The Arizona Diamondbacks continued retooling their farm system on Tuesday, as they sent veteran backstop Miguel Montero, and the $40 million left on contract, to the Chicago Cubs for a pair of minor leaguers.
Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley head to the desert in the deal, but only Mejia is much of a prospect. Godley was a tenth round pick out of the University of Tennessee in 2013 and has been a reliever since day one. He has an ERA of 2.74 in 82 professional innings, but has been old for every level thus far and has not yet seen any time above High-A.
Mejia, on the other hand, has some real potential. He made his stateside debut in 2014 in the Arizona League, and looked good in 13 appearances. He started just two games, but that does not mean he doesn’t have a starter’s upside. Standing 6’7”, he is imposing, even if he is currently listed at just 195 lbs. He is incredibly long and lean, but his core is not as skinny, giving him the look of a potential innings eater. He sat in the low-to-mid 90s in the AZL, but can touch 97 with some regularity. His curve is advanced for the complex ball he has played thus far which could play as an above-average pitch as he progresses through the minors. His change is significantly behind his fastball and curve, and he will need it if he is to become a starter in the long term. He repeats his delivery pretty well given his size, but his command is still a real issue.
If Mejia can hone in the command and the change develops, he could become a mid-rotation starter, but even if he doesn’t he could become a solid late-inning reliever.
While at first glance it looks as though the Diamondbacks were simply looking for salary relief in dealing Montero, they didn’t make out too bad on the return. I would be surprised if Godley turns into much more than a periodic big league guy, but Mejia could be an impact arm, it will just be a couple years.