The Nevada Speeders are mortgaging their prospect pool to solidify a playoff run while the California Tidals may have guaranteed their dominance in 4-5 season, after tying up a massive seven-player deal today.
The Tidals will send the current top offensive first baseman in baseball, Jim ‘Mister’ Lahey, and speedy shortstop prospect Al Peacock to the Speeders in return for a five-player prospect package that includes two pitchers and three outfielders: AA-level closer Butch Keyes, RHP Dan Beck, #61 OSA prospect Ryan Pellerin, speedy rookie-level slugger Manchu Duan, and lefty batter Benno Brinkman.
Lahey is batting .311 with an OPS of 1.062, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs and 14 doubles. He is leading the Bull League in nearly every batting category among first basemen, and is in the last year of his six-year period of club control. As a pending free agent, he will likely go supernova this offseason, and could command over $10 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid at the position.
A big dealmaker for this massive trade was the inclusion of Ryan Pellerin. California, which is in a complete rebuild this year, is leveraging Lahey for some serious prospect talent in Pellerin, a fantastic defensive outfielder that will not disappoint the team in the batting lineup in a few years. Keyes was another factor, as the team looks to lockdown the bullpen in future years.
The Tidals also pick up some power from Duan, who was a scout find out of Taiwan in 2016 and at one time thought to be on track to develop into a solid hitter. Dan Beck is a decent lefty arm that should develop into a mid-rotation role-filler in 2-3 seasons, just when the Tidals should be set to start competing again.
Speeders GM Scott Dummler is said to be very pleased with the deal, and with the addition of Lahey to the batting order, the team now looks like a solid first-place finisher for the AEL West Division.