There are two schools of thought regarding the young, successful Arizona club. The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro seems to think Josh Byrnes will stay quiet this winter, re-signing Tony Clark and letting Randy Johnson replace Livan Hernandez. The East Valley Tribune’s Scott Bordow would rather not rely on The Big Unit, instead trading a young position player for a young starter.
Specifically, Bordow notes that Carlos Quentin and Conor Jackson could be expendable. However, injuries complicate possible trades of either player. With Quentin it’s direct – he had surgery to repair the rotator cuff and labrum of his non-throwing shoulder in October. It’s a six-month timeline for recovery, so he could be ready for Spring Training. Jackson is fine and healthy, but trading him becomes easier if Chad Tracy can prove his health. He had microfracture knee surgery and also expects to be ready in March.
Jackson seems to be the best trading chip – even if Tracy has complications, Clark wouldn’t be a terrible full-time stopgap. Jackson, who turns 26 next May, has a respectable if not spectacular .280/.362/.441 line in 310 games. He slugged .555 after the break this year. Which team has an available young starter and badly needs position players? The Giants, with Noah Lowry. I’m not sure if Lowry would impress the D’Backs, though. Plus, the teams are in the same division. The Twins also make for an interesting match, as they might be able to use Jackson in left field. The D’Backs could ask for Matt Garza or Kevin Slowey. The White Sox could use an outfielder; would one year of Jon Garland be an even swap?