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Scott Diamond traded to the Twins


young mr. grace
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Aaron Gleeman

Mar 28, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond wasn’t going to make the Twins, but rather than having to offer him back to the Braves as per the draft’s requirements the two sides have worked out a trade.

Minnesota will be able to keep Diamond and can now send him to the minors as if he weren’t acquired in the Rule 5 draft, but the price was a remarkably steep one, as the Braves receive 2009 second-round pick Billy Bullock in exchange.

I ranked Bullock as the 10th-best prospect in the Twins’ farm system, whereas I had Diamond ranked 36th on the same list, so this deal is a head-scratcher. Bullock was the 70th overall pick just two years ago and is a reliever with a mid-90s fastball who’s racked up 150 strikeouts in 108 innings.

He has control issues, but projects as a potential late-inning reliever. To trade him for someone with mid-rotation starter upside who was left off the 40-man roster and available to any team in the Rule 5 draft is odd enough, but to make that trade when the Twins could have simply kept Diamond around for nothing as a long reliever or mop-up man is doubly confusing.

Helluva move by the Braves though, picking up a high-upside reliever prospect for a guy they didn’t even protect from the Rule 5 draft three months ago.

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Interesting. I had suspected the Braves may have been eager to get Diamond back after having lost Lee Hyde and Michael Dunn from the organization. As it stands, if something happens to Venters, Sherril, or O'Flaherty, there really isn't a LHRP in AAA to replace them.

Sounds like the Braves wanted Diamond back, but the Twins gave them an offer they couldn't refuse.

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Interesting. I had suspected the Braves may have been eager to get Diamond back after having lost Lee Hyde and Michael Dunn from the organization. As it stands, if something happens to Venters, Sherril, or O'Flaherty, there really isn't a LHRP in AAA to replace them.

Sounds like the Braves wanted Diamond back, but the Twins gave them an offer they couldn't refuse.

This maybe true, but the way it seems to me is that the Twins really wanted him more. I say this because the Braves could have refused the trade and gotten him back or asked for more value in return

Edited by Cable Guy
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Obviously the Twins wanted him more, since he now is a member of the Twins organization. I was just theorizing why the Twins had to give up such a well-regarded prospect.

I think it's part because both organizations viewed Diamond as a starter. We really didn't need any more starters in our organization, but can always use high upside relief arms. While the prospect we got back is a very good relief prospect, teams will generally value starters more. So we got a higher ranked prospect that the Twins probably didn't value as much as the starter they got.

A writer on TC noted the inherent oddity of Rule 5 draft picks. If Diamond had been healthy and pitched well in spring training, the Twins keep him on the 25 man roster and we get nothing. Since he didn't pitch well, we get a pretty good relief prospect.

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Diamond, a 24-year-old southpaw, posted a 3.46 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 0.3 HR/9 in 158 2/3 innings across 27 starts at Double and Triple-A last year. Baseball America ranked him 29th among Twins prospects, noting that his ceiling is as a fourth or fifth starter.

Bullock, 23, put up a 3.53 ERA, 12.8 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 74 relief innings for the Twins' High-A and Double-A clubs last year. BA ranked Bullock 15th among Twins prospects, praising his repertoire but questioning his command. Having swapped their #15 prospect for their 29th best, the Twins clearly don't agree with Baseball America's rankings in this case.

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