Submitted by: kzeke
May 14, 2023
Replace Busch with Stone, then Cleveland would think about it… I doubt the A’s are willing though…
I don’t see why you guys would trade Langeliers… It be nice to get three pitchers, but two of them have had injury issues…
Though Jackson and Rooker may not finish the season with the A’s…
I agree Jackson and Rooker could end up former A’s by the deadline.
Although Forst has so completely botched the rebuild and I doubt his decision making process will improve in the next few months.
Down vote for Oakland. I’d much rather see Cleveland invest the time and resources in Espino’s rehab process.
Let’s talk about the notion that Cleveland would be “selling low” if they dealt Espino now. Daniel Espino underwent shoulder surgery (anterior capsule repair) on May 2nd and is expected to miss the next 12-14 months. Any time you’re cutting into a pitcher’s shoulder you run the risk that this it, they’re done, and in that Worst Case scenario now would be a GREAT time to trade Espino. But what does the Best Case scenario look like? I imagine it looks something like what happened for Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias.
Urias went under the knife mid-June, 2017 and didn’t pitch again until July 30, 2018. (I’ll round down and call it 13 months to facilitate the conversation.) When Urias got back on the mound the Dodgers limited him to roughly 2 innings every 5-6 days for the first, full month of his rehab. He started every one of the those AZL/High-A games so he could take his time warming up. Then they promoted him to AAA and moved him into a bullpen role, pitching on 3 days and 2 days rest for an inning during a pair of games. Once the minor league season ended (and after 12 days off) he got called up to LA, pitching 4 innings in 3 games spread over 2 weeks. He did not make the NLDS playoff roster but replaced an injured pitcher for the NLCS and World Series, pitching in 7 games for 6.1 innings.
All told, Julio Urias returned from surgery after 13 months and pitched in 18 games for 22 innings during the 2018 season.
Urias started 2019 in the LA rotation but after pitching 6 shut-out innings against the Brewers he was sent to the bullpen for the remainder of the season. Clearly the Dodgers were looking to keep his innings down during his first, full healthy season. He appeared in 41 games, pitching 87.1 innings including the postseason.
Then 2020 happened and who knows what if any limits were going to be in place for Urias. In 2021 he goes off for 32 GS and 185.1 IP during the regular season, plus another 4 G and 15 IP during the postseason.
Let’s apply that recovery template to Daniel Espino.
13 months gets Espino back on the mound in early June, 2024. I’m going to assume that given the changes to the minor league schedule he’ll only pitch once a week instead of every 5-6 days. That’s not going to cost him any innings as he’ll be nearly 8 weeks ahead of Urias’ time table, in fact I believe Espino could double Urias’ 22 IP from the 2018 season. But what happens when the minor league season ends? Urias had already started 20 games for the Dodgers before he got hurt while Espino has all of 4 games (4 very impressive games, to be sure) above High-A. I think whichever organization Espino is pitching for is going to spend 2024 focused on building his arm back up and not, as the Dodgers did with Urias, work to incorporate him into their big league bullpen plans.
I don’t believe a trip to the 2024 AFL would be in order, I imagine the team would prefer a “normal” offseason of rest and prep before the 2025 season.
But the 2025 season is likely to have limits in place for Espino, just as the Dodgers did with Urias in 2019. Espino’s career high innings was 91.2 in 2021 so it would make sense for the organization to cap him at 100-ish innings while focusing on his continued development as a SP. What the Dodgers did with Bobby Miller in 2021 (24 G between AA/AAA, 112.1 IP) could be Espino’s 2025 template. A late-season, big league call-up would be likely in this Best Case scenario.
We can certainly place Espino on the 2026 Opening Day roster but will he have an innings restriction? Will his team let him make 30+ GS and throw 185+ IP over the course of the year? Probably not. A non-contender isn’t going to risk it and a contender will be managing his workload to keep him available for the postseason.
Finally, in 2027, Daniel Espino can be turned loose.
Best Case scenario.
It’s a 4 year wait for any team to get the Best version of Daniel Espino. Cleveland wouldn’t be selling low if they dealt him now as his trade value can only go lower over the next 12+ months! Maybe his value can start to tick back up starting in June of 2024 but that’s not for certain. Espino’s current 16.5 BTV is probably the high mark for the next 3 trade cycles and the Guardians are looking at a winnable AL Central during that timeline.
Anterior Capsule Repair has a very high success rate these days and Espino is only 22 yrs old. He’s fine and if he isn’t then Cleveland will gladly ride that horse into the sunset. You don’t give a SP prospect like him away for a 28 yr old OF who has been shit minus 114 AB so far this season. Cleveland selling way low to buy way high wouldn’t be good business. There is no reason to rush Espino. His recovery aligns just fine with the window of 2025. He’ll have plenty of time to get healthy, strong and stretched out for that season as he’ll be back in 2024. He’ll probably have a 140-150 inning limit in 2025. He already had the surgery and it’s a 12-14 month full recovery. He’ll have a large portion of next season to build up.
Oakland trading away Langeliers would be absolutely uncalled for IMO. I’m building my next contender around him if I were them so asking for a haul is perfectly reasonable. They did good when they acquired him.
Cleveland has no use whatsoever for Jackson or Busch. None. Them being included is a deal killer.
I would love to see Outman and Rooker added(Outman moreso), but this deal doesn’t do anything with any of Straw, OGon, Valera or Brennan. If Cleveland is bringing in 2 OFers then 2 will probably need to go. Valera has recently returned from the IL and hit the ground running in AAA. He’s a top 100 prospect and should be someone that the Athletic’s would have interest in, but they couldn’t get him for Rooker alone.
In the end Cleveland isn’t making this deal as is and neither is Oakland IMO. The inclusion of Langeliers is a deal breaker for them or it should be. I really like Nastrini and have included him in just about every Bieber to the Dodgers deal I’ve created. Basically the Dodgers and Guardians don’t need to include Oakland to make a good deal for Bieber. At the same time I don’t think Oakland and Cleveland need to include the Dodgers to make a good trade where Rooker goes to Cleveland.