December 24, 2048
Vancouver has traded SP Juan Hernandez, SP Jon Howard, SS Mitch Kozlosky and cash to the Washington Generals in exchange for LF Clint Beda, SS Cisco Irizarry, SP Wes Mollette, and SS Hector Lamboy.
Hernandez and Howard were both high draft picks for the Grizzlies, with Hernandez going in the 2nd round of the 2042 draft and Howard being selected in the 1st round in 2037. Kozlosky was a 1st round pick as well, in 2040. SS Kozlosky stepped into a full-time starting role for the first time in 2048, and put up 3.5 WAR. GM Woodring didn’t expect that much value from him, and will miss his services, but SS Irizarry should be able to fill in, at least defensively. Offensively Irizarry will likely produce less than Kozlosky, but this is 2049! Shortstop is a defensive position, right?
So, why would Vancouver move on from a 24 year old SP, a popular team vet, and a shortstop reaching his prime?
Beda looks to be a stud with the bat, and pairing him with 1B Stan Struchen, who put up 7.4 WAR in 2048 with an OPS+ of 168, should form a formidable duo in the heart of the batting order. Beda debuted in high A ball in 2048, after Washington selected him in the 2nd round. However, he appears to be on the fast track to the majors, as he was sitting in the AAA roster for Washington. He’ll start 2049 in the majors for Vancouver.
There’s also the factor of Vancouver’s pitching boosting throughout the organization. Late in 2048, RP Johnny Fields met with Johan Santana, where he picked up an elite changeup grip. Fields’ new elite changeup should allow him to step into the rotation in 2049, the same way Antonio Fuentes successfully transitioned from reliever to ace in 2047. (Although Fuentes’ newly learned third pitch was a fastball–boring!) Similarly, Vancouver has some arms down in AA who appear to be major league ready in Tony Roldan and Dave Nash. With Howard moving on, Tony Hernandez is now the only pitcher in Vancouver over the age of 30. Bring on the youth!
SP Mollette and SS Lamboy may eventually reach the majors, but are likely just organizational depth at this point.