Former GM Jim Duquette’s list for MLB.com of five trades that should happen includes two deals involving the Braves. Duquette suggests the Braves deal Freeman to the Cardinals for Matt Adams, Kolten Wong and starting pitcher Tim Cooney — an interesting suggestion, given the Cards’ need for a power bat, although, Wong’s departure would create a new hole at second base. (The Braves, of course, emphatically deny that they will trade Freeman, as Duquette notes.) Duquette also suggests the Braves deal Shelby Miller to the Cubs for prospects Billy McKinney and Willson Contreras. Miller would provide the Cubs with a mid-rotation pitcher who might be an alternative to a free-agent option like Jeff Samardzija, and McKinney and Contreras would give the Braves a couple good position-player prospects to complement their collection of young pitchers. Of course, these are both just ideas, and not actual trade rumors, but they’re fun. Here’s more from the National League.
- Former Nationals starting pitcher and free agent Jordan Zimmermann isn’t quite on a tier with David Price and Zack Greinke, but there’s plenty to recommend him, beginning with his consistency, as MLB.com’s Paul Casella writes. Zimmermann, Casella points out, is the only MLB starter who’s made at least 32 starts and posted ERAs below 3.70 in all of the past four seasons. He’s also one of the best starters in baseball at limiting walks.
- Second baseman Max Moroff was little more than a sleeper prospect before the season, but after an outstanding 2015, he’s earned a place on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, Adam Berry of MLB.com writes. The Bucs gave Moroff a $300K bonus as a late-round pick in 2012 and moved him aggressively through the system, but it wasn’t until this year at Double-A Altoona that his patient approach at the plate started to pay dividends. Moroff hit .293 and walked 70 times en route to a .374 OBP. That earned him the Pirates’ Minor League Player of the Year award, and forced the Bucs to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. “We felt that he was one of those guys that, if selected [in the Rule 5], could do enough things to help a Major League team win that he might end up staying with another organization,” says GM Neal Huntington.