May 29, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado (14) hits an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Prado Reportedly Drawing Blue Jays Interest


It was reported yesterday by ESPN’s Jim Bowden that the Toronto Blue Jays have been heavily scouting the San Diego Padre’s Chase Headley, along with Aaron Hill and Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

 

Martin Prado’s name stands out from that group, as Aaron Hill and Chase Headley have been linked more closely to the Blue Jays over the past month.  The 30-year old Venezuelan is primarily a 3rd baseman, with the ability to play second base or the corner outfield, and has had the strongest 2014 of the three (although that isn’t terribly difficult).

From 2006-’12, Martin Prado was a key player in the Atlanta Braves organization before being dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the Justin Upton trade.  Martin Prado owns a career slash line of .291 / .340 / .425, an appealing K:BB ratio, and five seasons of 10HR or more.  Of further value to the Blue Jays is that Prado posts very similar splits against LHP and RHP, eliminating a need to platoon him at his given position.  However, like many names discussed in early July, Prado has experienced a down season.

 

Year Age Tm G PA H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2014 30 ARI 86 355 88 13 4 3 34 18 50 .268 .315 .360
9 Yrs 924 3818 1012 217 22 69 402 262 411 .291 .340 .425
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/5/2014.

 

Martin Prado, similar to Aaron Hill, seems to have sunk to the level of his team’s performance in 2014.  As part of the struggling Diamondbacks, Prado has yet to produce strong power numbers, while his OBP has been hurt by an unexpected lack of discipline at the dish.  However, at just 30, and not long removed from producing near his career averages, Prado is a prime candidate to be sparked by a change  of scenery.

Prado’s versatility is a valuable factor, but he is not someone that Jays fans should view as a “super-utility” player.  Though he has the ability to play all over the diamond, third base is the position at which he will best help a ball club.  An addition of Martin Prado would leave John Gibbons to eventually decide which 2B/3B combination of Prado and Lawrie produces the best overall defence.

Outside of his downward trend as a D-Back in 2013-’14, the main factor working against Martin Prado is very similar to that of his teammate Aaron Hill: his contract.  With full salaries of $11M in both 2015 and 2016, Martin Prado has approximately 2.5yrs at $27M remaining on his deal.  This would be a tough contract for Blue Jays ownership to take on, so it is very likely that a potential trade would have to involve Arizona sending cash along with Prado.

It is vital to remember that, in trade situations, a team is not adding a player’s production in a spot that was vacant and producing zeros.  For example, if a team trades for a 20HR player to replace a 12HR player, they are adding a net of 8HR, not the entire 20.  Because of this, Blue Jays fans must ask themselves if Martin Prado’s $11,000,000 annual salary is worth the upgrade that he provides a Francisco, Kawasaki, or cheaper option.

A trade package for Martin Prado may not be all that different from Aaron Hill’s asking price.  Arizona will likely be seeking prospects that are close to making a Major League impact at the deadline, as their farm system is strongest in it’s lower levels.  A possible trade package could include some combination of Kevin Pillar, Ryan Goins, or Anthony Gose, perhaps with a lower-level prospect thrown in.

In baseball terms, Martin Prado makes sense for the Toronto Blue Jays, but it is not overwhelming enough to justify his financial price tag.  If Prado’s salary causes the Arizona Diamondbacks to include cash in a deal, or take a weaker trade package to shed salary, then this trade would become a more viable option to Alex Anthopolous.  Unless this happens, however, a move for Martin Prado may do little more than provide overpriced stability while prolonging the search for what Toronto so desperately desires: a great, young, and permanent second baseman.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Martin Prado Toronto Blue Jays

  • Ryan

    You are out to lunch if you think Goins/Pillar/Gose is enough of a starting point to entice Arizona to trade a solid major league player with the upside to be above average offensively.

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

      Just a few quick names that I wouldn’t be surprised to see included. Nothing more, nothing less. A couple of them alone won’t be enough, obviously, but I could see Gose (especially) being involved. If they’re having trouble moving his contract, they could ask for some low-level high-potential players as well, hoping to hit on one. Contracts such as this make trades quite interesting.

      If ARI can’t move his contract in a way that benefits them, though, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them hold on to him. He’s a fine ball player, and can still contribute with the D-Backs.

      Now, let’s say you’re out to lunch…with Alex Anthopolous! You’re the D-Backs GM and discussing a trade for Prado. What are you asking for? Would you suspect ARI would target one higher-level prospect (like a Pompey, etc.), or look for a package?

      • RyanMueller

        I don’t think that offering Gose and Pillar for Prado is being out to lunch. Zona has sucked this year and getting 2 young major league ready outfielders in a deal for a guy that is hitting .260 and little power is fair market value….if not over paying. This is a what have you done for me lately and potential type deal. Prado hasn’t done much lately and Gose has the potential to win gold gloves in the CF and be a good 9th hitter in any lineup. Pillar is a guy. If Zona wants more than AA should ask for Gerardo Parra in the deal and we could add Jenkins and/or McGuire.

        • JP

          I actually think that is far too much considering that u r taking two years of salary they don’t want…..a much more fair package might be Rasmus and a B level prospect….Arizona has the flexibiility to do what they want with Rasmus…PIllar could be available due to his recent screw up…..I highly doubt that Gose is available in this type of deal nor should he be.

          If it takes more, forget it….keep looking

          • RyanMueller

            We clearly have differing opinions of Gose’s value and Rasmus’ value, which is to be expected. This is one of those moves that could haunt us years down the road but it is a win now move for a guy that we will have for another year. Not sure what Rasmus will demand this off-season but I am optimistic that the Jays will be able to retain him so Gose and/or Pillar become expendable. That is just my view. Thx for your comment.

    • japester

      Dbacks just traded McCarthy to the Yanks for Nuno and ate half his salary, the Yanks did pay the transfer fee of $1M though. Yah, McCarthy for Nuno. Goins/Pillar/Gose is an over pay for for an $11M contract. Goins/Pillar/Romero straight and the Jays take on Prado’s salary is more inline with reality.

  • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

    Prado would be a good addition. His numbers could be helped by hitting at Rogers Centre. If he performs at his norms, is his price tag really that high? What is a good defender and solid hitter worth these days? His cost might be high in terms of dollars. But, would you rather overpay in money or players? I will always spend more money.

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

      I wish Rogers would free up the payroll a bit in times like this, because too often I end up thinking/speaking in teams of “well, if we pay this guy, then we can’t pay anyone else”.

      Not overly comfortable with the contract, BUT, with a lot of dump-off contracts you see this time of year in trade talks, at least Prado is backing his up with a little production. Not great this year, but not awful, and strong career #s.

      Hypothetical: If AA dealt for Prado and had him through 2016, do you think Lawrie would slide to 2B for those years on a permanent basis, or would Prado be placed there? Not sure what I think about it

      • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

        I LOVE Lawrie at third.

      • RyanMueller

        Prado would be more valuable at 2nd for the Jays and Lawrie could stay at 3rd.

  • Bob

    Anthopolous needs to bring Johnson up he keeps crushing hr in the minors. The pitching staff is not good enough to win the East or make playoffs so Rogers should bring in a Baseball mind for GM and send the bum down the road. I am sick of hearing about them getting this star and that star and then waking up to see another team swooping in and taking the only good Pitchers available. BRUTAL
    The time to win is now. 9

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

      Johnson’s got a .402OBP and .491SLG, those are #’s I can get on board with. 17HR too. At the MLB level, I’m not sure how well he’d far as a role player after a call-up, but with the names that have run through the bottom of of our MLB roster, I’m as surprised as you are that he hasn’t gotten a shot.

      But, Orioles lost their 1st today, bringing us back into a tie for first. The past month has been frustrating, often very much so, but the Blue Jays are in as good of shape as they have been in years. I agree that they need an upgrade, though, BECAUSE of how rarely the Blue Jays have an opportunity like this. I don’t want to sell the farm, but I won’t accept standing pat and falling 1.5g short at the very end of the season. Tough times for AA.

  • JaysHopeful

    I was looking at Prado and thinking “Hey, this guy could be a great utility guy on the bench who could cover some injuries and days off in the IF and OF, maybe platoon a bit at 2B, not be a bad righty bat off the bench, spell Lawrie, Melky, Bautista. With the injuries this team sees he would see 300+ at bats.” And then I saw the price tag.