Before the lockout, the Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Jordan Luplow in a trade with the Rays
During the flurry of the free-agent signings, such as the player the Dbacks signed, Thanksgiving, and other moves, the Diamondbacks made an underrated trade that might just really help the team. Arizona acquired Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays for Minor league infielder Ronny Simon. Simon was originally acquired at the 2020 deadline when the Diamondbacks traded Andrew Chafin to the Cubs. Luplow will look to replace Kole Calhoun only as of the right-handed version and help the team’s hitting against lefties tremendously. Brett de Gues was outrighted off the 40-man roster.
Despite having appeared in the MLB over the last 5 seasons, he’s never had more than 260 plate appearances. That’s due to the fact that’s he a platoon player and typically only plays when a lefty is on the mound. Of course, he’s one of the deadliest hitters in the MLB when facing a left-handed pitcher. While having the platoon advantage (RH hitter vs Lefty pitcher), Luplow’s hit .245/.360/.539, 14.3% walk rate, and 23 home runs are dominant. Especially for a team that so often struggled mightily with its lefty-leaning lineup when facing left-handers.
Of course, as good as his numbers are against lefties, his numbers are the opposite against right-handers. A career .205/.291/.369 hitter with 11 HRs against right-handers is why he isn’t a full-time player. Of course, that’s okay as the Diamondbacks have plenty of outfielders to mix and match with.
The 28-year old isn’t a great fielder but he’s no slouch. With some coaching from Dave McKay, I have faith he will be fine in the corners. Additionally, this trade was made with the intention of keeping Luplow around long-term. Despite having played in 5 seasons so far, he is only between 3 and 4 years of actual MLB service time. Therefore, the Diamondbacks will control him through the 2024 season unless the new CBA changes things.
MLBTradeRumors projects Luplow for a salary in the 1.5 million dollar range for arbitration. Obviously, that must’ve been too much for the Rays hence why they dealt him. The Diamondbacks will be Jordan Luplow’s 4th team as he has played for the Pirates, Guardians, and Rays. Jordan Luplow will look to continue to be a force at the plate against lefties as the Diamondbacks search for more batting help.
As for what the team gave up in Ronny Simon was a rather meager price. Of course, any time the Rays go out and acquire a player, you always get nervous about what do they know. You always worry that the Rays are going to “unlock” that player, but losing Simon will not hurt the Dbacks. He’s a 21-year old middle infielder in Single-A that has showcased some power and speed hitting 17 and 19 home runs and steals respectively. Despite that, we have a logjam of middle infield prospects and Simon was not going to factor into the MLB anytime soon.
As for de Gues, he was a Rule 5 draft pick last year that the Rangers put on waivers and the Diamondbacks claimed. Since de Gues stayed on the MLB roster all season, the Diamondbacks now control his rights and sent him to the minors for more seasoning. The 24-year old had a really rough season with a 7.56 ERA in the MLB but managed an elite 52.1% groundball rate. Time will tell if he can right the ship in the minors.
Nevertheless, Welcome to the Desert Jordan Luplow! We’re happy to have you!