Top Trade Chips: NL Central

Let's continue our series looking at each team's top trade chips with the NL Central…

  • Astros: Teams can ask for Hunter Pence, but it's just not happening. 26-year-old catcher J.R. Towles and his five years of team control could be shopped with top prospect Jason Castro coming up behind him. If Houston falls way out of it, Roy Oswalt could be made available, but it would be a massive PR hit. He's owed $31MM through 2011 with a $16MM option ($2MM buyout) for 2012, and would have to approve any trade. Dealing him would signify the start of a full rebuilding effort. 
  • Brewers: Yovani Gallardo was never going to be moved in the first place, but his new contract extension all but guarantees it. Manny Parra seems to have fallen out of favor, but a lefty who can dial it up to the mid-90's will always have value on the trade market. He still has three years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. 
  • Cardinals: The Cards dealt away most of their top prospects for Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa last year, so there's not much left to move. Triple-A catcher Bryan Anderson and Double-A outfielder Daryl Jones could be used in a trade since the big league team is pretty well set at those positions. Jones is more highly regarded of the two. Colby Rasmus is untouchable, obviously.
  • Cubs: Josh Vitters, the third overall pick in 2007, watched his name pop up in trade rumors involving Jake Peavy last year. If Chicago is willing to eat some of the $26.5MM left on his contract, there would be interest in Kosuke Fukudome.
  • Pirates: Neal Huntington has completely turned over the team's roster since taking over in September 2007, dealing away every notable veteran player. He did, however, build up a nice inventory of veteran relievers this offseason. Octavio Dotel, D.J. Carrasco, Brendan Donnelly, and Javier Lopez could all be used as trade fodder this summer.
  • Reds: Cincinnati is clearly a team on the rise, but one young player they could make available is the blocked Yonder Alonso. The power hitting first baseman masquerading as a left fielder in Double-A has all six years of team control left, and is the best trade chip in the division.


48 Responses to Top Trade Chips: NL Central Leave a Reply

  1. Houston needs to trade Roy. The ‘stros are on a decline with him so why not move him for some good prospects that can help in the near future.

    • dizzle4 5 years ago

      Yeah but I wonder what he can really fetch them at this point, unless he gets off to a great start. For a B prospect or two, they may just be better off keeping him and not taking the PR hit to lose the face of their franchise.

      • He could probably fetch them quite a bit. Look at what Javy Vazquez was traded for when he had two years left on his deal.

        • Dermick 5 years ago

          But Javy Vazquez had a lot better season last year.

          • I mean when he went from the White Sox to the Braves.

          • Dermick 5 years ago

            Oh, my bad

          • The only problem is he’d only except trades to St.Louis, Both Chicagos, and Atlanta

          • Dermick 5 years ago

            Im fine with Oswalt going to St. Louis, being a Cardinals fan.

          • Triteon 5 years ago

            Nice in theory, but I think that money can be better spent.

          • I bet one of the chicagos would be intrested

  2. TheCubanCannon 5 years ago

    Alonso for either a talented young SS or catcher.

  3. baseballz 5 years ago

    I say trade Alonso to the Rays for Hellickson or Matt Moore straight up. He can take over for Pena next year or whenever he gets traded this year. Rays did this to get Garza, though it didn’t work out, it shows a willingess to trade top prospect for top prospect. Obviously the Reds would throw in some money to cover the major coin Alonso makes as compared to Hellickson and Moore. Who else has an obvious need and obvious surplus of top prospects to trade ? (Im sure there are many but i can’t think of any right now.)

  4. AisoRed 5 years ago

    I don’t see Milwaukee trading Manny Parra. They still have high hopes for him. I wish they would move him though since I really don’t think he will ever break as a decent SP.

  5. AZalltheway 5 years ago

    How about Parra to the D-backs? maybe a little biased but icould see him in AZ or Seattle. Also, Billingsley for Oswalt and cash?

    • AisoRed 5 years ago

      What would the Brewers get in return for Parra though? I’m not sure of the trade chips of AZ or SEA that would interest the Brewers.

  6. You didn’t mention Starlin Castro as a trade chip? Obviously he’s untouchable (like others you mentioned) but technically he is a very big trade chip. Yonder Alonso is rated as something like 75th best prospect in baseball, Castro is a top 5.

    • I’m trying to the limit the “so and so is untouchable” to big leaguers only. I think the only minor leaguer that will get that note in the series is Strasburg.

    • AisoRed 5 years ago

      He is actually rated number 35.

    • whynot49 5 years ago

      Starlin Castro isn’t a trade chip cause the Cubs aren’t going to trade him. And Castro isn’t that good, he’s not gonna be on par with Hanley, Reyes or Rollins or anything. A different type of player, but I see Starlin being on the same level as Yunel Escobar, a starting shortstop on plenty of teams in the league, but not a superstar, and he’s not a top-5 prospect.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        I dont understand why my fellow fan base doesnt see that.

        Not sure about being on the same level of Y.Escobar though, Yunel walks much more and has shown quite a bit more power – something Castro may or may not develop.

        EDIT to say; damn, didnt register your “a different type of player” part the first time i read it, lol. Well, if that is what you were referring to – agree on that too :)

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        I dont understand why my fellow fan base doesnt see that.

        Not sure about being on the same level of Y.Escobar though, Yunel walks much more and has shown quite a bit more power – something Castro may or may not develop.

        EDIT to say; damn, didnt register your “a different type of player” part the first time i read it, lol. Well, if that is what you were referring to – agree on that too :)

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        I don’t think any serious Cub fan thinks Starlin Castro = Hanley Ramirez. Then again, there were some doubts about Ramirez too and nobody predicted he’d be this good either. It’s easy enough to downplay just about anybody as a minor leaguer if you’re so inclined. In the end, though, Ramirez is simply bigger and faster than Castro is and Castro just won’t have Ramirez’s power/speed combo. But Castro’s not small framed guy, he’s got room to fill out, he’s already a good hitter in his own right and has uncanny instincts at the plate for a 19 year old. He easily has the potential to get better in terms of power and OBP. He may not be Hanley Ramirez, but he’s the best SS prospect in baseball right now.

        • Well said crunchy1.

        • Well said crunchy1.

        • Suzysman 5 years ago

          “He may not be Hanley Ramirez, but he’s the best SS prospect in baseball right now.”

          No he isnt. Alcides is the unanimous selection there. And Baseball Prospectus listed a total of 3 SS higher then Castro – Escobar, Dee Gordon and Miguel Sano.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            “No, he isn’t”

            Your opinion is noted…mine is different.

            It’s not unanimous. Jim Callis of Baseball America rates Castro ahead of Escobar as does Keith Law, that is if you’re still counting Escobar as a prospect considering he’s now a starting major league SS. And I’m not big on Goldstein’s prospect ratings. He’s hung up on some clocked times to first and has used it to make a lot of questionable inferences. He also rates Vitters ahead of Castro. So I’d take his ratings with a grain of salt. And Sano? C’mon now. You’re kidding right? That’s such a huge stretch that it’s almost not even worth a response. Bottom line: He isn’t even a SS, not by any stretch of the imagination…3b at best and probably the OF. And Sano isn’t on anybody else’s top 50 (i.e. #94 in BA, #96 for Law). As for Gordon, BP is the exception to the rule on that one as well. Gordon’s not much more than an athlete and pretty raw as a baseball player. Goldstein’s just dreaming on what he could do if he actually figures out what he’s doing instead of getting by on superior athleticism. He compares him to Jimmy Rollins but Rollins was a much better baseball player at that stage. Will Lingo, John Manuel, and Jim Callis are unanimous in their support of Castro over Gordon for BA…Manuel doesn’t even have Gordon as a top 50 guy. Fangraphs and Law also rate Castro over Gordon.

            Like I said, not a Goldstein fan when it comes to prospects. He’s a little like Gordon himself, still trying to figure things out. Maybe that’s why he likes him so much. Maybe he likes his stopwatch times. He definitely seems to like dreaming big on raw athletes and 16 year old prospects…there are too many things that can go wrong for those two guys before his dreams become a reality. I respect Goldstein, but there’s a whole lot of other guys who are better at the prospect game than he is right now. He’s not somebody I’d hang my hat on.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        I don’t think any serious Cub fan thinks Starlin Castro = Hanley Ramirez. Then again, there were some doubts about Ramirez too and nobody predicted he’d be this good either. It’s easy enough to downplay just about anybody as a minor leaguer if you’re so inclined. In the end, though, Ramirez is simply bigger and faster than Castro is and Castro just won’t have Ramirez’s power/speed combo. But Castro’s not small framed guy, he’s got room to fill out, he’s already a good hitter in his own right and has uncanny instincts at the plate for a 19 year old. He easily has the potential to get better in terms of power and OBP. He may not be Hanley Ramirez, but he’s the best SS prospect in baseball right now.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      what are u talking about? castro is rounding out the mid 10s and alonso is at 35. not sure where your pulling this 5/75 crap from.

      • Keith Law has Castro at 12, Alonso at 76. I was off by 7 on Castro, 1 on Alonso. Where did you get that 35 crap from?

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          Couldn’t find that 35 ranking for Alonso either…highest I found him at was 45 from BA, also was 47 at Fangraphs, and outside the top 100 in BP…never mind, found it. He was 35 on BA’s list following the 2008 season. I think Ferrariman is a year late.

          I think what Mike is trying to say is that Alonso is more of a trade chip because he’s a good prospect that’s blocked by a good, young player in Joey Votto. Since the Reds probably can’t make Alonso fit anyway, they may as well trade him for something they can use. You’ve got to think they regret passing on Gordon Beckham for Alonso right now.

      • Keith Law has Castro at 12, Alonso at 76. I was off by 7 on Castro, 1 on Alonso. Where did you get that 35 crap from?

  7. AisoRed 5 years ago

    I realize you limited the players to MLB-only players, but the Brewers have two great catching prospects coming up through the minors. I see them only keeping one in the future. Jonathon Lucroy and Angel Salome are their names.

  8. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Maybe not great trade chips, but I definitely see Cleveland moving Westbrook, Wood, and Peralta. I guess it’s more like salary dumps than trade chips. Never mind.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      OOOPPS! You said NL Central. Disregard. Gotta learn how to read a little more carefully.

      • AisoRed 5 years ago

        Haha didn’t you notice your team wasn’t listed at all? 😛

  9. coach_coryell 5 years ago

    Iwamura seems a good bet to leave Pittsburgh.

  10. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    How about Lance Lynn fror the Cardinals?

    And, I agree that Iwamura could be on the way out…

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Aki will definitely be out, especially if he has a good year, the Pirates got him basically for the purposes of trading him, most likely for someone close to MLB ready.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Aki will definitely be out, especially if he has a good year, the Pirates got him basically for the purposes of trading him, most likely for someone close to MLB ready.

  11. jwsox 5 years ago

    considering he is sort of on the decline i would guess that maybe one top prospect(pitcher) and a few b level prospects would fetch him…and just about every team can full fill that….I would only say the whitesox depending on if they are right there in the hunt(not now but soon maybe) and if something happens to freddy garcia and they want to keep hudson in the minors as long as possible…But with Roy and Peavy being very very close friends i could see him in a white sox uni at the dead line. Tyler Flowers9convert him to first to take over for berkman)+Torres+ a nother mid level prospect should be able to get him….If worse comes to worse he plays all year with the stros and they take the draft picks

  12. jwsox 5 years ago

    also i doubt the cards would be in play they have virtually no farm system due to the derosa and holliday trades from last year

  13. @jwsos- i defiantly like what you said. It’ll be interesting though to see what happens they nee to rebuild but i have a feeling Ed wades going to procrastinate as long as he can.

  14. @jwsos- i defiantly like what you said. It’ll be interesting though to see what happens they nee to rebuild but i have a feeling Ed wades going to procrastinate as long as he can.

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