Trading prospects for established stars usually benefits the side acquiring the veteran player.
Prospects are exciting, but more often than not, they fail to live up to the hype and end up having disappointing careers, or underperforming their expectations.
In this particular case, however, we can firmly say that so far, the Cleveland Guardians got, by far, the best end of the deal when they talked business with the San Diego Padres about Mike Clevinger.
On August 31, 2020, the Guardians acquired pitchers Cal Quantrill and Joey Cantillo, catcher Austin Hedges, infielders Owen Miller and Gabriel Arias, and outfielder Josh Naylor from the Friars in exchange for Clevinger.
Absolute highway robbery
— Matt Lyons (@mattrly) April 13, 2022
The Jury Is Still Out On The Trade, But Cleveland Got Too Much Value In Return
Clevinger made four solid starts for the Padres in 2020, with a 2.84 ERA, before necessitating Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2021 season.
He is currently yet to make his big league debut, while nursing a knee issue, but is already making rehab starts and should be back before the end of the month.
Cleveland, meanwhile, is enjoying a strong season by Miller (.500/.545/.964, two home runs) and Quantrill (3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings), and Naylor has played well in limited time.
Arias is one of MLB’s top shortstop prospects, and Hedges is known as a strong defender behind the plate.
Overall, the Guardians have gotten way more value than the Padres, but the jury is still out on the trade.
Right now, however, the Guardians have to feel confident about their strong return.
For all we know, Clevinger may pitch like a Cy Young candidate from here on out, but even if that’s the case, Cleveland got at least four or five truly valuable pieces for their “retooling” process.