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Analyzing the "other" players in the Todd Frazier trade

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From the White Sox perspective, of course.

Goodbye, sweet prince.
Goodbye, sweet prince.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is pretty familiar with what Todd Frazier brings to the table. So what about the players the White Sox gave up in the deal?

Frankie Montas. He's probably a reliever long-term. One can still dream on his potential to start but a dream is probably all it is at this point. The mechanics are just too messy. That said, he definitely has a reasonable floor of a major league reliever (as always, assuming health, of course). A 100 MPH fastball with feel for a slider will do that. A reasonable ceiling is a good 9th inning man. Reality tends to end up in-between so you're probably looking at a 7th/8th inning man and potentially a good one. And as we've seen - most particularly this offseason - that's a sought-after commodity. Today at Baseball Prospectus, Russell Carleton estimated that good 8th inning guys are worth $8 million to $12 million - which is about what they're getting on the open market. So you can see what the Dodgers were thinking in making the Dominican the headliner of their return.

MLB.com keeps their top 100 prospect list up-to-date (though they probably will do a more in-depth review of that list later in the offseason) and they have Montas at #54. That strikes me as a bit too high but that's arguing at the margins. He's almost certainly going to be a consensus top 75 or so prospect. The body type - he's drawn the (unflattering in this context) comp of Bartolo Colon - can be a bit scary, particularly if you don't know the specifics of his injury history. The two knee surgeries were the result of a congenital condition in both knees. And he'll be 23 next season and, while he'll always be a big boy, over the years of team control his weight probably won't get out of control.

Trayce Thompson. A larry favorite bids adieu. Pretty much everyone - myself included - "gave up" on Thompson being anything more than a potential 4th outfielder after he stagnated in his second go at Birmingham in 2014. But then the always-toolsy turned into some-skillsy at Charlotte this past season. He dramatically cut his strikeout rate to 18.9% while still maintaining good power (though he did hand back some walks). And then he continued the trick in the majors (and took back those walks).

The issue with the soon-to-be 25-year-old was always contact. And it seems like he made some real improvements in that regard. He's a plus defender in the corners and probably at least average in center. He's got speed and is a good baserunner. He's got pop. At a minimum, you're probably looking at a 4th outfielder. And his ceiling makes him the best candidate for the "crap, we shouldn't have traded him" in a few years, as he might still (again?) have the potential to be a good starting outfielder.

Micah Johnson. I've long-since tired of talking about Johnson so, thankfully, this is probably the last time I'll have to do it at any length. Yes, he's got superb speed (though the repeated leg injuries, culminating in the one that ended his 2015 early, are unsettling). Yes, he's got excellent makeup and is a very engaging person off the field. And, yes, he can hit a bit. But that defense. It's just horrifyingly bad. Hands is one of those things that is very difficult to "teach" and that is Johnson's main problem.

MLB.com had him as the 5th best prospect in the organization. That, to me, is ridiculous - and, for you funny guys stuck in 2010, it has everything to do with Johnson and not with the other White Sox prospects. I find it difficult to see a major league player, let alone one who has the potential to be a legitimate starter. In addition to all his leg problems, he's also had three surgeries on his arm. Doing what one normally does with a failed infielder - moving him to the outfield - is pretty speculative with him. Other than speed, he hasn't really demonstrated any potential outfield acumen. His particular blend of bad defense, good speed and maybe decent bat probably has a slightly higher probability of success in the NL so going to the Dodgers is best long-term for Johnson. Unfortunately, though, he'll be 25 on Friday and his only true skill - speed - is already in decline.

Bottom line: This is a fair package for Frazier.