Assigning grades to trades is silly, but we’re going to do it anyway! It’s fun! Plus, you can check back in three years and see which no-name prospect turned into the next Corey Kluber.
Rockies get: RHP Pat Neshek
Phillies get: SS Jose Gomez, RHP Alejandro Requena and RHP J.D. Hammer
The Rockies’ revamped bullpen was one of the great stories of the first half of the season, but things have been, well, rocky for a few weeks. Colorado’s bullpen ERA since June 1 (5.12) ranks 26th in baseball. Although closer Greg Holland has been very good and lefty setup men Jake McGee, Chris Rusin and Mike Dunn have been solid, Bud Black has had few good options before Holland from the right side. The biggest issue has been the performance of key setup righty Adam Ottavino, who has a 9.60 ERA since June 1.
Enter Neshek, a 36-year-old free-agent-to-be with a 1.12 ERA and his highest strikeout rate since 2008. Neshek has mowed down righties and lefties alike this season and allowed just two homers — none of them at homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park. During his career, Neshek has thrown just 3 2/3 innings at Coors Field, in which he has allowed four earned runs for a 9.82 ERA. That’s too small a sample to mean anything, and anyway, three of those runs came on a? Chris Iannetta?homer that happened more than six years ago.
Philadelphia Phillies: B-minus
Even if none of this trio of prospects reaches the majors for the Phillies, this is the kind of deal you make for a rental short reliever. A number of teams needing bullpen help have already made moves — the Yankees, Royals, Brewers, et al — and it’s entirely possible that this was the best package Philadelphia could acquire. Gomez and Requena are both 20 years old, while Hammer is 23 but is in just his second pro season after he was taken in the 24th round last year out of Marshall. None of them has played above A-ball.
Gomez is the only one to pop up on prospect rankings to date. He’s a high-contact, aggressive type who thus far has shown little power. He hit .367 in rookie ball last year and is at .324 this season, though his strikeouts have risen with the increase in competition. According to Baseball America, Gomez rated as the best infield arm in the Colorado system before the season and profiles as a utility guy at the higher levels.
Requena was having a nice season for Class A Asheville in the Sally League, going 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 97 strikeouts against just 25…