MLB Rumors: 30 Players Who Will Be on the Trading Block This Winter
Gambling Sometimes Pays Off
Even though the MLB Playoffs are going on right now, for a lot of us baseball fans out there our season has ended all too soon; therefore, we are looking ahead to the 2013 season. A lot of us like to be our own little GMs and make hypothetical trade proposals for our own amusement. However, I am not one of those hypothetical guys.
Instead, I decided to give you a guide to all your hypothetical trade ideas. No matter what team you root for, there are MLB rumors there for you. These are thirty players from thirty teams that I believe could be dealt in 2013. Whether it is this winter, during the season, or at the deadline, I believe a majority of these thirty individuals will be wearing a different uniform by the time I write this same article previewing the 2014 offseason.
As we all know, some trades are obvious and some come out of nowhere. Some of my proposed trade chips make a lot more sense than others, but that isn’t very fun now, is it? I had to have the mindset of the hypothetical trade guy on some of these, but crazy or not, here are my thirty trade chips for the 2013 MLB season.
Chone Figgins - Seattle Mariners
Chone Figgins recently stated he wants to move on from the Seattle Mariners. Well, Chone, the Mariners would definitely enjoy moving on from your horribleness. This will probably happen, with Seattle picking up all of his salary. They just want to get him off the roster.
Nolan Reimold - Baltimore Orioles
Nolan Reimold just can’t get a break with the Baltimore Orioles. He was actually having a pretty solid year before injuries ruined his season…again. Reimold might be out of a starting job, while some team could be interested in a potential late-bloomer. Reimold still has some value; it’s just a matter of if Baltimore wants to trade him.
Kyle McClellan - St. Louis Cardinals
McClellan has been a solid pitcher for the Cardinals in the past. But after an injury-riddled 2012, and being deep into his arbitration clock, the Cardinals might want to shop the versatile right-handed pitcher.
Jair Jurrjens - Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens stinks. People think he is good. Braves are loaded with starting pitching. Some team will take on his arbitration years for cheap. Next…
Jed Lowrie - Houston Astros
Jed Lowrie is the only Houston Astro on the current roster that has some value for another Major League team. If you thought the Astros were bad this year, just wait until they are in baseball’s best division. Yikes.
Kurt Suzuki - Washington Nationals
Kurt Suzuki has done a nice job filling in for every Nationals catcher that has been hurt this season. But Wilson Ramos should return in 2013; therefore, Suzuki will definitely be shopped.
Brennan Boesch - Detroit Tigers
How bad is Brennan Boesch? He was left off the ALDS roster. Tigers might convince some team he is a solid player, but he is one of baseball’s worst outfielders with the glove and bat. Sounds like a future Houston Astro to me!
Jeff Francoeur - Kansas City Royals
Jeff Francoeur is only good in the eyes of Robin Ventura – who intentionally walked Francoeur four times this season – so I wouldn’t be surprised if Frenchy is on the White Sox somehow. But with Wil Myers coming up for sure, Francoeur will definitely on the bus out of town.
Kevin Correia - Pittsburgh Pirates
Kevin Correia is a valuable pitcher to non-contenders because he will eat innings for a team, but he isn’t a very good pitcher. I’m pretty sure I could put a ball in play off Correia.
Joba Chamberlain - New York Yankees
Joba Chamberlain needs a change of scenery in a big way. It worked well for AJ Burnett, so why not Joba?
Clayton Richard - San Diego Padres
Clayton Richard was quite the surprise for San Diego this season. There were some rumblings around the deadline involving Richard, so I’m sure there will still be plenty of teams interested in the young lefty.
Ted Lilly - Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers’ payroll next season is already at $191 million. Granted, they don’t necessarily have to cut payroll, but if they did, Lilly would probably be the first to go since he’s set to make $13 million next season.
Rafael Betancourt - Colorado Rockies
There was one good pitcher on the Colorado Rockies this season: Rafael Betancourt. Any contending team should be after Betancourt for the primary set-up role or even closer. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, and pitching well in Coors Field only makes his resume even better.
Brian Wilson - San Francisco Giants
Brian Wilson will probably make around $8.5 million next season. It was clear that the Giants didn’t really need him this season, considering they won the NL West with relative ease. Baseball Economics 101: DO NOT OVERPAY FOR CLOSERS.
Mark Trumbo - Los Angeles Angels
Mark Trumbo had a tremendous first half this season; then, he remembered he is Mark Trumbo. There is a reason Trumbo was a career minor leaguer before 2011, and it’s cause he isn’t very good. The Angels would be so much better if they traded Trumbo and put Bourjos in the outfield, not vice versa. Some team would drool at his power numbers, so the Angels would have some solid leverage in trade negotiations.
Bronson Arroyo - Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo is the victim of the “I had to pick someone rule”. I really don’t know if the Reds would shop Arroyo, but it would reduce some payroll. For that reason alone, it has to be somewhat expendable.
Ike Davis - New York Mets
There were plenty of rumors about the Mets shopping Ike Davis this winter; hence, why he is on my list. If the Mets wanted to make the right but controversial move, however, they would shop RA Dickey.
Yunel Escobar - Toronto Blue Jays
There is absolutely zero doubt that Escobar is getting moved. Moving on…
Grant Balfour - Oakland Athletics
In order to predict an A’s move, one must thing like Billy Beane. Balfour will have his option picked up because Beane knows it’s good market value. Once the big relievers are sign, Beane will shop Balfour to the most desperate team. Rinse, wash, repeat: The Billy Beane way of using closers.
Nelson Cruz - Texas Rangers
Nelson Cruz is an interesting trade option for the Rangers. If they don’t re-sign Hamilton – which I don’t think they will do – this idea will become void, but the Rangers’ outfield is pretty crowded, making Cruz expendable. He’s basically a better version of Mark Trumbo, so some team would overpay for him.
Alfonso Soriano - Chicago Cubs
Coming off a 30/100 season, Soriano’s trade value will be at its highest this winter. It’s just a matter of him waiving his no-trade clause, because we know Theo is going to shop him.
Alex Rios - Chicago White Sox
Rios is a lot like Soriano, but without all the tricky no-trade clauses. Rios bounced back in a huge way this season, and the White Sox are going to be pretty terrible in 2013, so it makes sense for Chicago to shop Rios with his value as high as it is to get rid of the $25 million left on his deal.
James Shields - Tampa Bay Rays
It makes sense for the Oakland A’s of the East to shop their most valuable, yet expensive pitcher on the open market, right? Well, he might not be the most valuable, but you get what I mean. The Rays’ rotation will be just fine without James Shields.
Jonathan Lucroy - Milwaukee Brewers
I couldn’t think of one Brewer that would make sense for a trade, so I asked my Brewer friend to give me an idea. He said Lucroy because they would get the most back for him and Martin Maldonado would do just fine replacing him. I don’t really agree with him, but whatever.
Jacoby Ellsbury - Boston Red Sox
Wait… Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t have the power and speed of Mickey Mantle!? I feel shocked, Cotton. He still has the speed, but that power he showed in 2011 was as much as a fluke as Brady Anderson’s 50-homer season. Ellsbury is in his last year of arbitration, and it’s clear the Red Sox want to retool a bit, so don’t be surprised if the Carmines pull the trigger on a deal this winter.
Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins
Justin Morneau appears to finally overcome his post-concussion issues with his good season in 2012. Surprisingly, there are a lot of teams that could use a first baseman. While the Twins don’t have to cut payroll, getting Morneau off their books might be a good idea; especially, if they get some prospects in return.
Shin-Soo Choo - Cleveland Indians
Shin-Soo Choo is one of the most underrated outfielders in the game of baseball. He seems like a perfect fit for the Tampa Bay Rays since BJ Upton will depart. Some smart GM will make a push for Choo. He truly is one of the few five-tool players the game has. Even if those tools aren’t the best, they are there nonetheless.
Josh Johnson - Miami Marlins
It just makes too much sense to deal Johnson if you are the Miami Marlins. He gives you a huge talent package in return, it trims your payroll, and it makes your team even worse. I would say the Marlins have an outside chance of rebounding next season, but as of right now Ozzie is still employed.
Roy Halladay - Philadelphia Phillies
As Bill Murray said in the movie Kingpin: I don’t know, but it’s fun, isn’t it? That basically sums up my idea on why Halladay could be shopped. Personally, I think the Phillies are finished being an elite team. Of course, that’s just my opinion and I could be really wrong about that. But if I am right, shopping Halladay – especially around the deadline – makes a whole lot of sense for both parties involved. I would have said Cliff Lee instead, but no one in their right minds would take on that contract.
Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks
I still don’t think the smoke has settled from all of the Justin Upton rumors we heard this year. Upton is easily the best player available on the open market, it’s just a matter of getting the right package. This is a type of deal that makes or breaks a GM’s career. I guess we will see if that smoke clears or if there will be an accelerant to a calm fire.
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