The demand side of the shortstop market just isn’t clear. That’s not to suggest that every contender is receiving outstanding production at the position — the Mariners, Royals, and Marlins, in particular, have not. While Seattle might be moved to take action, particularly with Ketel Marte suffering an ankle injury last night, it’s hard to see Kansas City prioritizing that position when it has Alcides Escobar on hand and other needs to address. As for Miami, we’ve heard some suggestion that the club would be willing to move on from Adeiny Hechavarria, though the scenario posited doesn’t sound particularly realistic.
The Royals could always make an addition that would help at both short and second, and it’s that kind of approach that might sway other teams toward some names on this list. Tim Anderson has been useful overall, and Tyler Saladino is still around, but the White Sox could look for depth. The Giants have been looking at infield help and could add a shortstop type that could also see action elsewhere, and there are a handful of others that might fit that profile.
Ultimately, there’s not likely to be much movement at short. But teams that do have interest will be looking at this group of names:
Zack Cozart (Reds) — Cozart has carried a 108 OPS+ in each of the last two seasons, and while that’s still not a huge sample given his injury-shortened 2015, it represents a full season of above-average offensive production. That’s more than enough bat for a player who is one of the game’s very best defenders. He’s owed less than $3MM this year and comes with another season of control.
Eduardo Nunez (Twins) — It’s a somewhat similar story on the offensive side for Nunez, who has been quite useful at the plate over his last 544 plate appearances dating to the start of 2015 (.304/.337/.464 with 16 home runs and 30 steals). He isn’t the glove magician that Cozart is, but he’s cheaper, offers loads of versatility, and also comes with that extra year.
Jed Lowrie (Athletics) — The 32-year-old hasn’t spent much time at short of late, but was a regular there as recently as 2014. He also isn’t doing much at the plate, with a .282/.332/.345 batting line on the year, and is owed $7.5MM this year with an equal amount to go for 2017 (including the buyout on an option for another season). Lowrie could nevertheless represent a utility option who is capable of playing up the middle.
Alexei Ramirez (Padres), Erick Aybar (Braves), Jimmy Rollins (Free Agent) — All of these players have been solid regulars in the not-so-distant past, but none have shown much in 2016. Still, experience counts down the stretch, and contenders in need of a veteran presence could look here for a bench piece.
Jonathan Villar (Brewers), Marcus Semien (Athletics), Brad Miller (Rays), Jean Segura, Chris Owings & Nick Ahmed (Diamondbacks), Jurickson Profar & Elvis Andrus (Rangers), Andrelton Simmons (Angels), Eduardo Escobar (Twins), Freddy Galvis (Phillies)
- While all have their warts as players, Villar, Semien, and Miller are all interesting assets. As noted above, there’s not much demand, so it’s hard to see another club doing what it would take to pry these players loose from their respective organizations, who will value them for their low cost and future control. It’s not clear that the Diamondbacks will look to cash in any of their controllable, shortstop-capable infielders, but they’d have some interesting trade pieces if they did.
- Profar holds an odd place on this summer’s trade market. He’s playing an important role for a contending team, albeit one that doesn’t strictly need him. It’s a bit strange to place him on this particular list, since Texas likely won’t be swapping him for prospects, but he is performing well right now at the major league level and it isn’t inconceivable that he somehow ends up with a contending club in some kind of creative scenario. There’s an alternative scenario where the Rangers try to move a somewhat resurgent Andrus while shifting Profar to short, but the veteran’s career-best 97 OPS+ still doesn’t make his monster second extension appear to be a very good value — particularly since metrics no longer rate him as an elite baserunner and defender.
- I’m not including Simmons here because I think he’ll be marketed. Halos GM Billy Eppler made him the signature move of his first offseason, and it’s difficult to see that happening. But stranger things have occurred, and a contender seeking a top-flight defender with lengthy control rights wouldn’t have any other realistic options.
- Escobar is fading at the plate, and the odds are quite high that it’ll make more sense for Minnesota to hold on to him and hope he can turn it back on in the future. Galvis is one of the Phillies’ few trade pieces, though in his case, too, it isn’t an opportune time to act. Philadelphia still needs a bridge to J.P. Crawford and an eventual back-up, and Galvis offers cheap defensive versatility.
Reserves and Utility Options
Andres Blanco (Phillies), Alexi Amarista (Padres), Nick Franklin & Tim Beckham (Rays), Gregorio Petit (Angels), Pete Kozma (Yankees), Chase d’Arnaud & Reid Brignac (Braves), Ivan De Jesus (Reds), Daniel Descalso & Cristhian Adames (Rockies)
- Blanco is in the midst of an unlikely blossoming in his early thirties, putting up a .282/.341/.477 batting line in his last 461 plate appearances. He might be the likeliest from this group to be dealt. Otherwise, clubs looking at budget-friendly utility pieces are likely to choose among some of the other grizzled middle infielders listed here, Amarista and Descalso perhaps the most obvious candidates.
If I was a contender, I’d be all over a player like Blanco. The only problem is, I think his value in the young Phillies clubhouse far outweighs his trade value. He wouldn’t bring back a prospect of any value making it more likely the team keeps the fan (and clubhouse) favorite in Whitey around.
With the Dodgers in the market for an SP, I wonder if there is a possible matchup between them and the Braves, where the Braves send Julio Teheran and in return get Corey Seager. Seems like a fairly even trade.
Seager for Teheran lol your a troll
I don’t think you really understand value…Julio Teheran is an estabished ACE signed to an incredibly tream friendly contract…..Corey Seager is a nice player but is still young and has a lot to prove still.
Sorry bro, I am a Braves fun and that won’t happen. Pitchers are more prone to have serious injuries, and as much as I defend Teheran, he is not an ace. He is a staff ace in Atlanta, but most places he would be a 2, even with this years numbers. A high 2, but a 2. Plus, the Braves org likes Swanson a lot.
oh wow you were serious astronaut?? read what you put then say who doesn’t know value. seager is way more valuable than Teheran…
Please tell us how he is an ace? Most WAR he has put up is 3.2 back in 2014. That’ not ACE type stuff considering he put up 2.5, 1.1, and 1.9 this season thus far.
Established ACE? Hardly, he’s a good #2, very good #3.
His control is valuable given the going rate for #2 and #3 type starters, but he is certainly not an ACE.
Get outta here u nerd. Tehern is an ace period…..2.79 ERA better then Lester, scherzer, and Hamels…. and paid WAY less than them. Hes one of the best bargains in all of baseball.
no he’s not an ace astronaut. Gain some knowledge by looking at the stats, not just era.
Sorry Astronut. You are the one who does not get it. First he is not an established ace at all. He stunk last year. He has not established what he is. And you think you get Cory For him? You are nuts
Damn you beat me to it.
Sorry, while I think that Teheran has tons of value, there is absolutely no way he nets Seager from the Dodgers.
The Braves should probably get back De Leon with Seager for Teheran, I mean, Teheran is an ACE. If you asked for Urias and were willing to part with Markakis, the Dodgers would be giddy with joy.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance? YEAH
And it’s time for today’s game of “Homer or Troll?”
So how exactly did this thread become a Julio to LAD segment anyway? Just curious.
that astronaut person thought it was a fair trade hahah
Really. Seager is a long term keeper.
Teheran must be the reincarnation of Cy Young for all the players I have seen him traded for. Helll they should do a 2 team trade and get Trout and Harper and the two teams can split him for the season as much as I’ve seen some off the Braves fans value him. Lol
Where is Alexei Ramirez?
If something happens with Kang, I’d like to see the Pirates make an offer for Nunez.
Offer up an outfield prospect not named Meadows.
Seager is a very very talented young player. Superstar in the beginning stages. And I believe he does hold more value than Teheran. But it’s a lot closer than you people think. Teheran is dealing.
It’s not close at all.
Either trade for Profar or fire the Manager who won’t play him.
As a Rangers fan, I do appreciate your statement. Banister seems as stubborn as Ron Washington was… Gallo watched while he played sub-.700 OPS(at the time) Prince and Morlend a month ago. Profar has a .952 OPS against righties, Andrus has a .979 OPS against southpaws this season, looks like an obvious platoon situation. But Elvis’ ridiculous contract keeps his sub-.700 OPS against righties in the lineup. Prince as well, even though he has been a little better lately(lord knows he’s had enough time to fix it). Even Rua’s .934 OPS against southpaws has sat a few times so Mazara can try to work on his .549 OPS against lefties, not to mention the bullpen usage. I can understand to an extent, and each particular situation is different(and yes he is a MLB manager and I make comments on MLBTR on my computer), but it kills me to watch someone stubbornly ignore the obvious. It only takes a one game swing to be in or out in the end, no time to give games away. The Astros are coming.
Now that Barreto’s a second baseman, I find it hard to believe the A’s would actually move Semien
I think a team should step in and trade their ace to Texas for Andrus and take on his full salary.
Why on earth someone hasn’t traded for Zach Cozart I’ll never know??? Great value defensive and offensive at a low cost!
How isn’t Lowrie doing much if he’s batting.282???
The Dodgers isn’t trading Seager so get that out of your head
The Braves aren’t trading Tehran either
The Braves aren’t trading Tehran either