Monday, July 18, 2011

Trade market snapshot

Generally speaking, baseball teams are valuing their better prospects and young big leaguers more highly now than a veteran National League executive can recall. "Seems like the big-market teams have caught on," the man told this blog.

Two decades ago, the better prospects below Double-A were mysteries to most fans and media. Now they're celebrities, their every deed publicized by a variety of media and MLB itself.

Clubs today are more likely to cling to prospects of many flavors, another major league exec tells this blog, "even if the player has (only) a 10 percent chance" of becoming an average big leaguer.

In this youth-obsessed environment, the Padres are looking to acquire impact prospects or young big leaguers leading up to the July 31st Trade Deadline.

The Phillies, according to a major league source from outside the West, are willing to give up Single-A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton for Padres setup ace Mike Adams. Entering this season, Baseball America ranked Singleton as Philadelphia's No. 2 prospect and the farm system's best power hitter and its top hitter in strikezone judgment. A lefty whose long-term path in Philly appears blocked by Ryan Howard, Singleton, 19, is batting .282 with seven home runs and 41 RBI this year in 81 games at the advanced Single A level.

From the looks of it here, Singleton alone would not be enough to put Adams in a Phillies uniform. A conversation starter, perhaps. And the Phillies also are potential suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell and left fielder Ryan Ludwick.

Over the last four games at Petco Park, scouts from the Yankees, Reds,  Rangers and Phillies were on hand. This blog expects all five NL West clubs to make trades this month, with the Giants and Diamondbacks adding veteran major leaguers and the other three selling them.

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