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StL and trading prospect, has it hurt them?


floplag

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Reading that article, the Cards have moved prospects for players 3 times since Eppler over.   

in doing so, they have not acquired anyone as productive as Andrelton Simmons, or Justin Upton, who were both acquired for prospects..... as were Yunel Escobar, Cameron Maybin, Danny Espinosa, and Brandon Phillips, off the top of my head.  

So, for those looking for perspective..... the Angels moved the best prospect during that time in Sean Newcomb, they have also made more trades using prospect capital (six times), and have done a better job return wise..... even after the Espinosa debacle.   

Keep up the good work Eppler.

Edit: after reading Scotty's post I remembered Kinsler (up to 7 trades).   2.5 WAR and two RP prospects...  Not too shabby for a low profile move.   

Edited by Inside Pitch
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I think with prospects, like any market, you need to develop a way to assess which ones to keep and which ones not to keep, and among the ones you don't keep, you need to have a model of when the right time to sell is. The hard part with that of course is the fact that other teams are now extremely intelligent too. We don't exists in an era any more where one team is clearly doing something other teams aren't. The knowledge of major league teams seems to be a more universal thing.

And then there requires a certain understanding of the market at the major league level, when to buy players when their value is low. So far in Eppler's era, the Angels have been experts at this. 

They traded for Simmons at the low point of his value, and before teams were truly leaning on defensive metrics as much as they are now. Eppler was ahead of the curve. And at the same time, he traded a highly regarded pitching prospect before that pitching prospect's lack of control could eat away at his value, or before injuries could derail Chris Ellis' career (the inverted W was a thing). As a result, now we have one of the best shortstops in the game on a team friendly deal and only gave up what looks to be a #3/4 starter. 

Same thing with Justin Upton. We traded Troy Montgomery coming off a good season, and a projectable arm that still had some distance to cover before providing any sort of accurate assessment. The real masterpiece here was Eppler's assessment of the market though. The Tigers needed to sell off anything of value, Justin Upton was clearly going to opt out of his contract with the Tigers to sign with a winner, and the Tigers had reached the point where they needed to get anything they could for him. Upton came to Anaheim and Eppler and the team did an amazing job selling him on the idea of staying long term. All it took was one extra year on his contract, at a lower cost than the AAV. 

Then there're hasn't been a series of buy low prospects that have worked out as well. Luis Rengifo was the equivalent of finding gold. If he lives up to his ability, it will be like finding an entire untapped mine of gold. Ty Buttrey was hurt and hadn't fully gone on a dominant run in Boston yet, and I get the feeling Williams Jerez will be right there at some point too. And however many waiver wire pitchers he's acquired, just to see them turn around their careers. And that's why I have confidence in Kevin Maitan. Eppler buys low on prospects and players, he's the best in the business at it, and if he thought getting Maitan was as high of a priority as he treated it, then I think Kevin Maitan will be a star.

I don't know what prospects I'd identify as the sell high types right now, just because many of the Angels prospects still haven't fully hit their stride yet (Thaiss, Marsh, Chris Rodriguez, Jose Soriano....).

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Also, I should note that the Cards draft strategy sort of forced them into making that trade for Marcell Ozuna. They developed lots of prospects, but on the offensive side, that vast majority were depth pieces. They weren't taking a lot of chances. The major league team was good, but in order to go to the next level, they needed a differ nice making bat. They tried with Giancarlo but he denied the trade. So they we forced to make a gamble.

I'd argue that had the Cards gambled in the draft, they wouldn't have needed to gamble in a trade. 

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