I heard that Buster Olney was going to do a column with this topic soon. Before I read his here’s my two cents.
1. Padres: Sign Akinori Iwamura for third base. The Phils would be a fine fit as well. Japan produced bargains like Kenji Johjima and Takashi Saito last year; Iwamura should come at a reasonable salary as he’s something of an unknown. He’ll play good defense and could even spell Khalil Greene at shortstop if needed. I’d give him $7-8MM annually.
2. Cardinals: Trade Chris Duncan to the Cardinals for Mike Gonzalez. Both clubs need to capitalize on fine seasons by these two players, and each could fill a need. Duncan is a natural first baseman, and the Pirates have a glaring need for a cheap power hitter who can draw some walks. The Cards have a void at the back end of their bullpen with Adam Wainwright moving to the rotation.
3. White Sox: Trade Freddy Garcia to the Diamondbacks for Scott Hairston and Juan Cruz. Now don’t yell at me Sox fans, it’s more of a general idea than the exact trade. If Garcia is worth more then I’m sure Kenny will extract that. But in Hairston and Cruz, the Sox would have their left fielder and a nasty bullpen arm for Don Cooper to work with. At the least, these two clubs get along so perhaps they can help each other.
4. Devil Rays: Keep Elijah Dukes. To me, a guy needs a change of scenery when he’s not playing up to his talent. Dukes posted a .400 OBP as a 22 year-old in Triple A. He could be a great option at first base in the near future for Tampa Bay. The D-Rays should find a way to make it work instead of trading him for fifty cents on the dollar.
5. Cubs: Trade Bob Howry and Jacque Jones to the Yankees for Gary Sheffield. Is this lopsided towards the Cubs? Probably. Feel free to tweak it so as not to outrage Yankee fans. But if the Cubs could move one or two of their expensive but effective relievers and rid themselves of Jones, it’d be a great deal for them. I would also sign Gary Matthews Jr. to play center to balance out Sheff’s defense.
6. Tigers: Sign Barry Bonds. This is stolen directly from Nate Silver. What can I say? I’m on that bandwagon. Bonds is exactly what Detroit needs.
7. Astros: Sign Jose Guillen for right field. Coming off an injury, Guillen could be a bargain. His defense paired with Willy Taveras in center could be an excellent combo. With Luke Scott in left I think they’d have a solid outfield.
8. Rangers: Trade Mike Young to the Orioles for Erik Bedard. OK, I just pulled this deal out of my ass. But in Bedard the Rangers get a 28 year-old who keeps the ball in the yard and has three years until free agency. Young, while a great player, is poor defensively and will be 30 next year. He has two more seasons under contract at a very reasonable price. This trade is contingent on #9…
9. Orioles: Trade Miguel Tejada for Jeremy Bonderman. If the Tigers are really shopping Bonderman, you just can’t pass this up. Bonderman replaces Bedard in the rotation and becomes the ace; Mike Young moves in at short. I think Orioles fans would be excited with these moves (I could be wrong though). The Tigers would then move Carlos Guillen to first base and add an impact hitter in Tejada. Would Bonds and Tejada be great for clubhouse chemistry? No. But that could be a very solid all-around club.
10. Mets: Sign Barry Zito. The Mets need some stability here with Pedro out, Glavine and El Duque in question, and mostly question marks rounded out the rest of the rotation. I see the Yanks getting Matsuzaka, so Zito is the best long-term bet for a starter.
Go ahead, have your say in the comments. Remember that this is all in good fun and these are just ideas I cooked up. You’ll notice I left out all sorts of good stuff like the Red Sox and Alfonso Soriano. Have at it!