David Stearns Trade Fleece #3: An Ace for Adam Lind
At first glance of this trade, it didn’t look much like a fleece. As time has gone on, however, it has definitely moved into ‘fleece’ category.
Honestly, the Brewers coming out so far on top in this trade is partially due to extremely good luck, but also partially due to the Brewers front office’s skills in spotting talent and developing it.
Late in 2014, the Brewers acquired first baseman Adam Lind from the Blue Jays for homer-prone starter Marco Estrada. Lind spent the entire 2015 season as the Brewers first baseman and did pretty well, hitting .277 with 20 homers, but the Brewers immediately went into rebuild mode and the veteran slugger was a movable asset.
The new GM, David Stearns, saw this and traded Lind to Seattle in exchange for three teenage pitchers; Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, and Freddy Peralta. All were lottery tickets, most teenage pitchers are.
It didn’t take long after joining the Brewers organization for Freddy Peralta to establish himself as the best of that trio of prospects. He posted a 2.85 ERA in Low-A Wisconsin after coming over and continued to climb up the organizational ladder. After a rough initial stint in then-High A affiliate Brevard County, Peralta never posted an ERA above 3.10 with any Brewers minor league team outside of rehab stints.
Peralta made his major league debut on Mother’s Day in 2018, striking out 13 Rockies and he’s been a staple on this big league pitching staff ever since. He’s continued to get better each year and permanently entrenched himself in the starting rotation in 2021 and established himself as one of the co-aces of this group.
The other two young pitchers in the trade flamed out, either due to injury or ineffectiveness. Missaki never threw a pitch for the Brewers organization, and didn’t throw one professionally for six years. His last affiliated game was in 2015 before the trade, and just this past season appeared in three games for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. Good to see him finally healthy.
Lind spent one season in Seattle and his batting average dropped 38 points from his season with the Brewers, his OPS dropped 103 points, and his number of doubles were cut nearly in half. The rewards for Seattle in this deal were minimal.
Meanwhile the Brewers have been reaping the rewards and get to reap the rewards of this trade for years to come. The Mariners gave Milwaukee three lottery tickets. One of them just so happened to have the lucky numbers for the jackpot.
Because of the major luck aspect to developing a teenage pitcher into an ace, this trade only comes in at No. 3. It’s hard to fault the Mariners for giving up Peralta since he was so far from a sure thing, and perhaps their pitching development program would’ve never gotten Peralta to point he’s at now.