CHICAGO -- The Cubs are loaded with position prospects but don’t have much in the way of pitching prospects. The New York Mets are stacked with great young pitching, but they don’t have much in the way of position prospects.
“Which would you rather have?” one longtime evaluator mused.
It’s an interesting question now, in 2014, in a way that it hasn’t been for many years. Because for the last few decades, the pitcher-to-position player exchange rate -- much like the U.S. versus Canada money exchange rate -- has generally skewed to one side; pitching has generally gotten you more in return than position players.
For that reason, rival evaluators were stunned a few years ago that Seattle would swap elite young pitcher Michael Pineda in a deal for catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero; it smashed against the grain of recent history. For that reason, the Rays were able to get outfielder Wil Myers in return for James Shields and Wade Davis; the Royals desperately needed pitching to ascend.
But as we move within three months of the July 31 trade deadline, is the exchange rate of pitching and position players the same?