DLD Trade Review: Who Won the Banuelos/Yurchak Trade?

 

On Thursday, less than a week after the Dodgers’ crushing World Series loss, the front office has begun moving and dealing personnel. The Dodgers’ traded left-handed pitcher, Manny Banuelos, to the Chicago White Sox in return for corner infielder, Justin Yurchak.

Manny Banuelos, a 27 year old who first signed as an amateur free agent in 2008 with the New York Yankees, has been in the Dodgers’ organization since November of 2017. On November 6th of 2017, Banuelos was granted free agency and signed with the Dodgers eight days later. In his time with the Dodgers, Banuelos only appeared in Oklahoma City for the Dodgers’ AAA affiliate.

Banuelos pitched in 31 games for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, posting a 3.73 ERA and recording 127 strikeouts over 108.2 innings. With the Dodgers’ plenty of left-handed starters and relievers on the Major League roster, it was clear that Banuelos would most likely never be a regular in the Dodgers’ big league rotation or bullpen. However, with the move from Los Angeles to Chicago, Banuelos’ chances to be a long-term MLB pitcher are much greater, as the White Sox attempt to rebuild and reform their pitching staff.

Pictured above is the now-Dodgers’ prospect, Justin Yurchak. In the 12th round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft, the White Sox drafted Justin Yurchak and assigned him to the organization’s Rookie League affiliate, the Great Falls Voyagers. Yurchak spent 60 games in Great Falls, slashing a dominate .345 average with a .968 OPS to go along with it. Yurchak would later to Kannapolis, North Carolina to play for the White Sox’ single-A affiliate to begin the 2018 season.

Yurchak wasn’t as strong in the batter’s box during his 95 games with the Kannapolis Intimidators as he was in Great Falls, pushing across 36 RBIs while swatting a .256 average. Yurchak played only one game at third base for Kannapolis, committing no errors and receiving no opportunities for a put out in his seven innings at the position. Yurchak did however play 80 games at first base, recording 654.0 innings where Yurchak committed 11 errors. As a 22 year old, Yurchak certainly has time to clean up his defensive mistakes, but that will have to be something of priority, should he aspire to rise through the ranks in the Dodgers’ strong farm system.

Who won the trade?

After taking time to go through each player’s history as professional ball players, it’s safe to say that the Dodgers received more upside in this one-for-one deal with the White Sox.

Although a strong pitcher, Manny Banuelos’ services didn’t seem to have the chance to go beyond AAA for the Dodgers, as the team is currently contending and holds lots of talent in the Major Leagues. Banuelos definitely wins with his move, making it almost a for-sure deal that Banuelos will return to the big leagues in 2018, after his short MLB stint with the Braves in 2015.

The Dodgers received a very young position player in return for the nearly Major-League-ready Banuelos. Acquiring Justin Yurchak at such a young age gives the Dodgers the chance to imbed the team’s philosophies and culture in Yurchak’s game before he hits his prime playing years.

It has not yet been announced which affiliate Yurchak will begin 2019 with, but it is safe to assume he will spend time with both the Great Lakes Loons in single-A, and potentially the advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes later in the year.

 

Arrick Joel has covered the Dodgers since 2017, and for Dodgers-LowDown since 2018. Follow @ArrickJoel and @DodgersLowDown on Twitter for more.