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Trading Top 100 Prospects Can Bring Back Stars

It’s no secret that young talent is the most coveted asset in baseball. Take the reigning World Series-champion Dodgers for example. They have an enviable homegrown core of Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler, as well as players like Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Will Smith who could soon approach that echelon.

That’s not all. Los Angeles’ player development machine was so adept, in fact, that the team still had enough pieces to pry Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox just before the 2020 season. One of the prospects who went to Boston was shortstop Jeter Downs, who checks in at No. 71 on this year’s Top 100 Prospects list.

Before he was dealt for Betts and Price, Downs was sent (along with No. 68 prospect Josiah Gray and Homer Bailey) from the Reds to the Dodgers in a deal for Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and Matt Kemp.

All told, Downs has been part of two trades that have returned players who have won an MVP, a Cy Young Award and have a combined 14 all-star appearances.

Downs isn’t alone. He’s one of 12 members of this year’s Top 100 who were traded at some point in their careers. Almost always, deals that involve prospects of that caliber are done in exchange for superstar big leaguers.

The most recent trades involving Top 100 prospects have come this offseason. No. 66 prospect Andres Gimenez was moved from the Mets to the Indians as part of the package for Francisco Lindor, and No. 23 prospect Luis Patino was the centerpiece of the deal that brought 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to San Diego.

This year’s Top 100 Prospects List also includes a pair of players who were traded for each other. Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who became a surprise star in the postseason, was dealt along with 1B/DH Jose Martinez from St. Louis in exchange for lefthander Matthew Liberatore. Arozarena is No. 17 on this year’s list. Liberatore is No. 46.

Below is a chart detailing each of the trades involving players on this year's Top 100 Prospects list. 

Player Original Team Current Team Traded For
Simeon Woods Richardson Mets Blue Jays Marcus Stroman
Matthew Liberatore Rays Cardinals Randy Arozarena/Jose Martinez
Josiah Gray Reds Dodgers Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp/Kyle Farmer/Alex Wood
Andres Gimenez Mets Indians Francisco Lindor
Jarred Kelenic Mets Mariners Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano
Sixto Sanchez Phillies Marlins J.T. Realmuto
Jazz Chisholm D-backs Marlins Zac Gallen
Oneil Cruz Dodgers Pirates Tony Watson
Randy Arozarena Cardinals Rays Matthew Liberatore
Luis Patino Padres Rays Blake Snell
Jeter Downs* Reds Red Sox
Michael Kopech Red Sox White Sox Chris Sale
*Downs was also traded from the Reds to the Dodgers in the same deal with Josiah Gray      
Jeter Downs Adamglanzmanngetty

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