Wow, the Chicago White Sox are completely blowing up their Major League roster. Yesterday it was Chris Sale for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz, today it's Adam Eaton for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. Two days ago, Rick Hahn had one of the weakest farm systems in baseball with a handful of valuable assets on the big league roster that could net big returns. Hahn has since flipped only two players (still with several assets left including Todd Frazier and Jose Quintana) and has completely revamped his farm system.
But for you, the dynasty owner, a trade like this can have a significant impact on your roster. What kind of impact might it have? I'm here to help you find out by explaining what to expect out of the prospects dealt in the deal. Here are the details on the White Sox - Nationals trade:
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Lucas Giolito (SP, MLB)
When the White Sox added 2B/3B Yoan Moncada to their roster yesterday, it was the first Top-5 prospect they have had in their system in years. In fact, MLB.com has not given them a prospect even in the Top-10 since they began doing the Prospect Watch lists back in 2011. After the Eaton trade, they now have two in the Top-5. In fact, both prospects currently rank in the Top-3 on MLB.com.
Everyone knows the story on Lucas Giolito by now. Overwhelmingly dominant repertoire with an upper-90s fastball, one of the best curveballs in the minors and a well above-average changeup that keeps left-handed hitters off balance. Like a lot of young pitchers, his control does waiver at times, but most scouts believe he should have little trouble reigning it in soon. And at 6'6", 255 lbs, Giolito stands as an intimidating pitcher on the bump who figures to have little trouble lasting 200 innings in the regular season.
In a trade like this, it is very prevalent that the grades are dropping for Giolito. His stock is a bit down after he was roughed up in his brief time in the big leagues and his command certainly wavered at Double-A this season.
For owners hoping to reap the rewards from Giolito sooner rather than later, this trade is a godsend. No longer blocked by a loaded Nationals' rotation, Giolito figures to slot right in behind Carlos Rodon and Jose Quintana (assuming Quintana isn't dealt before the start of the season). This will be a very telling year as to whether or not Giolito is going to stay on pace to become a top-of-the-rotation starter like many assumed or if he is going to fall behind and only stay as a bottom-of-the-rotation guy. Either way, it is probably safe to say he will still pan out as a starting pitcher. His stuff is too good for him to become a bust.
Reynaldo Lopez (SP, MLB)
Another guy who benefits greatly from this deal, Lopez now is probably assured a spot in the starting rotation for the White Sox. He appeared to be totally blocked out in Washington, even if he may have had a slight step over Giolito for the time being.
Like Giolito, Lopez has an absolutely explosive fastball that frequently touches triple digits. It is by far his top pitch and should serve to be a dominant pitch in the majors. His secondary stuff leaves a little bit to be desired as his curveball grades out as only an above-average offering and his changeup still sits slightly below-average for now. Control was a big issue for him early in his career, but his numbers in the minors this season proved he has made some serious strides in that area.
The big question with Lopez will he be able to hold up as a starting pitcher. That was always the top concern in Washington and it will remain a bit of a concern now in Chicago. What makes his move to Chicago so beneficial for his fantasy value is that in Washington, that stacked rotation probably would have him stuck in the bullpen as a future closer whereas now he will be given ample opportunities to stick in the rotation.
His stuff could still lead to plenty of strikeouts, but he will probably be more of a project than Giolito. He is a decent player to buy right now with him all but guaranteed a starting spot, but dynasty owners should be careful not to overpay as there is still work to be done for the right-hander.
Dane Dunning (SP, A-)
In most trades, there is always a piece that is seemingly thrown-in. For most baseball fans, Dane Dunning will seem like that throw-in piece, but make no mistake, he is a talented pitcher in his own right.
Dunning is a big right-hander, standing at 6'4" and weighing in at 200 pounds. Like the other two prospects in this deal, Dunning's best pitch is his fastball which can touch the mid-90s, but typically sits in the low-90s. His slider still has a lot of room for improvement, but scouts are optimistic it can become a solid offering for him. His changeup currently stands out as his top secondary pitch and it will prove to be a weapon for him against left-handed hitters. His control wavered at times when he was pitching for the Gators, but most believe he can reign it in with a little bit of development time.
By far the biggest project in this package, Dunning still has several years left until he is going to reach the big leagues. Dynasty owners will need to remain patient with him as he figures to probably work in the minors until late 2018/early 2019. But if owners show patience, Dunning could reward them with a solid number three starter in a couple seasons.