This is the time of year to think about deals.
No, not on TVs, tablets and vacuum cleaners (have you checked my internet search history?). We’re talking about baseball offers!
So it’s clear this column has the stamp of approval from Major League leaders (just, uh, ignore any proposals that didn’t happen and never had a chance to happen). So letâs anger once again as many fans as possible by concocting some exchanges.
If the A’s are indeed on the verge of rebuilding, why not rip the bandage off and throw it in with a massive three-team trade that ignites the Hot Stove? Hey, if we’re going to talk about fake trades, you might as well be ambitious.
From the Phillies’ perspective, there is no choice but to move all-in on the 2022 squad. The big contracts have been signed and the fanbase is understandably anxious amid the longest drought of the season. NL in the playoffs. The recent vintage Phils have been a talented but flawed club, and this profession tackles two major issues in a bold way. Hader brings gravity to the much-maligned Philly enclosure, while Chapman both expands the lineup and dramatically improves what was one of MLB’s worst defensive infields (Alec Bohm can move to the outfield in this arrangement, unless the Phillies make a trade involving Rhys Hoskins that allows Bohm to slip to first base).
The Brewers are changing their identity with the deal, as Hader would no longer be around to anchor their traditionally formidable reliever box. They should find other ways to get draws late in the inning (Puk has the potential to help), but their front office is certainly creative enough to do so. Hader and Olson both have two seasons of contract control remaining and will likely command similar prices in arbitration next season. For a small market team, that money is better allocated to a dependable, much-needed bat (the Brewers only hit 0.233 as a team in 2021) than a paddock arm that has racked up a lot of mileage in recent years.
As for the As’s, they get the No.51 prospect in baseball, through MLB Pipeline, Mitchell, No.64 for Abel and No.97 for Stott, along with two other top 11 prospects for the Phillies. They also get the potential advantage of 25-year-old Hiura (a born hitter whose swing seems to have been ruined by the pursuit of power), and maybe the change of scenery does him some good. It might take another or three lower-level prospects for them to part ways with the two Matts, but here you have the seeds for what would be a monumental exchange.
The key question here is whether the Rays will be willing to pay Glasnow somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 5 or $ 6 million NOT to cast for them in 2022, then a similar figure in 2023 upon his return from Tommy John surgery. .
Seattle is the perfect type of team to take that kind of risk. The Mariners have immediate financial flexibility and could have a legitimately excellent squad by 2023, with Glasnow an important finishing piece. They might also need help in central field, where veteran Kiermaier, who will earn $ 12.2million in his final guaranteed year before free agency, would give them a solid defensive backbone as the youngster Jarred Kelenic and, soon, Julio Rodriguez are moving to the big league level.
With the deal, the Rays get the financial flexibility they so crave, they get the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year for Lewis, who is returning from major knee surgery, and they have a tough prospect to add to their stash. of launchers. It would be a nice return in exchange for a compromised ace.
Marcus Semien’s pillow deal with the Blue Jays has proven to be comfortable for both parties. But with Semien likely to sign one of the biggest free agent contracts of the winter and possibly prioritize his West Coast roots, the Blue Jays need to think about other ways to keep their production going. elite second base.
Here is one way to do it. Marte is a 28-year-old hitter with power and an attractive strikeout rate who can easily place second in the batting order Semien left. Although he mainly played center in 2019 and 2021, Marte is comfortable and able to give Toronto an above-average second-place defense, and his contract terms – $ 8.4 million guaranteed in 2022, $ 8 million squad option in 2023, $ 10 million squad option in 2024 – are extremely attractive and would allow the Blue Jays to spend most of their free agent budget on staff. launchers.
In this proposal, Toronto is dealing with a deep zone to the receiver, and Cleveland is filling a great need for attacking there with Kirk, a controllable 23-year-old with elite contact skills.
D-backs, meanwhile, receive young coins from both clubs as they retool. They would have plenty of bats to offer Biggio, who can play all around the diamond and of course has a lot of pedigree that has yet to blossom in the big leagues.
Buxton is one of the most talented players in the sport and a true game changer when in good health. But he’s only played 215 games in the past four seasons, making his long-term value hard to calculate. While the Twins hope to return to contention in 2022, it makes sense that they would deal with Buxton if they can’t get an extension.
The Astros have already signaled their seriousness about remaining an AL power in 2022 with Justin Verlander’s contract, and Buxton would fill a need in the middle of the pitch with Myles Straw having been treated in mid-season 2021 for help. at the bullpen and Jake Meyers coming out of shoulder surgery.
Would that package – a league-ready Buxton replacement at McCormick, a single top pitching prospect who just had Tommy John surgery at Whitley, and another outfield prospect with power and speed at Barber – would be? sufficient for Buxton? Again, its value is incredibly hard to pin down, but it feels like reasonable transport from here.
How about a good old-fashioned one-for-one exchange that meets the needs?
The Cubs may have some cash to spend this winter, but if they can’t agree on an extension with Contreras, they need to seriously consider taking advantage of the weak free agent receiver market and taking it. move to a motivated club. The Marlins could be one of those clubs, as they are looking for attacks in multiple locations (seeker included) and have the scarce commodity which is surplus pitching. They just acquired Luzardo a few months ago in exchange for Starling Marte for two months. Then turning Luzardo over for a full season from one of the most productive receivers in the game would be a very good use of the assets.
Luzardo had great difficulties last year, especially with Miami (6.44 MPM in 12 starts). But he has a huge advantage, and a team like the Cubs that try to get controllable talent in any way they can might be able to coax him. Even if you remove Luzardo from the Marlins’ rotating picture in 2022, they still have plenty of hands to build quality staff, and this deal would give them a more solid foundation as they try to create a legitimate winner. Add another bat to the free agency mix, and the Marlins start to look like something.