Earlier in the week, MLBTR owner Tim Dierkes published our list of the 14 players we consider to be the likeliest trade candidates following the ongoing MLB lockout. That list was the result of an extensive talk with Tim, myself and Anthony Franco, wherein we considered the possibility of more than 100 players and whether they could (or could not) viably change hands. While that Athletics-heavy list contained who we agreed to be the likeliest, it certainly didn’t represent every plausible trade candidate in our eyes.
As Tim noted within that post, we wound up sorting our list of plausible trade candidates into various buckets/tiers. The top 14 was simply the likeliest, regardless of contract or quality of player, but for the remainder of the exercise, we chose to categorize things based on how impactful a player might be to his new team. This, admittedly, is subjective. We didn’t establish a defined set of concrete parameters in labeling this group “impact” players; rather, we focused on mid-rotation (or better) starting pitchers, high-leverage relievers and hitters with recent All-Star-worthy performances (even if they didn’t necessarily result in an actual All-Star berth). Three wins above replacement in a given season wasn’t a firm cutoff, but we did ask at multiple points whether we a player had recently or could be reasonably expected/projected to turn in a 3-WAR season while sorting them.
Once these players were tiered, we further broke them down by whether they were legitimately plausible candidate to change teams or just someone whom other clubs would be trying to pry away. Basically, none of Tim, Anthony or myself would bat an eye to see Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas traded. Bryan Reynolds or Cedric Mullins, though? We’ll probably hear about teams trying to pry those players loose from their respective clubs (hence their inclusion), but a deal coming together seems like a long shot and would register as a mild surprise (if only because of the asking price and remaining club control).
As Tim explained, some of these players are interconnected. While the Reds have three starters who could plausibly change hands, we don’t necessarily think all three will move. It’s the same with the A’s roster. They could plausibly move multiple players — GM David Forst said amid November reports of a mandate to slash payroll that they’d have to listen on the whole roster — but that doesn’t mean the A’s are going to trade seven or eight players.
Anthony will follow this list up in the near future with a collection of solid regulars who we believe could change hands and/or will be in high demand following the lockout, but for now, here’s our second tier of trade candidates — legitimate impact players who could plausibly change teams but perhaps aren’t as likely to go as those listed by Tim earlier in the week…
Plausible/Decent Chance to Move
Luis Castillo / SP / Reds
The Reds’ offseason transactions since the close of the 2020 season have included a salary dump of Raisel Iglesias, non-tendering another quality reliever (Archie Bradley), trading Tucker Barnhart to Detroit, and placing Wade Miley on waivers rather than picking up a reasonable $10MM option. GM Nick Krall kicked off the 2021-22 offseason by declaring a need to “align our payroll to our resources.” Rumors of trades involving Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray (listed among our 14 likeliest candidates due to his age and larger price tag) and Tyler Mahle naturally followed.
Even if the Reds aren’t actively shopping the 29-year-old Castillo, teams will be calling to inquire, and Krall and his staff will be listening. The Reds probably aren’t going to shop him and simply let him go for the best offer, as they control him through 2023. They could always hold and market him again this summer or next offseason if no enticing offer materializes post-lockout.
Still, Castillo might be the best starting pitcher who could feasibly change hands. He got out to a brutal start in 2021, but over his final 22 starts, Castillo was excellent. He racked up 135 1/3 innings (six-plus innings per start) and notched a 2.73 ERA with a 26% strikeout rate, a 9.4% walk rate and a massive 59.9% ground-ball rate. Castillo’s ugly April/May results skew both his 2021 numbers and his collective numbers from 2019-21, but over the past three seasons he’s still posted a 3.61 ERA while fanning 27% of his opponents.
Maybe he’s not a true “ace,” but Castillo is a playoff-caliber starter for virtually any team. He’s projected to earn $7.6MM in 2022 and would be owed one more arbitration raise in 2023. Essentially, he’ll cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $20MM for the next two seasons — a bargain rate that should be reflected in a huge asking price from the Reds.
Tyler Mahle / SP / Reds
Mahle doesn’t have the name value that Castillo brings to the table, and his track record of success is shorter. Nonetheless, he’s blossomed into a sharp mid-rotation arm over the past two seasons, sporting a 3.72 ERA with a 28.1% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate. Unlike Castillo, he’s a fly-ball pitcher, which has at times bitten him at his bandbox of a home stadium; Mahle has given up 30 home runs in 227 2/3 frames dating back to Opening Day 2020, and 24 of them have come at home. He posted a 2.30 ERA away from Great American Ball Park in 2021 and, in his career, has a 5.09 ERA at home versus a 3.72 mark on the road.
A spacious home park would benefit Mahle perhaps even more than your average starter, although his penchant for yielding fly-balls will likely always make him a bit susceptible to the long-ball. Mahle has also been more of a guy who pitches into the sixth rather than completes six or seven frames (5 1/3 innings per start since 2020), but that’s increasingly common in today’s era of aggressive bullpen usage.
Mahle’s shorter track record may give some fans pause, but teams are likely comfortable projecting him as a quality arm based on the past two seasons of missing bats at a high level. And, that shorter track record has left him with a lower price point in arbitration, as he’s projected to earn $5.6MM in 2022. Like Castillo, he’s controlled through 2023, so there’s no immediate urgency to move him — especially given his affordable price tag. Still, teams will be calling, and the Reds can justifiably ask for a strong return.
Frankie Montas / SP / Athletics
Sticking with pitchers who have two remaining years of club control, Montas joins a long list of Athletics who could be traded post-lockout. Amid reports of a mandate to slash payroll, GM David Forst outwardly acknowledged back in November that the A’s will have to listen to offers on the majority of their roster.
Montas, unlike free-agents-to-be Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt, is controlled through 2023. And unlike Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, his projected $5.6MM salary is a bit easier for the A’s to stomach. That’s why Montas is in this “bucket” of our trade candidate rankings, but even if he’s not as likely to move as some of his teammates, a deal is certainly still plausible.
Though Montas isn’t without red flags — he served an 80-game PED suspension in 2019 and had never reached 100 innings in a big league season prior to 2021 — it’s hard to ignore the quality results. Since 2018, Montas has pitched 401 innings of 3.57 ERA ball with a 24.4% strikeout rate, 7.3% walk rate and 43.7% ground-ball rate. His swinging-strike rate has continued to improve, and this past season’s 26.9% strikeout rate was a career-best. He’ll turn 29 in May, and he’s an upgrade for any team’s rotation.
Tyler Glasnow / SP / Rays
Glasnow is the most talented name on this list and, when healthy, looked the part of a legitimate ace with Tampa Bay. From 2019-21, Glasnow tallied 206 innings with a 2.80 ERA and fielding-independent marks to match. He punched out a ridiculous 36% of his opponents, walked just 7.8 percent of them and kept the ball on the ground at a 45% clip. Among the 114 starting pitchers who totaled at least 200 innings in that time, Glasnow ranks tenth in swinging-strike rate and second to only Shane Bieber in his combined percentage of called and swinging strikes. Only Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole had higher strikeout rates.
With that type of profile, two years of team control remaining and a projected $5.8MM salary for the 2022 season, a healthy Glasnow would be a no-brainer for the Rays to keep. Of course, Glasnow is not healthy. He’s likely to miss most, if not all of the upcoming season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. Arb-eligible players who miss an entire season due to injury typically sign on for a repeat of their prior year’s salary, meaning that in 2023 Glasnow will likely pitch on the same salary as 2022. Using that same $5.8MM projection, the Rays would be looking at about $11.6MM for one season of Glasnow, when his workload would need to be monitored coming back from major surgery.
Glasnow’s career-high innings total in the Majors is 2018’s 111 2/3, and his career-high for any professional season is when he reached 155 innings between Triple-A and Pittsburgh combined back in 2017. Realistically, the Rays would probably be thrilled to get 100-120 innings from Glasnow in 2023 — and an $11-12MM price tag on that modest total is rather steep for a team with Tampa Bay’s general payroll concerns.
Other clubs would welcome the opportunity to take that chance, however. We’ve seen two-year pacts for Tommy John rehabbers like Drew Smyly ($10MM with the Cubs), Michael Pineda ($10MM with the Twins) and Garrett Richards ($15.5MM with the Padres). Glasnow’s price tag is toward the lower end of that spectrum in terms of dollars, but the cost of trading prospects also has to enter into the equation. For an arm of this caliber, however, there are plenty of teams that would take the plunge.
Glasnow, for his part, recently told Chris Rose that he strongly hopes to remain with the Rays (YouTube link). Perhaps there’s a contract to be worked out that could benefit both parties, but Glasnow himself acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding his status and that president of baseball operations Erik Neander will have to listen to some offers if and when other teams come calling.
Josh Hader / RP / Brewers
Teams have been trying to get their hands on Hader for years, and the Brewers have steadfastly refused all overtures. The reluctance is understandable, as Hader has established himself as arguably the best reliever in the sport. In 282 1/3 career innings, he’s posted a 2.26 ERA and fanned exactly four out of every nine batters faced. No longer being used for multiple innings at a time, Hader posted a career-best 1.23 ERA in 58 2/3 frames this past season. The homer he allowed to Freddie Freeman in the NLDS isn’t a great note on which to close a season, but looking at Hader’s broader playoff track record, he has a 1.88 ERA and 23-to-3 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings.
Trading the game’s most impactful reliever wouldn’t be easy for president of baseball operation David Stearns, but Hader’s value is at its apex. He’s also projected to see his salary spike to $10MM in 2022, with a fourth and final arbitration raise coming in 2023. Hader is dominant, but the typically low-payroll Brewers are flirting with what would be a record $123MM payroll. It’s not accurate to suggest that the presence of a second powerhouse reliever, Devin Williams, makes Hader expendable, but Williams’ excellence would at least slightly soften the blow of a theoretical Hader trade.
Milwaukee could still stand to improve its offense, and moving Hader could both free up some financial resources and simultaneously net some immediate help for the big league lineup. The Brewers don’t have to move Hader now, to be clear. However, they probably wouldn’t move him in-season if they’re contending — meaning it’s now or next winter, when they’d be marketing one year and a $15MM+ salary. That would net far less long-term value. It’s a fine line to walk.
Joey Gallo / OF / Yankees
Gallo popped 13 homers in 58 games following a July trade from Texas to the Bronx, but it’s fair to say the deal didn’t work out as New York had hoped. Gallo’s strikeout rate, which had dipped a bit with the Rangers, spiked to 38.6% as a Yankee. The resulting .160/.303/.404 batting line in 228 plate appearances is one of the more bizarre slashes you’ll ever see from a regular player.
Struggles in New York aside, Gallo was hitting .223/.379/.490 through 388 plate appearances in Texas and had bashed 25 homers in that span — putting him on pace for what would’ve been his third career 40-homer season had he not dropped off with the Yankees.
Gallo has as much power as anyone in baseball, and he’s made himself into a strong defender in the outfield corners (who can handle center from time to time). However, he’s projected to earn $10.2MM in arbitration this season, and it’d be understandable if the Yankees were hesitant at that price based on his post-trade struggles. New York is projected to top $226MM in luxury tax concerns, so moving Gallo could prove beneficial if owner Hal Steinbrenner is again intent on dipping beneath the threshold (wherever that’ll ultimately lie in 2022).
The Yankees have Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton as outfield options, with Estevan Florial serving as a possible reserve. Were they to give Gallo a change of scenery by moving him to a team seeking pop in the outfield, they could always sign a free agent to replenish some of the depth. It’s not clear that the Yankees will shop Gallo once the lockout lifts, but the New York Post’s Joel Sherman wrote about the possibility back in October, reporting within that as many as seven other teams tried to land Gallo at the deadline. If he’s on the block, there’ll be interest.
Longer Shots due to Asking Price and/or Remaining Club Control
Ramon Laureano / CF/ Athletics
Given Forst’s comments and the reports of forthcoming payroll reduction, it’s viable that anyone earning a salary of some note will at least be discussed. Laureano, projected to earn $2.8MM this coming season after his first trip through the arbitration process, also represents one of the few plausible center field options on the market, which should lead to plenty of teams inquiring on his availability.
Trading Laureano is more complicated than moving some of his teammates. He’s currently in the midst of an 80-game PED ban which, beyond raising questions about his performance to date, could come with major service time implications. Laureano still needs to serve 27 games of that suspension, which could impact his path to free agency. He currently has three years and 14 days of service time, meaning he’d need 158 days in 2022 to cross the threshold into four years of service and remain on track to hit the open market post-2024. There are only 187 days in a standard season, making it unlikely he’ll end up accruing the necessary time on the roster to get to that point. (Remember that off-days spent on the MLB roster count as a day of service.)
There’s always the small chance that some other factor impacts this trajectory (e.g. the ongoing labor talks, a potentially shortened 2022 schedule, a grievance filing), but as it stands, Laureano could wind up under team control through 2025 rather than 2024. An extra year of team control both heightens his appeal but also makes it tougher to trade him.
Beyond the service-time considerations, Laureano underwent core muscle surgery after the season, which adds another layer to a complicated scenario. But looking solely at Laureano’s numbers, he’s a difference-maker for a team in need of a center fielder (e.g. Phillies, Marlins, Guardians). A career .263/.335/.465 hitter with 25-homer pop, good speed and plus center field defense isn’t a hard sell.
Jesse Winker / OF / Reds
I explored Winker’s situation at length last week, with the bottom-line point being that it makes little sense to listen to offers on starting pitchers with two years of club control remaining (e.g. Castillo, Mahle, Gray) without doing the same on Winker. The 28-year-old slugger has had some issues with durability, doesn’t hit lefties well (though he’ll still draw his walks against them) and isn’t a great defender. That’s an odd trio of qualities to focus on when talking about someone’s trade candidacy, but the other side of the coin is more compelling: Winker’s production against right-handed pitching is at Bryce Harper/Juan Soto levels of brilliance.
Since 2020, Harper and Soto are the only two qualified hitters in baseball with a better mark than Winker’s 169 wRC+ against righties. In terms of more traditional slash metrics, he’s batting an outrageous .322/.417/.619 when holding the platoon advantage. With all the talent on the Reds’ roster, I think Cincinnati should be in aggressive, win-now mode. Krall’s early comments and their dealings since 2020 suggest otherwise, however, and if you’re going to listen on the other guys with four-to-five years of MLB service — why not listen on Winker as well? Cleveland, Colorado, Philadelphia and so many others are looking for offensive upgrades in the outfield corners.
Pablo Lopez / SP / Marlins
As is a common refrain on this list, the Marlins have no urgency to move Lopez, who’ll turn 26 in March. He was limited to 102 2/3 innings by shoulder issues last season and has yet to top 111 2/3 frames in a Major League season, but Lopez has been pretty darn good when healthy. From 2020-21, in particular, he’s compiled 31 starts and 160 innings of 3.26 ERA ball with a 26.4% strikeout rate and a 6.7% walk rate. He’s in his first trip through arbitration and projected for a highly reasonable $2.5MM salary.
So, why even bother considering a move? The Marlins are still hopeful of landing some help in center field, and they’re also so deep in pitching talent that it borders on comical. The old adage that a team can never have too much pitching always rings in the back of our minds, but the Marlins aren’t short on options beyond Lopez. Sandy Alcantara, Trevor Rogers, Elieser Hernandez, Jesus Luzardo, Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett, Nick Neidert, Cody Poteet and Daniel Castano are all on the 40-man — and top prospect Max Meyer is quickly rising through the minors. Injured top prospect Jake Eder will be back in 2023.
Jose Ramirez / 2B, 3B / Guardians
The favorite subject of so many hypothetical trade scenarios from fans, Ramirez does feel likely to end up traded … at some point. The question is whether now’s the time. Cleveland has him for $11MM this year plus a $13MM option in 2023. Given Ramirez’s elite play, there’s little chance of the Guardians extending him beyond that 2023 season, but there’s also good sense in Cleveland taking another run at the AL Central with Ramirez as a focal point. The pitching is still excellent, and while the lineup clearly needs another bat or two, the 2022 payroll is currently projected at only $49MM. There’s room to add some help for Ramirez and Franmil Reyes, and a deep farm system could also provide some in-house upgrades.
It’s also impossible to look at the situation without accounting for public relations. We’re only a year removed from Cleveland trading Francisco Lindor in a wildly unpopular move, and many fans’ anger with further fueled by the team’s name change. The newly-named Guardians are looking to usher in a “new era” of Cleveland baseball, and trading their best player for a second straight offseason isn’t a great way to foster good will.
If the first half of the season goes poorly, I’d expect Ramirez to be among the most talked-about names at the 2022 trade deadline, and there’d be a much stronger chance he moves at that point. With regard to the offseason, however, there’s just not enough urgency to push something across the line unless Toronto or another on-paper suitor puts forth an over-the-top offer. Even then, fans who’ve already purchased new Guardians gear bearing Ramirez’s name are going to feel rather jilted. It’d be tough for the front office to make this move now.
Bryan Reynolds / OF / Pirates
Reynolds is the best player on a last-place team that’s squarely in the midst of a rebuild so it’s hardly a surprise that he’s been in trade rumors dating back to the summer. Rival teams know the Pirates are open for business, and it’s only natural they’d try to acquire a center fielder capable of posting a .302/.390/.522 slash like the one Reynolds logged in 2021.
On the one hand, there’s an argument that the rebuilding Buccos ought to listen on anyone — and they surely will. But on the other hand, Reynolds is 27 and controlled another four seasons. His trade value won’t diminish substantially if the Pirates hold onto him, giving the fans at least one recognizable and marketable star player. Reynolds is a Super Two player who’s projected to earn an eminently affordable $4.5MM in 2022, so there’s no financial pressure. Everyone has their price in a trade, especially on a team like the Pirates, but for some context, that price reportedly included Mariners uber-prospect Julio Rodriguez (and more) when the two teams last talked. Baseball America currently ranks Rodriguez as the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball.
Cedric Mullins / OF / Orioles
Most of what was written about Reynolds applies to Mullins. The Orioles’ breakout star put together a 30-30 season last year while hitting .291/.360/.518 and is controllable for another four seasons — through age 30. No one expects the Orioles to contend in 2022, but they’ll get a look at top prospects like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez and D.L. Hall this year. Reinforcements from the farm are on the way, and it’s feasible that by 2023 (and certainly by 2024), they could be on the cusp of turning a corner. Mullins will be under control, affordable and in his prime at that point.
The Orioles aren’t going to declare anyone on their Major League roster “untouchable,” but Mullins would only be available for a staggeringly strong offer. A Mullins trade doesn’t seem likely, but teams are going to at least try to force GM Mike Elias’ hand.
Ketel Marte / 2B, CF / Diamondbacks
Teams have been trying to pry Marte from the D-backs for more than a year. Arizona reportedly took the extra step of plainly telling rival clubs in early July — weeks before the trade deadline — that Marte wouldn’t be moved. That probably didn’t stop clubs from trying, and teams will be trying again post-lockout. The Marlins, Yankees, Mariners and quite a few others have at least been speculatively linked to Marte, whose team-friendly deal heightens his appeal. Marte will earn $8MM in 2022, and his contract calls for a $10MM team option in 2023 and a $12MM team option in 2024.
Dating back to 2019, Marte boasts a .318/.374/.543 batting line with 48 dingers, 79 doubles, 11 triples and a lowly 14% strikeout rate (versus a 7.6% walk rate). He’s rated poorly in center field, from a defensive standpoint, but is well-regarded defensively at second base. A 28-year-old switch-hitter with power, some speed, plenty of versatility and a grand total of $30MM owed to him over the next three years ($21MM of which isn’t even guaranteed) is wildly appealing. The D-backs, however, have shown little inclination to move him in the past, and assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye echoed that sentiment in November, calling Marte a “cornerstone” player around whom the D-backs can build.
Zac Gallen / SP / Diamondbacks
Twenty-six years old and controlled another four seasons, Gallen is precisely the type of pitcher that pitching-needy teams like the Rangers, Twins, Nationals and so many others would dream of acquiring. A forearm issue slowed him in 2021 and limited his workload, but Gallen has now made 50 starts in the Majors with a 3.46 ERA, a 27.6% strikeout rate and a 9.6% walk rate to show for it. He’s already been traded twice — going from St. Louis to Miami in the Marcell Ozuna deal before being flipped to Arizona in what amounted to a rare prospect-for-prospect swap sending Jazz Chisholm back to the Fish.
The D-backs didn’t even trade Merrill Kelly at this past summer’s deadline when he was a fourth starter with 1.5 cheap years left on his contract. It’s hard to imagine they’ll be excited about the idea of giving up four seasons of Gallen — particularly when his stock is down a bit, owing to last season’s arm issue. Gallen closed out the 2021 season quite well, with a 3.19 ERA and 52-to-15 K/BB ratio in his final 48 frames (eight starts). Sawdaye listed Gallen as a “cornerstone” player right alongside Marte, adding that the D-backs never plan to fully punt on a given season. Their signing of Mark Melancon for two years and $14MM meshes with the notion that this is not a team on the brink of a full-fledged teardown. Teams can try to nab Gallen, but it’d likely require some young MLB-ready talent going back to Arizona. Overall, the odds are low.
David Bednar / RP / Pirates
One of several pieces acquired in last winter’s Joe Musgrove trade, the 27-year-old Bednar stepped up and solidified himself as the Pirates’ likely closer in 2022. Through 60 2/3 innings, Bednar posted a tiny 2.23 ERA with a 32.5% strikeout rate, an 8.0% walk rate and a 41.4% grounder rate. Bednar yielded only five home runs all season (0.74 HR/9) and averaged 97 mph on his heater. He looks the part of a legitimate high-leverage weapon, and he’s controlled for five more years — all the way through 2026.
With such good results, a pre-arbitration salary and so much team control remaining, Bednar probably isn’t going anywhere. (As a bonus, he’s a Pittsburgh-area native.) The Pirates can’t (or at least won’t) simply trade every player who shows some semblance of value, after all. That said, the last thing most rebuilding clubs need is a high-end closer, and bullpen help is always in demand. Bednar will be 29 or 30 by the time the Pirates are realistically turning a corner, and the attrition rate on relievers is higher than anywhere else on the diamond. The argument for capitalizing on his value right now is pretty clear, but as with the rest of this “long shot” list, it’s hard to see a team meeting what would surely be a pretty substantial asking price.
I get that extending Ramirez is unlikely from a financial standpoint, but isn’t there a chance Ramirez takes a discount to stay in Cleveland?
He already did that once. He’s on a four-year, $26MM extension that has a pair of cheap club options. Players don’t tend to take a second, well-below-market extension more than once in their careers.
Carlos Carrasco did, with Cleveland. Then he got traded. Different circumstances but it has happened
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
My guess is players like Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers will be on the next list. Players who don’t have full no trade clauses and their teams desperately want to move them but the contracts they are paid under make that prohibitive.
@Please, Hammer. Don’t hurt ’em. Hosmer gets 10-and-5 rights next offseason. Granted, his negative trade value is far greater of a barrier to trading him than 10-and-5 rights could ever hope to be.
Did he sign that extension because he loves the city of Cleveland and it’s baseball team so much? I know it wasn’t because he loved his teammates because they don’t usually stick around long. After Arb 1 their days are numbered.
My guess is he just wanted guaranteed money security.
Steve, read your last sentence again. You’re actually saying it is possible.
Probably kicking himself for signing that first extension.
He shouldn’t have to. The Guardians can afford him. They’ll opt not to. They’ve built a model where they live off revenue sharing. Bad for fans. Bad for players. Bad for baseball.
LordD99 has being competitive every year bad for fans. What’s bad for baseball is ignorant fans like yourself that are allowed to have dumb opinions. What’s bad for baseball is people like you who for years insisted small payroll teams couldn’t compete and for years now the Rays and Cleveland have made you people look like buffoons now you’re changing the tune and saying their bad for baseball. You ain’t getting a cap, because salary caps don’t work. They’re bad for baseball, they’re bad for the players, they’re bad for simpleton fans.
I don’t think that’s what LordD99 meant. I agree with him that intentionally living off the absolute minimum roster payroll and intentionally coming in last toe reap rewards isn’t good for the game. If they want to operate that way, it’s fine, but the reward of additional revenue sharing / CB picks should be removed because they aren’t using it to advance the team / game. I’m also against a cap because they don’t work.
Bud Selig Fan
Cleveland took a 1 year re-set and now provided their injured starters are healthy again, should contend for the American League central, which they’ve done for quite an extended period of time. It doesn’t matter what their payroll is. They have the financial flexibility to add to the payroll at anytime moving forward.
This FO is one of the top 5 in baseball and absolutely above criticism. Their owner has had payrolls of $150MM just a few years ago, and like most SM owners, has spent when a serious WS contender.
@Bud Selig Fan The Indians’ window has slammed shut. And absolutely you can criticize a team that trades away their #1 or #2 starter when they are leading the division.
@thelegendaryharambe I don’t think their window is completely shut. That team still has a lot of talent. The Central is also a weak division nearly every year.
@pwndroia Indians are 3rd in that division, best case scenario.
@Yankee Clipper, correct. My post shouldn’t require too much explanation, and I could certainly expand upon it as I have many times previously, but I’ve found general boards like MLBTR means there are always segments of fans who let emotion rule as @iverblue showed with use of words like buffoons, simpleton and ignorant. Those who aren’t comfortable debating on merit often default to insults. I agree with some of iverblue’s views, but mostly find his/her view as leaving little room for nuance and discussion.
White Sox I see ahead but you never know with the Twins. Could go either way. Tigers- not sure. Don’t count on Royals. It’s a toss up.
@thelegendaryharambe I think it would be wrong to call out the Guardians. Even in the absence of pitchers they’ve traded, they still have at least a one two punch in Bieber and Civale/Plesac. And that doesn’t even count McKenzie, who is most likely a rising star with a high k rate.
Maybe Civale and Plesac aren’t aces but I would take a bet at least one of them performs close to a legit 2 or 3 starter.
I wouldn’t be quick to call them out. The potential for success is absolutely there.
I don’t don’t believe the Guardians are better than last year’s team. And yet, I see everyone else in the central improving. Full disclaimer- I am a Tigs fan. But, I just don’t see it.
Guardians have a great fan base, the front office is fantastic with the resources they do have, coaching staff is great. IMO it makes no sense, other than the Dolan Family not being fully committed. They had a fantastic team for a good while, unfortunately they were just out of reach.
Maybe sign a couple legit OF threats, then I would say they are in the thick of it.
Yeah! Every team in the central except the Guardians will be better in 2022 than 2021.
Clevelands window is open for the next 10 years. Whether that means around 500, winning record, or playoffs depends on what prospects are available and how good they become. And look ie 2021 showed how healthy players are.
For every team its a matter of how healthy the players are. Atlanta might be considered a fluke except every team had major injuries last year, after the shortened 2020 season.
Yankee Clipper20 hours ago
I don’t think that’s what LordD99 meant. I agree with him that intentionally living off the absolute minimum roster payroll and intentionally coming in last toe reap rewards isn’t good for the game.
1-You must have the Indians mixed up with the Guardians. The Indians had an average payroll of $137M in the four years prior to 2021.and have been one of the most successful teams in BB. Over the past 9 years, the NYY have been better Cleveland by ~ 0.5 games per year.
2-I’m not being critical, because we both shop on 5th Avenue. But everything else that you said benefits the Yankees (and RS) greatly. Yes, TB gets revenue sharing and picks, and both of us are subject to caps.
But we should both be able to beat TB with the extra $150M we spend. And since TB spends a greater % of their revenue than the NYY do, maybe the solution is to not worry about the cap.
This is Twins Territory!!!
The Indians are significantly worse than the……Tigers?
I don’t know about that. Very dependent on a lot of young guys and prospects performing in Detroit next year. Cleveland always wins 80 games & you can never count them out with the way they develop pitching.
I’d put them 3rd but I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat the Tigers.
*Guardians before someone jumps on it
@jbigz12 White Sox will rule that division for a while, Twins have averaged 88.5 wins per 162 games the last 3 years and then the Tigers and Royals have top 5 farm systems with a lot of those guys on the cusp. Guardians will be anywhere from 3rd to 5th depending on how things shake out for the Royals and Tigers.
I didn’t say they’d win it, I just don’t think their window is shut.
I don’t really care how many wins the Twins averaged. They won 73 last year. The team is different. They don’t have Cruz, Jose Berrios or well really any starting pitchers anymore.
That team is taking a step back and probably trying to extract value from ST assets next year. Cleveland has a strong farm too.
I know I’m talking to my old pal from California here…But Cleveland made some moves that sucked to see bc maybe they would’ve won a title. But those moves did mean that the team wouldn’t be in a full on rebuild. They can easily take 2nd place in a weak division. (I would’ve rather gone hard for a WS but this is where they are now)
It’s a toss up between any of those teams for 2nd place. Youre taking your emotions from their past deals and using that against them.
Cleveland is really really good at developing starting pitchers. A lot of organizations are not. You can always compete if you can pitch:
2nd place in that division doesn’t get you a Wild Card spot.
He already did by accepting the pre arb deal that was so team friendly it’s one of the reasons he’s so valuable. Every contender can afford him at that great contract.
There really isn’t a good reason for the Pirates to trade Reynolds unless the return is truly massive and involves majors-ready talent. He’s affordable, he’s controllable, he hasn’t had injury concerns, and he doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game. After last season, I’m mostly ready to write off 2020 as an aberration likely caused by having trouble adjusting to all of changes to his normal routine.
I keep seeing fans say “Why keep him? The team stinks so get as much as you can for him”. While that logic might normally apply, I don’t think it does here for the reasons stated above. Additionally the Pirates finally have a number of quality prospects who should be in the majors in the next 2-3 years, which is within Reynolds’ window of control. He’s this decade’s version of Andrews McCutchen for the Pirates, a star and leader who they can and should build around.
I’d say the Pirates need to be contending for at least a Wild Card no later than 2024 to make keeping Reynolds worth it. Unless they manage to extend him.
That’s a fair assessment, and at this point they should be at least thinking about extending him regardless of the control.
Bottom feeding teams for years traded away their best players and got contending teams best prospects. Now because teams are smarter they value those top prospects more. That’s why you see 100 comments on trades like “that’s it” now. Pirates aren’t trading Reynolds anytime soon unless they get a guy who is as good as him but with 6 years of control plus other prospects and why would a team do that? It’s just not happening. The only people suggesting it are the ones who look at the standings and say oh pirates are going to trade their best player, not knowing anything about the contract or value or anything else about how baseball works.
If they expand the playoffs to 14 teams the Pirates will be contending for a wild card as soon as next season and 2024 at the latest. Probably 2024 either way. How often do all star hitters with 4 years of team control get traded? With 2 years of control the price is easier for teams to pay. Still only certain teams will pay it. I don’t blame the Pirates for wanting Julio and then some. I have no problem with him as the number 2 prospect. He could potentially be better than Reynolds. But what are the odds he is even as good as Reynolds? 4 years of a sure thing vs 6 years of something you hope to believe will be good. I think the Mariners made the right call.
Diamondbacks are in the same situation as the Angels are with Trout. They really should trade him but no package that anyone would realistically offer is worth him.
I disagree. The dbacks are in a division with two powerhouses and if you add the Padres who tried to hotshot their way to playoffs it looks like last year was a good year to rebuild given it’s going to be pretty hard to compete.
The angels have multiple generational talents on their roster and while the Astros look like they should be good for a couple more years they arent the Dodgers and Giants.
Angels have Trout, Ohtani, Rendon and that’s it. They are a non-factor in that division and will stay that way.
Angels have been ran as poorly as anyone. But if they would have just signed or traded for some pitching they could have had a lot more success. LA SF is a lot more competition than anyone in the AL West.
Why always Hader? the Brewers are a contending team and Hader’s the rock in their pen. 0 chance he moves.
I wouldn’t say zero chance….but the offer is going to have to be massive for the brewers. Multiple top prospects and/or young star. They don’t HAVE to trade him so they can wait and see if a team gets desperate enough. Brewers farm isn’t good and if sacrificing hader rebuilds it quickly, then I can see them doing it. They have one of the best starting rotations in the NL and it’s all young and controllable. Brewers aren’t just a flash in the pan for a couple years, they’re built to contend for long term….but have to do it without spending massively.
The Brewers are designed to contend now, but to be built to contend long term, you need a strong farm, which they don’t have.
Yet…..and can be easily fixed
Because hes set to make 22-26M over the next 2 seasons as a reliever in a small market with raising arb salaries and a whole bunch of other good relievers
@Brixton If not from Hader where are the Brewers getting his kind of production over the next 2 seasons for $26m or less? Their window is wide open so they can’t trade for him if they don’t have a proven replacement already in-house and ready to go.
They do have this guy named Devon Williams. He moves up to closer, and you add to the middle relief.
@stymeedone AKA the great defender of the pitcher win stat and the Eric Hosmer contract Who do you add to the middle relief that is as good as Williams or Hader and will cost less than Hader?
Oh and your little plan only works if you assume Williams won’t be injured again… Not a given.
Because the brewers payroll is up against their limit and hader’s team control is running out and he’s getting expensive. So inclusion they can maximize his value and get assets back, save money and because there’s several options still available in free agency think they can replace him and not lose too much in that area. Definitely more than a 0 chance he moves but unlikely I’d say.
This is the way smaller market teams have operated successfully for years not sure why fans don’t understand this. Fans get outraged moves like this and then team wins more games and player gets hurt but the fans don’t remember their stupid take from that day if the trade. Funny how that works.
@iverbure There is no one available in FA that is as good as Hader who would cost less. If there was no one would give up anything at all for Hader they would just sign that player.
Trading Hader is not going to win the Brewers more games.
Bud Selig Fan
Hader’s not getting traded, unless Stearns gets blown away with a return, and that’s not likely to happen, since Stearns values Hader more than his fellow GM’s and thus has a sky-high asking price. Hader is incredibly valuable to the Brewers and over the next 2 seasons, could lead them to a WS title.
If Stearns trades any of his pitching, it will probably be Adrian Houser, who’s coming off a really good season, has 3 years of control, and who he could very likely get a nice bat to add to their lineup. It would also allow for Aaron Ashby to be their 5th starter instead of 6th starter/bullpen arm.
Brewers still have room as long as baseball starts on time and doesn’t hurt attendance. Cain comes off books. Then Hader comes off books. They would love to get great prospects for him but financially they can afford to keep him.
Because Hader is arguably the most desired RP on the market and Brewers are a team that would be open to trading him, imo, because they would rake on a return.
These types of moves are only going to increase with the new way FA compensation works. They are encouraged not to re-sign FA, so why not trade them and reap the benefits?
Stratton is probably 75% more likely to be traded than Bednar….
He is! You just might see him on the next installment of this series.
But as far as “impactful” relievers in the Pittsburgh bullpen go, Bednar tops the list — even if he’s a long shot.
I can concur with that. As a Bucs fan, I fully expect Stratton to be traded. Which for a guy plucked off waivers from the Angels no one thought much about, anything is a good return.
I will make a bold statement as well. Newman is 75% more likely to be traded than Cruz.
rangers should pick up glasnow. i know everyone thinks they’re going in for 22, but they’re not. eat some salary the rays can’t afford in 22 and pick up glasnow as a no.1 for 23. been good trading partners the past few years.
Glasnow is going to be a popular candidate, I think, but I’d be weary of a deal with the Rays because…it’s the Rays. Tends to work very well for them, not so very well for others. Not always, but often.
Glasnow for Seager + 300 million, works for both sides
I feel the same way about the Castillo. Voit for Castillo… fair for both sides. I’ll even throw in Andujar and Frazier, and he’s not even on the team! Can’t beat that one, Reds. Welcome to NY Castillo.
The White Sox should absolutely be trying to get Marte, since they have a gaping hole at 2B. Their farm system is now pretty awful, but maybe there’s a deal that could be built around Andrew Vaughn that Arizona would be interested in?
The Dbacks answer to trade inquiries on both Ketel Marte and Zac Gallen is the same “He!! NO!” to any offer.
MLBTR is a site that flourishes via a constant stream of rumors, whether or not those rumors are started by MLBTR.! That’s not a knock on MLBTR, just a statement of fact.
And most of the posters here love this feast of rumors, and love dreaming about their team acquiring these players. That’s not a knock on the posters here, just a statement of fact.
And from the standpoint of pure economics, when MLBTR or the posters say “it makes sense that this or that player SHOULD be traded”…well, reality is much more complex than pure economics.
So MLBTR’s bread and butter is Ketel Marte and Zac Gallen, and fans of 29 teams will salivate over the prospect of adding either or both to their team, but I’m here to throw cold water on your salivating.
Not to mention those two play three of the most desired positions in MLB right now too: SP, SS & CF. That makes it easier to imagine!
I mean Marte hasn’t really played SS consistently since 2016 which is a ways back now and the better half of his time is spent in the OF. While CF is an option, he shouldn’t be considered a SS anymore. 16 innings the last 2 years. 0 Last year
True, but, a lot of teams/fans love the potential utility he brings, and that does contribute to his value. His CF play is not good either but with his bat? Probably worth it.
You’re not concerned that the Dbacks finished 55 games back with those players and don’t have anywhere near enough coming through the farm to change that? Gallen might still be on the team the next time they’re ready to compete. It seems pretty unlikely that Marte will be.
cowdisciple. Do you know what’s coming through the farm and when? The Dbacks have the #3 rated farm system, and that’s too low a rating. 7 Dback Prospects are in the Top 100, the most of any team in baseball. 3 or 4 of them are superstar caliber. 17 of the Top 30 Dbacks Prospects have ETAs to the majors of 2021 or 2022. 8 of those 17 are pitchers. The Dbacks weaknesses are 3b and pitching.
People who don’t know these facts assume the Farm system needs to be built up and then take 3 or 4 years to start producing help for the major league club. As you can see, the Dbacks Farm system is exactly where it needs to be today, not 3 or 4 years from now.
Scottaz: With your familiarity with the DBacks, I wanted your opinion on a trade proposal I had read about recently. Yankees are in need of a decent C. I’ve read that Varsho will be the starting C for the DBacks this year, thereby bumping Kelly to a bench role.
1) Do you fee Varsho will in fact start at C?
2) If Kelly is relegated to a bench role & it makes sense to trade him, what do you think a reasonable return would be for him.
I really like Kelly and think he’s a bit underrated as a catcher. Varsho has always impressed me as a prospect because of his ability to function at both CF & C, which seem like antithetical defensive positions in many ways.
Alek Thomas is probably ready this year. Corbin Carrol is probably ready in 2023. Those guys are exciting prospects, no doubt. Lawlar is exciting but is 19 and in rookie ball. Perdomo already made the team.
FanGraphs doesn’t have anyone else in the system over 45+. It’s a good system, but not at the level of Baltimore or Pittsburgh. FanGraphs has it at 4th best of the 13 teams they’ve posted so far.
I have a little secret. The best Dbacks superstar prospect doesn’t appear on any of the ratings sites. Everyone has forgotten about him. Go back 2 years and read up/salivate on Kristian Robinson! His legal problems are in the rear view mirror. I think you’ll see him in a Dbacks uniform late this year or early next year.
These prospects still have to do something. The wins dont come from potential. Of those 7 I almost promise 2 flame out, 1 becomes a superstar, and the other 4 are average to replacement level…
“7 Dback Prospects are in the Top 100, the most of any team in baseball.”
FWIW the Seattle Mariners have seven prospects who this year made at least one Top 100 prospect list at Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus or MLB.com: Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, George Kirby, Emerson Hancock, Matt Brash, Brandon Williamson and Harry Ford.
Did the Diamondbacks land seven on one single Top 100 prospect list?
Yankee Clipper. On your trade questions: Carson Kelly is the starter. Varsho will get nearly starter quantity of at-bats split between backup catcher and backup OF (he plays primarily CF, but was used on the corner OF as well last year.
Varsho is unique, skilled and competitive. He is not yet polished enough to be a starting catcher, but is completely adequate as a backup. But it’s his bat and speed that are his calling cards. And that unique combination of C and CF positions makes him even more valuable.
So because Varsho isn’t polished enough to replace Kelly, trading Kelly would create a hole of need on the position player side of the roster. The Dbacks don’t typically trade young, controllable players that create holes in the lineup. I, personally, wouldn’t trade either one of them.
In general, the Dbacks needs right now are 3b and in the bullpen, 7th and 8th inning setup pitchers. Any trading they do will probably focus on those positions, bringing back young, major league or near major league ready, controllable players.
My sights are set on obtaining Matt Chapman from the A’s for 3b. The Dbacks have 3 starting pitchers in the Top 100 Prospects, and Hazen has said the Farm system should strengthen the big league club either through promotion or trading. So, I would dangle one of those starters, plus 2 more from their Top 30 Prospects to get Chapman.
Good stuff, man. I didn’t think that Varsho was ready to FT catch yet, and was surprised when I saw he was projected to bump Kelly out of the starting role. If memory serves, Kelly has good receiving skills.
I appreciate the information, probably just another “what if” article written due to the lack of baseball news.
YC, I’m not salivatin’ scottaz, but…
I don’t think Varsho will be the D’backs starting catcher. Kelly will be the primary starter while Varsho backs him up and plays a lot in the outfield. Given that, I don’t see a trade of Kelly to the Yankees or any other team.
which 3 or 4 prospects in their farm system are superstar caliber? Your bias is showing, real hard, or you have a very generous definition of superstar.
I’m not trying to crap on the Dbacks. Obviously everything went wrong for them in 2021 and they aren’t a true-talent 110 loss team, but at the same time you don’t lose 110 with a talented roster and it’s really hard for me to see how they compete with LA, SD and SFO in the next 2 years even if Thomas and Carroll both come up and are stars immediately. They likely won’t reach their full potential for at least 2-3 years.
Bud Selig Fan
I love what Hazen & company have done and are doing with this franchise. I agree with scottaz evaluation of his teams farm system. They imo, have the deepest group of quality prospects in the game, and some big arms that should be inserted over the next 2 years.
Hazen’s philosophy seems to be more in line with David Stearns, and to forgo the tank, to use brainpower to roster a winner as quickly as he can. I can see him making more astute trades to acquire controllable big-league talent and speed up his contention window to as soon as 2023.
cowdisciple. In general, I completely agree with your analysis. Personally, I think the Dbacks’ 2021 campaign was a case of everything that could go wrong did go wrong. So, I agree they aren’t a true-talent 110 loss team as you wrote.
The Dback’s farm produced 7 rookies last year, most of them had extended playing time, and as you wrote there is a coming up to full potential time of 2-3 years. So that was part of the problem in 2021. I place most of the blame on the bullpen. They blew a lot of leads, as a result put added pressure on the starters, and by mid-season the bullpen was virtually all Waiver Claims. I’ll be shocked if more than 2 of the 2021 bullpen arms make the 2022 Opening Day (whenever that is!) roster.
No argument. I just think I’d at least be willing to talk about Marte, who’s under contract through 2024. The White Sox are in win-now mode, desperate for a 2B, and have too many players (Jimenez, Abreu, Vaughn) who should really only be playing 1B or DH. The Dbacks don’t have anyone at 1B in the system who I’d be worried about blocking, and it seems likely they’ll want a DH soon too. Vaughn and Jimenez are both former Top 10 prospects controlled through 2026. Maybe there’s a deal there and maybe not.
Mlbtraderumors mostly reports what sports reporters report. Any articles like this are simply common knowledge that anyone with knowledge of how teams work knows.
I don’t think the cold water was necessary, since Steve put them in the “long shot” bucket and fully explained everything.
Tim, good point. And this is maybe the first time I’ve read about Zac Gallen here as a potential trade candidate, so the “bread and butter” comment about him is odd. Marte? Sure, lots of people have speculated about him being moved.
The Dbacks have a lot of prospects. You’re overselling the top quality just a bit though. The worst thing the Dbacks could do is start trading away their top guys for guys like Chapman. Mike Hazen is smart enough to know that the window is not open right now.
The Dodgers aren’t as untouchable moving forward as everyone thinks though. That system has been drained pretty good. By 2024 there’s a chance the Dbacks could be right there with them…. Really hard to predict the future especially bc SF & LA have top tier financial capacity.
@jbigz12 The problem with that is how good the Dodgers are at developing. They seem to have a ROY contender every single year. In 2015 it was Joc Pederson, in 2016 it was Corey Seager, in 2017 it was Cody Bellinger, in 2018 it was Walker Buehler, in 2019 it was Will Smith and in 2020 it was Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. And only maybe 1 or 2 of those guys were top 20 leaguewide prospects when they made their debuts.
I would just like to thank all of the MLBTR writers for putting up such great content lately. It must be a real pain in the rear to write about baseball, when no real baseball activity is permitted right now. You are still giving us all something to read (and to debate over) on a regular basis and I just wanted it to be recognized. Thank you!!
Yeah, I concur. They do a good job with some unique content when several other sites are mirroring a lot of their stories off each other.
@Yankee Clipper, I suspect that once things return to normal, we may find they’ll permanently incorporate some of these type of news features moving forward. Gives even more value to the site. Sometimes unfortunate situations lead to solutions that bring better long-term results.
LordD99: Yes, I agree. They were incredibly ingenious compared with other outlets by using this time to experiment with articles and different formats for end-users. It will benefit them and readers for the reason you stated.
@beersy, yes, they’ve done a great job of keeping us engaged when there’s not much going on. For a site that relies heavily on advertising, I was concerned a lockout could be devastating so soon after the lost year of Covid. It’s why I joined their Front Office, as a sign of support. Wasn’t even for the additional content, but I’ve found those to be worthwhile too, so I’m sure I’ll continue once my year subscription is up. One thing I am sure of is I won’t win the “when will the lockout end” contest and get a free year. I’m pretty sure I picked this coming Monday!
Would love the M’s to trade for Mullins. But the asking price would be huge.
Maybe Kirby, Sewald, DeLoach, and Stoudt. Rodriguez and Marte are probably untouchable. But Kirby Has #1 potential, Sewald is an elite relief arm, DeLoach floor is very high(minimum 4th OF or DH type), and Stroudt project to a mid to back of the rotation arm.
Kirby and Sewald are likely off-limits as well, and I can tell you they’re high on Stoudt and DeLoach.
I’ve wondered if Seattle might be able to reacquire Ketel for a fair price in prospect capital if they were willing to absorb Bumgarner’s contract with him.
Eating a bad contract to acquire talent seems more likely than trading multiple, top-ranked prospects.
I agree that Kirby is likely not going to get traded, All those players have potential to be really major contributors. Mullins though fills a desperate need and he is just now entering his prime years with 4 years of control. An outfield of Kelenic, Rodriguez, and Mullins would be ridiculous in the talent and youth though.
Don’t see Mullins on the move, same with Reynolds. I certainly see the interest, but with so much team control left on both, I don’t see their trade values taking significant hits by waiting (and capitalizing on them to bring in at least some fans) for another year, barring severe injuries or drastic dropoff. The trade package going the other way would have to be absolutely massive. Plus, both their stock may easily continue to rise.
I agree. It is a pipe dream as an M’s fan, but with the lockout what else are we to do but dream. He would solve a lot of issues for Seattle though, they need a CF and a lefty with some pop in the lineup. He would be a perfect fit.
I don’t think either team gets a deal to their liking. Teams may be hesitant to over pay for Mullins without seeing if he can maintain last seasons level of production and Reynolds is definitely more valuable to the Pirates right now than to anyone else because there are teams willing to give up a lot to get him, he may be the only reason to watch the Pirates right now
I don’t want JD Martinez to be moved but it should be mentioned (did I miss it?) based on the statement of Manfredi. The DH is coming to the NL and I think Bloom would like to spend that money elsewhere. Bloom has done a great job in my view but Boston’s offense still depends on Devers, Bogaerts and JDM.
Bloom’s not trading Martinez. When Martinez is on he’s one of the best hitters in the league and has produced every bit what the Sox hoped he would. He’s not going to chase Castellanos on a seven year big money deal or possibly even Schwarber on a four year deal.
Many seem to think the DH coming to the NL means that NL teams are going to rush out and sign or trade for DH type players. There are some that will but for many they already have in-house options.
Here are some:
Braves: Marcell Ozuna
Brewers: Rowdy Tellez
Cardinals: Could probably use a DH bat
Cubs: Frank Schwindel/Patrick Wisdom
Diamondbacks: Pavin Smith/Christian Walker
Dodgers: Justin Turner/rotating players for days off from playing the field
Giants: Rotating players for days off in the field
Marlins: Jesus Aguilar/Garrett Cooper
Mets: Dom Smith
Nationals: Would likely sign a bat/re-sign Ryan Zimmerman?
Padres: Eric Hosmer/Wil Myers/outside addition
Phillies: Rhys Hoskins/Alec Bohm/outside addition
Pirates: Yoshi Tsutsugo
Reds: Joey Votto/Mike Moustakas
Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
I don’t think the DH in the NL creates quite the frenzy people seem to think
Thanks RSox. Hope you’re right but many on your list have huge questions. Bloom has been hampered by the tax threshold and I see a chance to get more prospects and use the money elsewhere. I’d rather they EXTEND JDM because I agree with you. I just don’t see it happening unless the next CBA creates substantial flexibility
I don’t see an extension either. But more for the reason of Casas coming up. If Dalbec’s torrid second half carries over to next season and Casas is as good as advertised the Sox will need the DH spot to get them both in the lineup in ’23
The Sox priority has to be improving the infield defense. I love Devers but he needs to prove he’s another Boggs, a great hitter who improves to where he’s above average at the hot corner. if not, he has to be moved to DH when JDM is no longer with the team.
Padres aren’t using Eric Hosmer as a DH.
More to the point he is an option. Especially if they give Cronenworth more reps at 1B. I see the Padres being one of the few teams that will actually look to add an outside bat. Be it Castellanos long term or Nelson Cruz for a year
Hosmer is assuredly SD’s DH unless he is dealt.
i disagree with TD’s take that the rangers should pretend to be contenders in 22. but if they are, sign kershaw and rodon, trade for gallen, glasnow for ’23, that doesn’t add obscene ’22 money, which might allow signing suzuki or schwarber. probably not nick.
If it’s true that they’re going after Olson potentially? Their IF will be Olson, Semien, Seager, IKF/Jung. They’re strong defensively at C. That’s a great start and they have OFers with some potential in that lineup too.
Moreover, since the Yankees need a SS & are interested in IKF, it’s not unreasonable to think they could come together in another trade where Yankees send much needed pitching or Gallo back to TX in some sort of deal. I don’t think they are as far off as it seems, but I’m admittedly a bit behind on TX farm system too.
i don’t see gallo making a ton of sense, other than taking the rangers from a 77-80 win team in 2022. but they may have designs on that. some of the middle infielders, duran, smith, going back might make sense, the rangers aren’t going to let go of anyone who could give them major league innings. i’d love to see joey sign a 5/100 contract to be with the rangers through the rebuild and into the contention window. i really like what the rangers picked up from the yankees in the first place….but signing seager and semien kind of make them surplus. i’m sure they have value around the league, whether to oakland, cinci, NYY, whatever, i’m excited about the rangers ’23-’26
and i really think IKF is undervalued…and should contribute both to the rangers restocking and the rangers contention window. he’d be hard to part with
IKF is definitely undervalued and is going to be an important player for Texas as all the money they gave Seager is not miraculously going to keep him healthy. I expect to see a lot of IKF at SS and Seager at DH
definitely agree. a major leaguer where ever he needs to play 4-5 times a week, with plus defense and a slightly below average to average bat
I don’t see the Yankees giving up young players to get IKF. They will probably role the dice with Urshela and Jose Peraza til either Volpe or Oswald Peraza is ready
Yeah RSox, I agree and think you are both correct. I don’t think my postulation is the most likely scenario by any stretch, just a possibility. I also think the Rangers are more than just pretenders too, which many of their fans already see, obviously.
Knolln: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of value in the guys they picked up from the Yanks, but I liked those guys too begin with in our system.
RSox: I totally see the Yankees picking up Simmons or Iglesias at SS and sitting on the position for a year or two, if they pick up a FA at all.
Iglesias to me makes a lot of sense because he won’t be expensive and won’t you at the plate or in the field. Simmons is a mixed bag, offensively he’s not very good. Defensively he is still solid. He’s always had durability issues and his personality could be problematic, especially in New York. He definitely won’t cost nearly as much as the $10 million he got last season
Yeah, good points.
I really don’t see how the Rangers get Gallen unless they’re willing to let the Dbacks pick any 5 guys out of their system.
Probably true. Arizona needs a 3B so Jung would probably have to going the other way and then whatever else the D’backs want maybe a little to much for the Rangers liking
definitely an enviable arm, with his ups and downs. jung is a non starter. nor is texas letting any arms like leiter or winn go. foscue as a jumping off point seems very reasonable, i think he’s going to hit and hit and hit in the majors. if jung is the ask, the aim would have be higher than gallen. and i don’t think that pitcher is up for trade
I think it would take more then Jung to get Gallen not a lot more but I think it would take more then just Jung. If Texas doesn’t want part with Jung or Winn then they aren’t getting a talent like Gallen.
i think winn is a reasonable ask, i wouldn’t do it. but definitely reasonable, especially if texas keeps moving up it’s timeline by adding kershaws or rodons or suzukis etc. otherwise based on their current roster, contention window maybe beginning ’23, i think i’d hold onto winn. i’d definitely hold onto Jung. but the winn one is tough. if the rangers don’t continue to spew money, they’d clearly have the money for a young, though getting expensive pitcher, so gallen may well be worth it
Again, the A’s have not stated in any report they are slashing payroll. The amount of twisting and turning to try and present speculation as fact is ridiculous.
It would be foolish for the A’s to admit they have to slash payroll, as their negotiating leverage would evaporate. But history shows they don’t spend much, so the expectation that they’ll trade some of their most expensive players is quite sensible.
Their players aren’t expensive. While they might trade to compete (OF needs, closer, reliable LHP in bullpen) the phrase “slashing payroll” is ridiculous. If that were true they would have traded at the trade deadline last season.
Regardless of payroll issues, when you’re in the hunt, you don’t trade away at the deadline. That can wait until the offseason. Gotta keep the fans coming to the ballpark.
No team in Baseball tries to clear their budget restraints at the trade deadline….. Just like any business… The Offseason you set a budget…. You do what is necessary to meet budget demands…(And why would you worry about budget in the middle of a playoff race????) and The A’s quite simply have all of their arb guys getting bumps in salary at the same time…. I truly don’t understand how anyone who watched baseball or the A’s in general over the last 24 years doesn’t realize that they are always compromising talent vs. budget… This is the most obvious thing in baseball…66% of their moves are financially motivated…
No Contreras? Interesting.
Willson was covered in the last article.
Ah, that’s right. Thanks.
i don’t think the rangers should go for it in ’22. but if they sign kershaw, rodon, suzuki, trade for a gallen/bassit/mahle they are in the thick of it with the M’s for the second best team in the ALW. with, huff, vanasco, white, taveras as trade supplements. foscue, jung, harris, lowe, jung, leiter, winn pushing their way onto the 26 man… need another OF I think even if SP is addressed through FA/trade, going for it against the stros, with the M’s up and coming, the angels doing their .500 thing, A’s retooling, i think it could be a lot of fun.
Why mention Kershaw?
Why not? Last I heard he was considering two teams? Rangers have better odds than 28 other teams
Did Kershaw himself ever actually express interest in signing with the Rangers? Or was it just a bunch of commenters on here?
Does he have to mention Texas? Obviously the Dodgers don’t have very much interest in locking him up as they did nothing before the lockout. Look if the Dodgers don’t sign one of their own there’s a good reason as they can spend more than any other team. It should be fairly obvious why they let Seager go and didn’t get it done with Kershaw. One’s clearly not worth the money and the other may be cooked.
@Yeah. He does have to mention Texas. People always say “That player will sign with that team because he’s from there” and it basically never happens.
I don’t agree with that in the case of Kershaw. Players under contract to one team rarely talk about another. He lives 30 minutes from Globe Life Field in the offseason, seems like a big family guy, he’s tight with Chris Woodward, the Rangers have been in contact with him. The connection in this case is more than people just looking up where he’s from and speculating.
Heard that about Patrick Corbin, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler too. It’s really hard to see Kershaw in any uniform other than the Dodgers. And declining to QO him when he’s coming off a 3.4 WAR season isn’t a move you make if you aren’t 100% sure you’re bringing him back.
If season starts on time I think they should go for it. Already paying Seager Semien. As of now are they just paying them? Have season ticket sales jumped up? If not they need to add more to at least get fans to think they are contenders.
Unless he’s an unreasonable trade-price, I would like for the Tigers to go after Winkler. More hopeful on signing Conforto.
I unfortunately do not see Greene starting in the bigs this year, especially after this lengthy off-season.
Victor Reyes, Daz Cameron, Derek Hill, have been toeing the sub par line, for too long. Time to make trades, ASAP. Infield is the same way: H Castro, W Castro pick one or the other lol. Zack Short is real close.
I would be excited to see Winkler/Conforto, Baddoo, Grossman on opening day.
I just don’t want the team to settle on another generation of Goodrums, JaCoby Jones, & Greiners again. I loved the heart they brought to the city and fan base, but they need to compete.
Tigers have Greene arriving to play CF. Baddoo is an exciting player, but he’s suited for LF with his weak arm. Hill, and Cameron were both rookies last year, so a little too early to give up on them. Reyes, if you were paying attention, was given a new stance, more upright, at the end of last year. He hit a ton at the end of the year and carried that into winterball. I could see a AAA depth signing for the OF, but the starting players are already on the roster.
Daz and Hill were not even good in the minors. They haven’t done much with their bats ever in their careers. If they weren’t drafted in the first.. I truly don’t think they would even be in the system. It’s another Christin Stewart scenario.
They have been working with Victor for years, he is who he is. He had a good September. He’s had good months years before too.
I see them as depth options, but I do see Greene in CF, Baddoo in LF, and Grossman in RF. Reyes can play all 3 and is a switch hitter. I do think his more upright stance will see him improve with the bat. One of Hill or Cameron will provide a RH bat to give Greene or Baddoo a day off against tough LHP, plus I still expect to see Haase get some OF time. Still no room for a full time OF.
Henry Winkler might be a little long in the tooth to be an MLB outfielder. If you’re referring to a Jesse of the Reds, it’s WINKER. I don’t see him going anywhere unless it’s a big return. He’s arguably their best hitter.
Hmmmm, with the names mentioned on here, and me knowing what the Marlins have and need, I wonder if the following can get done:
Marlins get Cedric Mullins
O’s get Pablo Lopez, Eliezer Hernandez, Bryan de la Cruz and another young pitching prospect (not Meyer, Sixto, Cabrera)
A reasonable return with players that fit the Orioles’ window? This trade has no place in the comments, sir.
Why does every trade consist of a top all star caliber player going to your team for several replaceable players from the ML roster and a prospect (but not one with actual value) going back? If you want something of value, you have to give up something of value.
According to Baseball Trade Values, Cedric Mullins has a surplus trade value of $66.2 million and Pablo Lopez a surplus trade value of $57.1 million. Elieser Hernandez and Bryan De La Cruz add another $11.3 million to the Florida side of the ledger.
To get just that Marlin package the Orioles would need to give up something of value.
My comment was not specific to the Marlins trade, other than he, too, removed any valuable minor leaguers. My comment was posted after his, but was not a reply to his. This notion of my team can’t trade its top prospect(s) is something I find annoying. Detroit traded their #1 prospect, Andrew Miller, along with 4 other players and acquired Miguel Cabrera. Why were the Tigers able to acquire him when they didn’t have the strongest system to deal from? Maybe because they refused to consider any player untouchable, while stronger systems held back untouchables, weakening their options.
I agree stymeedone almost any player is available for the right price and fans get way to attached to there top prospects. I know as a Red Sox fan and someone that follows the farm system very closely there are guys that I don’t want to trade, however, I also know that if Bloom coveted Olson Casas plus would be gone end of story. People that think there prospects are untouchable are wrong if a savy GM is offered the right deal in there mind then even your best prospect is gone. This idea that even a team with a great farm like Seattle, who has the best farm, can use there 10th best prospect to land an established big leaguer like Matt Chapman is rubbish. I think the prospect love has gone to far to the other side now . If you want an established big leaguer say like Olson it’s going to cost and if Oakland wants your best prospect for him and you have the need you should probably trade them for an established star like that if that is your true need.
This feels like year 9 of “the Brewers HAVE to trade Hader this year because reasons” where if the media keeps saying it, eventually it will happen and they can all celebrate how smart they are.
Can it happen? Sure, but Stearns’ and the rest of Milwaukee’s brass refusal the past few (is this year 3 or 4..?) years makes me believe they’ll at least see what happens in the first half of the season before considering a trade.
John Rocker fan club
Unless they struggle mightily before the trade deadline, he’s not getting traded unless the Brewers are blown away by an offer. Next off-season possibly, especially if he were to be packaged with Woodruff who I could see being moved next off-season also.
If I were a GM and the Rays called me about Glasnow, I’d just hang up before they talk me into anything stupid.
Between the red flags with his injury and sticky stuff. Paired with the Rays being willing to deal him. No thanks
Astros need a cf bad. Ketel Marte would be a perfect fit. I really like him, when he’s healthy he’s elite. Also, I wonder what it would take to get Glasnow
Ketel Marte is not a CFr. He’s a horror show out there, he won’t solve anyone’s CF problem. He’s a second baseman.
Exactly. Marte has said his preference is to play 2B and the Diamondbacks have said that is where he will play. Most people seem to think because a player can play a certain position doesn’t mean he should
all in the suit that you wear
It is pretty amazing that Joey Gallo has only two sacrifice flies in his whole career.
If I recall they both came with the Yankees, so none prior. It’s because if he hits, it’s gone, he doesn’t, it’s a strikeout. Still pretty amazing though.
Ray Charles would have more than two.
Lol, that’s true..
Great article, thank you!
I think the four players on this list I would want my team to have are in the order:
1. Ketel Marte
2. Jesse Winker
3. Luis Castillo
4. Cedric Mullins
But the asking price would be a lot.
If your team is the Reds then you’re already halfway there.
I don’t understand the Reds. They get the team to the point where they need a few additional pieces to have a legit shot at making a good playoff push and then want to trade it all away. It’s a master class on how not to run an organization in Cincy.
Financial pressure maybe. I was reading that MLB clubs get around 30% of their revenue from gate receipts. That number surprised me. Anyway, got none of that in 2020 and it was significantly limited in 2021. I appreciate the general perception is that an MLB team is a money making steam train, but maybe a few have taken a decent hit in recent times. It’s not like the MLB is throwing around the cash in CBA negotiations. Few other clubs known for liberal spending seem to be reigning it in pre lockout. It all makes me curious to how much financial hurt the pandemic brought with it.
In re the Guardians…
They have the best AL regular season record over the past several years. There season was torpedoed last year when their three best starters went down, and the lack of a minor league season in 2020 left them without any SPs with much experience above A+ ball. Without the injuries they would have won upwards of 90 games….plus they lost one of the best managers in the game.
In addition to a rotation with five SPs that are at least average, and probably better, they will have loaded rotations in AAA and AA.
They have a top five farm system with perhaps dozen solid prospects that could reasonably be expected to debut this season, and already has the youngest roster in MLB. They also have zero guaranteed money on the books past this season. Lastly, they have no room on the 40 man this year and next to add to its prospect list.
Their window of contention isn’t closing any time soon. Any moves Cleveland makes will be designed to upgrade its MLB roster and thin out the 40 man…not the other way around.
Jose Ramirez signed an extension when he was 23 and a utility player with no power. Obviously Cleveland saw a lot more. Ramirez received financial security, and Cleveland won its bet.
His agent has a track record of getting extensions for his clients, as opposed to free agency. Ramirez situation is in contrast to Lindors, who was very public about his intention of signing the biggest shortstop contract in history.
Astro fan 111
You do realize the Astros are in the American League? Quick check shows they have won 34 more games than the Guardians.
Astro fan 111
Over last five years. Sent previous comment before I finished it.
Past several seasons? That has nothing to do with this season. No depth because of a lack of a minor league experience and a lost season? Every single team had injuries, every team was hurt by the virus. That logic suggests every team could’ve had a 90 win season, because of x,y, and z.
They were a sub .500 team, because that’s what they were.
Doubt it would happen, but the Yanks should trade a top few chips for Glasnow. Been scratching my head for 20+ years seeing Cashman do mostly patch work on the rotation. Pitching and D wins titles just D wins Super Bowls!!!
Steve, I can’t see the Bics moving Reynolds. Also, if the A’s are going to trade a pitcher, it’s much more likely to be someone with only one more year left, such as Manaea.
The stove will be red hot!
Odds of Gallen being traded = 0% by a mile
Somebody take Joey Gallo off the Yankees hands ! The only potential left in him is the potential to lead all of MLB in strikeouts. Since the Yankees like to retire numbers, let Joey be the first MLB player with a letter on his back “K”. That way the boys in the upper deck will know how to score the next at-bat.
Minnesota is stacked with prospects on all levels. What are the odds any of these SPs are going to end up in a Twins uniform?
Neither Reynolds or Bednar should be traded. Yes the Pirates are in a rebuild but have a good chance to be out of that phase with still having good control of these players.
After the lockout the Team should really look into pushing to extend a few players like these at a premium to keep that window open.
However if you do get elite prospects in a return that are not terribly far out.. it is hard to say no.