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Say hey, baseball: The Diamondbacks made a pretty dumb trade

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Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.


The valuation of prospects goes in cycles. At certain points in time, prospects will be incredibly overvalued; this sort of period came following the success of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as rookies. Having team-controlled, elite talent can be a pipe dream for any team and allow infinite levels of flexibility, but franchises can sometimes place too much value on their young players and squander opportunities to acquire good talent. At other points, prospects are undervalued and can be acquired at points of low value, perhaps after an underwhelming rookie year.


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What the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to do with 2014 first round pick Touki Toussaint is an extreme example of the latter; the trade was extreme to the point where talent evaluators were practically laughing at Arizona general manager Dave Stewart. Stewart chose to trade Touissant, a Top-100 prospect in baseball, in order to get out of paying Bronson Arroyo $9.5 million for the rest of the season.

Touissant, drafted out of high school, is just 19 years old and has a lot of development ahead of him. Stewart's argument for practically giving away a relatively promising pitching prospect was that the team had more advanced pitchers in the farm system, a sentiment that doesn't quite justify giving away a toolsy prospect because of the volatility of prospect development. Touissant has an upside of a frontline starter, and Braves general manager John Hart doesn't necessarily need Touissant to become that in order to justify taking on Arroyo for the rest of the season. The move represents an incredibly short-sighted trade, regardless of what Touissant ultimately becomes.

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