Trade Bait: Sergio Santos to Toronto

The White Sox roster is open for business!

Kenny Williams signaled that he was open for business on most of his roster by trading away a closer that he just recently signed to a long-term contract. Sergio Santos was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a one-for-one swap that sent pitcher Nestor Molina to the Sox. Soon after it was announced, Kenny Williams stated his team was now fully in a rebuilding mode. “This is the start of a rebuilding,” stated Williams to the media. But he also made it clear that it is not, “the start of falling domino rebuilding.” as in a complete fire sale is not likely. Kenny will have to find good deals in order to deal away talent, he’s not specifically getting rid of everything available.

In Santos, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos receives a closer that was completely dominant last season, expecially early on. Santos is also signed to a three-year deal with an additional three option years tacked on if the Blue Jays want to pick them up at some point. It is seemingly a pretty team-friendly contract that should work out well for Anthopoulos. No longer will Alex have to piece together a short-term solution of closer position for the upcoming season, much like what he’s done his first few years at the helm.

In order to land Santos the Blue Jays gave up promising pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Molina, a converted infielder/outfielder, enjoyed a breakout first season as a starting pitcher in the Jays system warming up to pitching through a relief role earlier in his career. There are many mixed views in Molina from the various prospect mavens. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo is intrigued by his four-pitch mix and his control (16 BB/148 K ratio), however, ESPN’s Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein are less impressed. Molina has a low-90s fastball, a slider/curve (depending on who you talk to), a changeup, and a splitter that is possibly his best offering. His detractors point to his lack of a fastball, necessitating pin-point control in the majors and his iffy breaking ball.

Molina looks like more of a future #4 starter at this point, but he could develop into a #3 with a little more honing of his off-speed stuff and better command of his pitches. A switch back to the bullpen could result in a few more mph on his fastball and the ditching of his breaking ball and possibly change, making him an ideal candidate to set up.

I like this deal for Alex and the Jays. He picked up an electric closer with a low amount of mileage on his arm for a prospect pitcher that isn’t projected to impact a the Sox as much as Santos will help the Jays.

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