Reactions to the Sergio Santos-Nestor Molina trade

While many of these links were scattered throughout Larry's post and the subsequent comments, I figured it'd be easier for all of us if I collected those reactions to the trade that sent Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays for Nestor Molina, as well as some others I found.

Our neighbor at Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers:

Nestor was an international free agent signing back in 2007 out of Venezuela. He’s right-handed, not a big guy, 6’1" and 180, but the throws low 90’s, has a good splitter and has great control, he’s only walked 1.4/9 innings in his minor league career. Until 2011 the Jays were using him mostly in relief to build up his innings slowly. This past year he made 23 starts between High-A and Double-A. He went 12-3 with a 2.21 ERA, with 148 strikeouts in 130 innings. He turns 23 in January and likely should start next season in Double-A but could move up fast. John Sickels rated him our number 2 prospect, when he looked at the team at the end of November, I think he was overrating him a little bit but he’s a good one. I thought he was going to be in the Jays pen by the end of next season but he could be a decent starter too. I really like Nestor but you have to give something up to get something.

We traded insight, as I gave him my thoughts on Santos.

Reading this review on Getting Blanked led to this blog post at Drunk Jays Fans, recapping an interview with Molina's manager at Double-A, Sal Fasano:

"Nestor is an unbelievable athlete," Fasano begins by saying. "When he's on the mound it's like having a shortstop that's pitching, which is great. Obviously his numbers speak for themselves-- he absolutely dealt when he was with us-- but what he is is, he's a control guy, and he throws strikes, and he's got a really good split-finger. What he does is, he works so fast, to the point where the hitters are always uncomfortable. So it's kind of like the old adage of, you know, work fast, throw strikes, and expand the strike zone, and he does it to a T. He does a tremendous job with it, and I'm really excited to see how the competition moves up in Spring Training, and maybe he will have an opportunity."

John Sickels loves him some Nestor, and he emphasized it today:

Molina has a solid 90-94 MPH fastball and keeps it low in the zone, picking up grounders. He also has a very good splitter. His slider is still a work-in-progress according to scouts, but his delivery adds deception and helps his stuff play up. His statistics last year were simply spectacular, and it is unusual to see a relief-to-starting conversion turn out this positively. He wasn't some old guy tricking people; he was just 22 last year. If anything, Molina still doesn't get the respect he deserves as a prospect. I currently have him rated as a Grade B+ prospect.

Kevin Goldstein isn't as hot on him:

That's not to say that Molina is a bad prospect. He has well above-average command of a wide range of pitches. His velocity is average to slightly-above at 88-93 mph, but the pitch plays up due to his ability to sink and cut the ball while still locating it. He'll throw both a curveball and slider, both of which are average offerings, but his change is already plus, and he'll mix in an impressive split change. He throws strikes, mixes all of his pitches, and keeps hitters off balance, but that said, he's very good at what he does, projecting as a future No. 4 starter with some chances of being a three. It's telling that that combination makes him Chicago's best starting pitcher prospect by a wide margin.

Because he knows a breaking ball when he doesn't see one, Keith Law is in the underwhelmed camp:

The White Sox, on the other hand, get an extreme control right-hander without much of a breaking ball who could be a dominant two-pitch reliever, but is probably a year away from seriously contributing in the majors.

He should have a significant role in the pen even if he ends up exclusively a fastball/splitter guy. Molina is a good prospect, probably the best now in a fallow White Sox system, but the return seems a little light for a major-league reliever signed to a very affordable three-year deal.

And finally, Kenny Williams talks about what he sees:

If I missed any opinions of note, throw 'em below.

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