The second domino fell in the starting-pitcher trade market when the Dodgers sent a trio of power-armed righthanders to the Marlins for Ricky Nolasco. Miami receives Steve Ames and Josh Wall, two Triple-A relievers who are on the 40-man roster, and 23-year-old Angel Sanchez, who recently earned a promotion to high Class A.
The Dodgers also acquired the Marlins’ international signing bonus slot No. 4, valued at $197,000, a small consolation for picking up Nolasco’s reaming salary (about $5.75 million) and not being able to acquire free agent compensation if he walks as a free agent.
The Orioles struck first last week, nabbing righthander Scott Feldman from the Cubs for the power-armed—but enigmatic—Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.
Angel Sanchez, rhp
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Dodgers, July 12, 2010.
Sanchez has a great arm but only mixed results in the low minors during the past two seasons. A late-June promotion to the high Class A California League has keyed his best pitching of the season, including six strikeouts and one walk over 6 1/3 innings last Wednesday. Sanchez’s fastball features present plus velocity at 92-94 mph, while his slider and changeup project to at least average. He’s the pitcher headed to the Marlins most likely to contribute significant value in the big leagues, though he’s also the farthest away.
Josh Wall, rhp
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in second round of 2005 draft; signed July 3, 2005.
Wall reached the majors with the 2012 Dodgers after an eight-year trek through the minors, though to establish any sort of traction he’ll need to miss more bats or hand out fewer free passes to profile as more than a middle reliever. With a walk rate of four per nine innings as a Triple-A reliever (80 games), a dramatic improvement in control would seem to be unlikely. Wall can reach 95 mph with regularity and break off a vicious slider, but his hit rates in the minors suggest that opposing batters make plenty of hard contact.
Steve Ames, rhp
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in 17th round of 2009 draft; signed June 16, 2009.
Ames pitched his way onto the Dodgers’ 40-man roster following a strong 2012 season at Double-A Chattanooga (10.2 SO/9, 1.8 BB/9), but his strikeout-to-walk ratio slipped to 2.2-to-1 at Triple-A Albuquerque this season. His fastball sits in the low 90s and his slider has its moments, but without more velocity or a sharper breaking ball, he has a middle-relief ceiling. Ames has pitched much better away from Isotopes Park this season, converting eight of eight save opportunities while striking out 13 and allowing 23 baserunners in 15 2/3 innings.
Ricky Nolasco, rhp
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $11.5 million owed for 2013.