With about a week left until the start of the MLB season, the unexpected happened late last night: we got a trade! Yes, we, the fans, got something we never thought we’d see so close to Opening Day, but here we are.
Padres announce a trade. And it’s not a tiny one.
Padres get lefty reliever Tim Hill from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for OF Franchy Cordero and RHP Ronald Bolaños.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) July 17, 2020
It’s an interesting one for sure, with some possibly big implications. Let’s start with the biggest part of the deal.
Franchy Cordero, OF
2018* stats: .237/.307/.439, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 19 R, 5 SB
* – missed most of 2019 due to injury
What he brought to San Diego:
During his three inconsistent years in San Diego, Cordero amassed a .240/.306/.431 line with ten home runs, 29 runs batted in and seven steals over 273 plate appearances. He showed flashes of power as he was in the Statcast Top 50 Leaderboard for hardest-hit balls of 2018 three times. With an 89th percentile Sprint Speed, he’s also someone that can be aggressive on the base paths, and his 70% stolen base success rate is about average.
He, unfortunately, missed some of his 2018 season due to a forearm injury and then even more of his 2019 season with quad and elbow injuries.
What he brings to Kansas City:
The biggest boost here for Cordero is the fact that he should get a chance to play. He’s been effective at all three outfield positions over his short career, and the Royals could use someone with his skill set out there in 2020.
Looking more at his 2018 tendencies, he’s someone who likes to spread the ball all over the field, though he does seem to go to straightaway center field a lot. While his power may take a slight dip in the vaunted outfield of Kauffman Stadium, this should play well into his speed.
– via Ballpark Factors at RotoFanatic, numbers in the boxes are league rankings
What I don’t like is that the power in Kansas City dips significantly from other stadiums, though it is to be expected with those LCF, CF and RCF walls being so far away from home. That said, I do love those rankings for singles and extra-base hits, as Franchy’s speed may come into play in 2020. He will also have speedy teammates such as Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield, so we know that the Royals will the running. Here are the results from all of his at-bats from 2018:
Assuming he doesn’t improve anywhere, it’s safe to say that he will spread the ball all over the field. However, with more consistent at-bats due to steady playing time, I do see Cordero improving his bat to ball skill and striking out less than his career rate of 38.8%. His Hard Hit rate of 51.7% and his walk rate of 9.1% in 2018 both show that when he does put the bat to the ball, he can do so with ferocity. To me, he’s worth a shot in standard mixed leagues (and a must in AL Only leagues) due to the playing time factors and the skill set.
What he leaves behind:
The Padres were probably not going to use Cordero in their lineup for much or any of 2020. While the Padres liked the raw talent of Cordero, he was never going to beat out guys like Tommy Pham, Wil Myers and Trent Grisham. With Ty France and Josh Naylor there as well, Cordero felt like the odd man out. And with the emergence of Edward Olivares during Spring and Summer Camps, the need for Cordero lessened to the point of almost nothing.
Digging in on the Astros Enoli Paredes and witnessed this Edward Olivares tank. Arguably one of the more underrated prospects in the game. On SD 40 man, can play all three OF spots slashed .283/.349/.453 w/ 18 HR, 35 steals in AA. pic.twitter.com/6S31NKXtLA
— Ralph Lifshitz (@ProspectJesus) March 8, 2020
What sealed the deal:
Left-handed relief pitcher Tim Hill became a necessity once Jose Castillo strained his lat a week ago. He’s someone the Padres will now use in certain situations, but most likely low leverage.
San Diego already has Drew Pomeranz and Matt Strahm as left-handed options in the bullpen, so Hill will get sporadic opportunities and probably isn’t in line for any save opportunities.
Ronald Bolanos is a mid-tier pitching prospect who has a handful of Major League innings accumulated over his short career. He comes armed with a mid 90’s fastball and a decent curveball, but needs some refinement before he has any fantasy significance. That said, for a team like the Royals who are short on arms, it’s a worthwhile shot for them.