12-06-2013, 10:56 AM
Terry Ryan is acutely aware of how difficult it is to acquire front-end starting pitching. After trading Denard Span for Alex Meyer a year ago, he explained the logic
behind giving up an established major-league regular for a player who hadn't yet played above Single-A, noting that with potential No. 1 starters, "Sometimes you've got to get them when they're in the early stages of their pro career or you aren't going to get them, period."
He's right. Once a high-end pitching prospect reaches Triple-A or successfully transitions to the majors, he becomes exceedingly tough to pry away from his organization, because there's basically nothing more valuable in baseball than an inexpensive starter that you can slot near the top of your rotation.