In what turned out to be a busy pre-trade deadline day, there were two major veteran-for-prospect deals that took place. While the veterans on the move got plenty of press, we want to take a look at the prospects that made the deals possible.
The Yankees acquired the final two months of Ichiro's contract from the Seattle Mariners, and didn't have to give up that much to make the deal happen. In their second deal together in the last twelve months, the Yankees sent two low-end pitching prospects to the Mariners.
Right-hander D.J. Mitchell was a 10th round pick out of Clemson back in 2008 and put together a strong first season in 2009 to establish himself as a prospect. He hasn't lived up to the prospect billing since then, however, as his strikeout numbers have dipped as he's risen through the minors, and he has stalled out in Triple-A, with stints there in each of the past three seasons. He has been primarily a starter in the minors, but ultimately profiles as a reliever, where his limited stuff can hopefully play up. He wasn't added to the Yankees 40-man roster until earlier this season when the team needed him to help bolster a struggling bullpen. He appeared in four games in the majors.
Danny Farquhar was also a 10th round pick, but has bounced around between three organizations since being drafted, and now joins his fourth organization this season (along with Oakland and Toronto, who had previously shipped him back and forth in various moves). Farquhar has slightly better stuff than Mitchell, but at just 5'9" he often gets overlooked due to his size. He has relieved his entire career, so at this point, he is what he is, which could be a usable bullpen arm.
John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com has his scouting reports on both prospects.
The other major deal of the day saw the Tigers finally make a move involving top prospect Jacob Turner, sending him to Miami along with fellow prospects Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn in exchange for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.
Turner has been the center of trade talks for a year or so as the Tigers are perrennial contenders to add pieces. The team pulled the trigger on a deal to add two key pieces, but gave up a lot to make the deal happen.
Turner has been the team's top prospect since being selected in the first round in 2009, and has soared through the minors with solid results despite never really dominating his competition. As the Tigers did with Rick Porcello, they have moved an advanced prep pitcher quickly through their minor league system, possibly at the expense of full development, as evidenced by Turner's ERA of 8.28 in six major league starts over the past two seasons.
Stuff-wise, Turner is the complete package, so there is really no explanation for his big league struggles other than that the Tigers haven't given the 21-year-old time to develop his off-speed stuff to its full potential. He's also had a few injury issues, including shoulder soreness that took him out of the running for a spot in the Tigers rotation this spring. The Marlins plan to send Turner to Triple-A, at least for the time being.
The Marlins also got a solid catching prospect in the deal in Brantly, who profiles as an offensive catcher. Brantly, a 3rd round pick in 2010, has hit well during his minor league career, receiving in-season promotions both last year and this year after hitting over .300 in the first-half of both seasons. He's not a power hitter and likely never will be, but he does control the strike zone well and has a knack for barrelling up the ball. He'll never be a Gold Glover behind the plate, but he's good enough to stick back there and could be in the majors by the end of next season.
FInalizing the deal is Flynn, a 6'8" left-hander selected seventh round in 2011. His stuff is not overpowering for a pitcher his size, and as with most large pitchers, he has trouble repeating his delivery, causing a fluctuation in velocity. He's done well in the minors and was just promoted to Double-A Erie before the trade, but does not dominate hitters or miss bats the way his profile would suggest. His size and left-handedness should make him an uncomfortable matchup for left-handed hitters, so despite his role as a starter now, he should be headed for a bullpen role soon.