likely render that moot). The 29-year-old (who turns 30 in February) is making $7.5 million in 2016 and is eligible for free agency in 2018. The trade allows Chicago to move recently acquired Brett Lawrie to second base as a part of revamped infield. The team has quietly had a busy offseason bringing in Lawrie, Frazier, Alex Avila, and Dioner Navarro.
The Dodgers get (in my opinion) the best prospect in the deal while also ending up with a damn fine package considering what they gave up. Montas was the 54th ranked prospect by MLB.com. He was initially acquired by the White Sox from the Red Sox in the Jake Peavy deal, since developing into a very good prospect. He’s got a 100 MPH fastball and ‘refined’ secondary pitches. The 22-year-old made seven appearances (two starts) with the White Sox in 2015, striking out 20 batters, and walking nine in 15 innings while pitching to a 4.80 ERA. Montas was much more dominant in the minors last year, posting a 2.97 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 112 innings over 23 AA starts.
Los Angeles also acquires Johnson, a high-flying infielder who’s got little power but excellent speed. The 24-year-old appeared in 36 games with the White Sox in 2015, hitting .230/.306/.270 with no home runs and three stolen bases. The 24-year-old Thompson, perhaps best known for being NBA star Klay’s brother, has shown a good mix and of speed and power in the minors, but has never hit for a high average. The uber-athletic outfielder, who was taken 61st overall in 2009 by the White Sox, made his MLB debut as well in 2015, hitting five home runs with a .295/.363/.533 line in 53 games. The Dodgers came out well in this deal.
The Reds bolstered their farm system a bit, but you think they could have landed more considering they gave up Frazier. The White Sox slowly continue to build their team back to respectability at a fine cost, while the Dodgers swing another deal which gives them another future power arm.