The Montreal Metros and Norfolk Sharks have agreed to swap shortstops in a one-for-one deal that had some GMs scratching their heads.
Metros are sending 30-year-old Alphonso George to the Sharks in return for 31-year-old minor leaguer Zack Zaphod.
George is regarded as a solid performer at the shortstop position, though he had an uncharacteristically bad year on offense in 2017. George hit .215 last season, bringing his career average down to .278. He had been closer to the .300 mark after going .293, .293 and .329 from 2014-2016.
His home run production tapered off last year as well, dropping from 17 homers in 2016, down to 9 last year. In fact, 2017 was the first time in his major-level career he missed out on a call to the All-Star Game, having been named three years in a row prior to that.
Zaphod, on the other hand, is an infield defensive whiz, blessed with great wheels when he chooses to use them. He has 36 career stolen bases as a pro, but just 8 of those in the majors. He is not comparable to George in terms of offense, having failed to break .200 at the plate in the last two seasons. His career average sits at just .213.
Despite 5 years at the top level, Zaphod has struggled to prove his worth there. He spent 2017 with Battle Creek (now the Louisville Sluggers), and then in February he was traded to Norfolk in exchange for Ryan Hightower, the #222 prospect in the league. This trade is the second time he’s been moved this year.