Phillies Mock Trade: Major Prospect Fueled Deal Made with Padres

Mar 7, 2016; Bradenton, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (80) bats during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. The Phillies won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2016; Bradenton, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (80) bats during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. The Phillies won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the long-awaited baseball offseason approaches, the Phillies will be looking to add more blue chip prospects. The editors of “That Ball’s Outta Here” and “Friars on Base” made a mock trade that would benefit both teams.

In the fourth edition of our Phillies mock trade series, we approached the San Diego Padres to see if we could swing a deal for some of their young talent. Unfortunately, Tyson Ross will most likely be undergoing shoulder surgery, so he was unavailable to us.

Wil Myers was brought up for a moment, but we quickly realized the price would be too steep for a player who will only hit .260 with decent power.

With not a lot of major league players being viable trade options for the Phillies, we turned to the minor leagues, where several prospects intrigued us. In a deal consisting of multiple top-10 prospects, both sides feel they did well coming out of the trade.

The Phillies came out of this deal with the Padres 6th and 11th rated prospects according to MLB.com. First was 19-year-old infielder Luis Urias, who is the eighth-best second base prospect in baseball. He swings an incredible bat, and was promoted from A+ ball to Triple-A late in the season after hitting .330 in Advanced Single-A. In Triple-A he had four hits in three games with five walks and a home run.

Combined on the season he hit .333 in 123 games with six home runs, 45 walks, 37 strikeouts, and eight stolen bases.

With Scott Kingery the only legit second base prospect in the Phillies system, we felt it was important to add some depth. Urias can also play third base and shortstop, which could potentially result in Maikel Franco moving to first if Tommy Joseph does not pan out in the long term.

It never hurts to have too much talent, and the Phillies are extremely excited with this teenager they can start in Double-A Reading.

The second prospect we acquired is also still in his teens, but is working his way up the system after being one of the top international prospects available. Adrian Morejon is just 17-years-old and is already the Padres sixth-best prospect as a left handed pitcher. He has an above-average fastball that lands in the lower-to-mid 90s, and above average curveball, an above average changeup, and even a knuckle ball. He’s drawn comparisons to Jon Lester, and could be the next ace of a championship rotation in 2020.

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Finally we received major league catcher Derek Norris. Cameron Rupp is expected to start the season as the starter with Jorge Alfaro waiting in the wing in either Reading or Lehigh Valley. General Manager Matt Klentak will need to add a veteran who can play once a week and sub-in should Rupp go down early. When Alfaro is ready, Norris can work with him and be a mentor.

Norris was an All-Star for the Athletics with a WAR of 3.2 in 2014 prior to being traded to San Diego. He will not hit for average, but could easily hit double-digit home runs in Citizens Bank Park.

He will be entering his second season of arbitration, but the Phillies are in a good place financially and can make the deal needed to have Norris available for a year or two.

To get talent you need to move your own as well. We felt comfortable sending Triple-A catcher Andrew Knapp to San Diego given the presence of Cameron Rupp and Jorge Alfaro. Rupp proved himself to be a major league catcher this year, and produced 16 home runs as the starter.

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Jeanmar Gomez was an excellent closer for the Phillies to start the season, and had a legitimate case for being an All-Star. In the first half of the season he had 24 saves with a 2.59 ERA in 39 games. He spent a majority of the season leading all of baseball in saves, and was a big piece to the clubs early success this season.

Gomez ultimately wore-down as the season went on, pitching 78 innings in 70 games. He was never expected to close for the Phillies, but got the job done when he could. This deal paves the way for Hector Nerris, Edubray Ramos, or another member of the bullpen to develop into a long-term closer after trading Ken Giles last year.

Adam Morgan was the final piece of this trade with San Diego. The 26-year-old was once the organization’s second-ranked prospect before suffering a shoulder injury, putting his career in jeopardy. He started 15 games last season and finished with a 4.48 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 2.88.

September 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris (3) hits a two run RBI double in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
September 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris (3) hits a two run RBI double in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

This season Morgan bounced between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, but still made 21 starts and two appearances as a reliever. For a pitcher who can give up a lot of line-drives, Morgan will never fully succeed in The Bank, and needs a change of scenery. This gives him the opportunity to be a member of the Padres rotation and be a back of the rotation pitcher.

The Phillies feel very good about this trade by acquiring two of the Padres top-11 prospects. Urias and Morejon are still teenagers and could arrive to a core of Mickey Moniak, Franklyn Kilome, and Jorge Alfaro in 2019-2020. It’s a long-term deal that keeps the talent flowing in Philadelphia for a long time.

Next: Phillies Mock Trade: Aaron Altherr to Los Angeles

Special thanks to the Friars on Base editors for joining us in this series. You can visit their site and read their thoughts on the trade here.

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