When the Mariners trade away Doug Fister and David Pauley for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush and Francisco Martinez they also received a player to be named later. This player is to be chosen from a list of three players and the trade is to be finalized on August 20th. Through recent reporting by Shannon Drayer, Jason Churchill and others, we have discovered that this player is likely to be one of The Tiger top picks from last year’s draft.
Detroit’s first four picks in last year’s draft were:
This trade already included a third baseman in Francisco Martinez and it has been rumored from a couple different sources that Nick Castellanos is not part of this deal. If the list was comprised of the other three top players from the 2010 draft, who would be the best choice for the Seattle Mariners?
Here is some more information on each player including links and images from the last post:
Chance Ruffin– In 2011 Chance has dominated out of the bullpen at both the AA and AAA levels with 2.12 and 2.31 ERA respectively. Through both levels he maintained a K/9IP rate of over 11 and saved 17 games. He earned himself a call up to Detroit in late July and made two quick appearances before being reassigned to AAA. Ruffin was a closer for the Texas Longhorns in college, and has fit in that role well within the Tiger’s system. His pitch selection has in the past included a fastball, slider, slurve and change-up, leaving the possibility for a transition to a starting role in the future.
Drew Smyly– After 14 starts for the High A Lakeland Flying Tigers, Smyly earned himself a quick promotion to AA Erie after posting a 7-3 record with a 2.58 ERA. His first two starts in AA have also gone well as Drew has yet to give up an earned run through 12 innings. He is a left-handed starter which projects well in Safeco field, and he has pitched solidly in the starting role with his low to mid 90’s fastball and off speed selections.
Rob Brantly– Like both Ruffin and Smyly, Brantly earned himself a promotion in 2011 but in this case it was to high A ball for Lakeland after he was an All-Star selection for West Michigan. Rob is a lefty hitting catcher that would fill a position of weakness within the Mariner’s system, and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik has been very proactive in acquiring either left-handed or switch hitters throught he draft and in trades.
All three of these players are quality prospects that project well for the Mariners in the future.
Brantly could become a quality Mariner someday if selected, but he is likely two years away and has yet to prove himself in High-A ball. Since his value is not as certain as the other two, this would truly be a choice between Smyly and Ruffin for me.
Both player carry about the same value as Smyly has the advantage of being a left-handed starter, but Ruffin looks to be a quality late inning reliever that could be called up right away to help in the bullpen.
Given the equal value I would likely choose Ruffin for his immediate impact as a late innings reliever that could give the Mariners more flexibility for next season. With Ruffin, some of the other young arms in the system, and a couple other smart moves the Mariners could have the flexibility to trade Brandon League in the offseason. This could bring in additional talent and free up ~$5mil more in cap room for a big free agent signing.
Who would be your choice and why?