The Padres have traded 2B Luis Urias and SP Eric Lauer to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for lauded outfield prospect Trent Grisham and starting pitcher Zach Davies., according to reporting from Jeff Passan of ESPN and Jon Morosi of MLB.com (h/t to MLB Trade Rumors).
Grisham, 23, is a former first-rounder who hit .300/.407/.603 with 26 home runs and 12 steals in 370 plate appearances between AA and AAA last year. He also played in his first 51 games in the majors, logging a .738 OPS in 156 ABs. Davies, for his part, went 10-7 with a 3.55 ERA last year. The righty is 43-32 with a 3.91 ERA in 614.1 career innings.
How you judge this trade will likely say a lot about where you fall on the “Preller Sux / Preller Rools” spectrum (that’s a working title for my upcoming thesis), but Gaslamp can try to give you a fair shake of the players changing hands here.
It’s important to note that Grisham is a late bloomer who hasn’t been universally lauded by scouts. After being selected 15th overall out of a Texas high school in 2015, Grisham generally logged a ho-hum career in the minors. Despite his massive 2019 breakout—which, skeptics will note, had to have been aided by a juiced ball—Grisham holds just a .255/.376/.415 career minor league batting line. He also made one of the biggest errors in recent postseason memory this year.
However, 2019 was a breakout year. He hit 32 home runs and logged 13 steals across three levels, recording a particularly violent .381/.471/.776 at Triple-A.
Scouts don’t love his tools, with some only appraising power and speed as his only major league-average tools. For what it’s worth, he made a few key mechanical changes in advance of 2019 that he credits as being the source of his newfound success.
As for Davies, he’s a former 26th-round pick, he’s tiny, at 6’0, 155 lbs, and he’s been generally successful in his MLB career despite a middling repertoire. John Sickles gave him a B- grade in advance of his 2016 debut, and he’s generally provided ‘B’ results at the game’s highest level. Davies does not strike guys out, but, as covered by Fangraphs in this 2017 profile, he’s succeeded largely on pitching savvy and guile.
We are more familiar with the former Padres getting sent out in this deal.
Many believed Luis Urias to be San Diego’s answer to Jose Altuve: a skinny, slick-fielding hit machine, who, if things went right, might even glue on some mid-career home run power to his slight frame.
However, like Grisham, Urias’ rookie season featured some serious lowlights. He made key errors in late-innings, often looked overmatched at the plate, and didn’t show consistent pull-side power. Word, for months, has been that the team didn’t feel confident in Urias as the team’s second baseman for 2020.
Lauer, meanwhile, is a former first-round pick who has recently seen an uptick in strikeouts while maintaining middle-of-the-road bottom-line results. Fans will remember his 2018 start against the Dodgers in which he almost logged a complete game while completely flummoxing LA hitters. The Ohio lefty always showed great poise on the mound, and should be a good fit in Milwaukee’s rotation.
So, what do you guys think of this trade?
Is this trade a ‘Yea’ or ‘Nay’?
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