The Houston Astros have been heavily tied to Josh Bell since rumor season for the MLB trade deadline started, but they ended up landing Trey Mancini for a pittance, instead.
The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, aren’t letting a chase for a wild card spot knock them off-course in their rebuild. They unloaded Mancini for Seth Johnson (No. 6 in the Rays organization), who is due to receive Tommy John surgery, and Chayce McDermott, the No. 12 prospect in the Astros organization.
The Rays, for their part, will receive Jose Siri, a center fielder who impressed in 21 games last year but has struggled in his second season, hitting .178 with an OPS of .542.
Three-team trade! Full deal, according to sources.
Houston gets: 1B/OF Trey Manicini and RHP Jayden Murray
Baltimore gets: RHP Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott
Tampa Bay gets: CF Jose Siri
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan)
It’s really a bit of a coup for the Astros, who got the only player of real consequence in the deal. Johnson is the best prospect involved, but he’ll miss all of next year.
Here’s how each team fared.
Astros trade grade: A
Mancini’s power is down this year, but does anyone think it’s an accident that coincides with the Frankenwall at Camden Yards? He brings a strong right-handed bat to the Astros, he gets Yuli Gurriel out of the daily lineup, and he comes at a great price for the Astros.
All things told, even though Bell might have fit with what the Astros are trying to do better, they get a clubhouse leader in addition to a strong first baseman. James Click probably couldn’t hang up the phone quickly enough on this deal.
Orioles trade grade: F
Really? This is all you could get for Mancini?
Any other year, you could chalk this up to the Orioles doing what they had to do and moving Mancini for something instead of nothing. But they’re in the middle of a wild card chase and they were having a genuinely fun season.
Call it what it is: This is a small-time move by a small-time front office. Baltimore doesn’t deserve to see the field in October if they’re going to trade their only tradable piece for a pitcher getting Tommy John surgery in Johnson and a total wild card in McDermott.
Rays trade grade: C
The Rays don’t seem to be too involved in everything going on here, they were probably looped in to make this deal work.
Landing Jose Siri seems like a case of “we can fix him” and he’s a player with a ton of team control. That fits the Rays’ MO.
It would be nice to see the Rays supplant this move with another bat, because Siri doesn’t address their holes in the batting order. They didn’t give up much to get involved in this trade, and they DFA’d Brett Phillips to make room for Siri, so they’re a bit of a nothing-burger in the context of this trade.