Chris Carter was finally freed from the Diamondbacks and sent to the American League. To complete the deal that sent Wily Mo Pena from Boston to Washington, the Diamondbacks sent the first baseman to the Nationals who sent him on to Boston. In return, the Diamondbacks get RHP Emuliano Fruto from the Nationals.
Carter has been a "Free the Prospect" favorite for us and has just put up ridiculous numbers in Tucson for two years running. Yes, it’s a nice place to hit, but his road numbers aren’t that awful. The biggest issue has been his defense, or lack thereof. He’s gotten some time in left field but, truthfully, he’s a DH. His best position is batters box. Now in the AL, he can get some playing time in the field on occasion, but can get most of his at-bats without hurting his team with his glove. Too bad he got dealt to the AL team with the best designated hitter in baseball. Fact of the matter is, though, Carter deserved a shot after putting up those kinds of numbers and it wasn’t going to happen with the Diamondbacks or likely with any National League team where having to make defensive substitutions for him late in games would have to be the norm.
Fruto has always had a good arm. He was a Futures Gamer this year for the Nats, though he’s struggled in the second half as a starting pitcher — he had been a reliever for most of his Minor League career, which was in the Mariners organization until this year. He could provide some bullpen help right away for Arizona should they need it.
The other recent trade saw the Reds send Jeff Conine to the Mets for a pair of Minor Leaguers, Jose Castro and Sean Henry. While they aren’t exactly elite prospects, it certainly doesn’t help the St. Lucie Mets’ quest to make the playoffs, does it? St. Lucie has won 8 straight and stands in first place of the FSL East by 2 games. Castro, a shortstop (do the Reds really need another minor league shortstop? Jeez), led the team with a .318 batting average. Henry, an outfielder, was hitting .293 with 11 homers and 18 steals and is near the top in a number of team categories (2nd in OPS, for instance). They may not be the kind of player Reds fans will go nuts over acquiring, but it just shows to go you that even a "minor" trade like this can have a big impact at the minor-league level.