Today the Reds announced the acquisition of Drew Sutton from the Houston Astros in return for Jeff Keppinger, who was dealt at the beginning of the month.
My thoughts: he repeated AA last season and had a dynamite year as a 25-year old (which is a bit old for that league, at least as far as prospects go). Seems to have a little bit of pop, though my feeling is that it's more likely to be doubles power in the majors than the 20-homer power he showed in AA. He hit over 0.300 last season, but more routinely has been a 0.260-0.270 guy...but he does take walks. The last three years he's walked in over 10% of his plate appearances.
Defensively, TotalZone has him somewhere around average 2B & 3B cutting across years, which would mean he's probably a slightly above average fielder overall compared to other AA'ers. And this makes him roughly an average big league infielder, as the quality of MLB infield defense is better than it is in AA.
Is Sutton better than Keppinger? I dunno. He's a few years younger, but was probably the Astros #8 prospect more by default than anything else--their minor league system is awful right now. Unless he can translate his AA success (and 0.361 BABIP) to AAA, I won't feel very confident that he can be as valuble offensively as Keppinger can be. But he might make that up with his decent defense compared to Keppinger's increasingly below average fielding. We'll see.
Sutton apparently does require a 40-man roster spot, as the Reds were forced to outright Danny Richar, who I imagine might not make it through waivers. Richar was reasonably hyped when acquired in the Griffey trade, so I'm surprised to see him go so soon. Hopefully he'll pass through waivers so we can keep him, as he had pretty decent projections this season.
Sutton can write a decent blog post--this is from the AFL last November.