In a bit of somewhat-baffling news, the USSSA Pride traded all-pro shortstop Madison Shipman and fellow infielder Brigette Del Ponte to the Scrap Yard Dawgs in exchange for the 13th overall pick in this year's draft, as well as a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft.
Shipman, the 2nd overall pick in the 2014 draft and the league's Rookie of the Year that season, hitting .344 with twenty-eight RBI; last year, she hit .198 and her RBI numbers were cut in half.
Del Ponte, the former Akron Racer, hit .244 during the 2015 season, with four home runs and fifteen RBI. She began her career with the Racers and spent one year in Akron before being traded to the Pride.
The trio of draft picks received by the Pride in the trade give them eight total in this year's draft, including five in the first three rounds (#s 2, 5, 12, 13, and 18 overall).
The 2017 picks were specifically noted as Scrap Yard's first picks in the second and third round,
leaving open the possibility the team may yet end
up still selecting in those rounds in a year's time.
Historically, the Pride tend to hold onto players of Shipman's skill set and high marketability, so the trade surprised many, especially considering what was acquired in return. In a press release, Pride GM Don DeDonatis noted an offseason coaching change and that the move 'was the best thing for these players and their careers as every day players'.
It's rather obviously a table-setting maneuver, looking forward to certain acquisitions in the draft, but it's still quite a coup on the Scrap Yard Dawgs' part and a somewhat-puzzling transaction for the league's premier franchise.