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2013 MLB Winter Meetings: 20 Prospects Who Will Be Traded

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MLB Winter Meetings: 20 Prospects Who Will Be Traded

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, it’s that time of the year. As the bitter cold begins to envelop our country, members of the baseball community will be gathered in a four-day event called the MLB Winter Meetings, starting on December 9.

In these meetings, team executives make decisions that directly or indirectly effect the future of their franchises by negotiating trades, picking up free agents, or releasing players to become free agents. So far this month, there have been quite a few interesting trades made, and teams are vying for success to overthrow the 2013 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

The biggest gamble that executives make during this time of year involves prospects. The question of who to trade away and if the risk is worth it is one that haunts every team’s leadership. Will the young, talented kid in A-Ball turn into the next Robinson Cano, or more of a Luis Soto (to throw in a couple of New York Yankees references)? Will the powerful first baseman prospect turn into Barry Bonds or the St. Louis Cardinals' big boy Matt Adams? How can you tell?

The answer is: you can’t. If you could, every team would be very similar. Every club makes the decision they deem to be the best one, and each club has a different agenda. Some look long-term, some look short-term.

The following prospects all have talent and promise, but don’t necessarily fit in the plans of the team they currently are a part of. I fully expect these 20 prospects to be traded this offseason, and potentially in the coming days.

Dan Karpuc is an MLB and college basketball writer for Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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20. A.J. Cole, Washington Nationals

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A 21-year-old starting pitcher, Cole has not yet progressed into a Major League talent. Drafted right out of high school in the 2010 class, he might be someone the Washington Nationals feel like getting rid of while he still has some promise and potential. Washington can use some help at second base or in the outfield, and Cole would be a prime addition to any trade.

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19. Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox

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A UConn product, the highly-touted Barnes might be stuck in a situation, as the Red Sox have a plethora of starting pitching in the Majors. I expect Barnes to be in a Major League rotation in 2014, and most likely on another team.

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18. Brian Goodwin, Washington Nationals

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Known as a five-tool player, Goodwin certainly has some work to do before he is called up to the Majors. Last season in Double-A, he hit .252, with 10 homers and 42 RBI. With the Washington Nationals looking to contend this season, following a disappointing 2013 year, Goodwin’s name will most likely be included in a trade.

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17. Tyler Austin, New York Yankees

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Tyler Austin, an outfield prospect, will be included in a deal to secure a middle-to-end of the rotation starting pitcher for the New York Yankees.

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16. Luis Sardinas, Texas Rangers

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Sardinas, a 20-year-old shortstop, is a promising player, yet finds himself on a team that locked up Elvis Andrus and that believes in Jurickson Profar. With the middle of the infield ensured for the next decade, Sardinas is certainly a candidate to be moved for a positional upgrade elsewhere on the field.

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15. Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays

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Colome turns 25-years-old on December 31 and actually pitched three games in the Majors in 2013. However, having a past with injuries, the Rays might want to deal him, as a number of teams would desire his 96-to-98 mph fastball.

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14. Alex Meyer, Minnesota Twins

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Struggling with control, Meyer might have a difficult time in the Majors, despite his powerful arm. The Minnesota Twins might be able to obtain some kind of offensive talent for the big arm of Meyer, which is more of a concern at this point for the team.

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13. Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers

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Rougned Odor is a Venezuelan second baseman, who is just 19-years-old. With Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar in the middle of the infield for the long-term, Odor can be packaged in a deal to get the Rangers pitching or outfield help.

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12. Mason Williams, New York Yankees

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With the Yankees outfield pretty much set for the next few seasons, Williams is yet another player who might be stuck in the minors, unless the Yankees deal him, which I believe they will. With a unique set of raw tools, including base stealing ability, Williams might be appealing to other teams in need of a young, speedy outfield prospect.

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11. Mike Olt, Chicago Cubs

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Mike Olt, at 25-years-old, has not lived up to his lofty expectations. Last season, he hit just .201 in the minors, while knocking out 15 homers with 42 RBI. The Chicago Cubs drafted Chris Bryant, a third baseman, in last year’s draft, so a short-term solution at the hot corner might be better filled by a proven third base veteran. Olt might appeal to a team looking to give him a shot in the big leagues right away. The Houston Astros might be a nice fit.

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10. Garin Cecchini, Boston Red Sox

Garin Cecchini
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Last season, splitting time between High-A and Double-A, Cecchini hit an impressive .322, hitting seven home runs and knocking in 61 runs. At 22-years old, he is major trade bait for a rebuilding team. With Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts on the roster, he will have nowhere to play on the big league club. He can be dealt for bullpen help or in part of a deal for a first baseman, if Mike Napoli doesn’t re-sign.

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9. Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks

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Chris Owings played 20 major league games last year and hit .291. While that is very impressive for a 21-year-old, it seems like Didi Gregorius might be who the team is leaning towards having as their everyday starter. Owings should interest quite a few suitors on a team needing help in many areas.

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8. Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers

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With the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield booked for years to come, the top prospect Joc Pederson seemingly will not have an opportunity to wear Dodger blue. However, he should be looking at his chance to play for someone else in the big leagues as soon as this season, judging by his success in Double-A last year, when he hit .278 with 22 home runs and 58 RBIs to go along with 31 stolen bases.

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7. Taylor Lindsey, Los Angeles Angels

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With Howie Hendrick tied up through 2015, Taylor Lindsey won’t be making his major league debut with the team until at least the end of that year. However, he may be ready before that time, and on a team that needs starting pitching, they might be able to swap Lindsey, who hit .274 with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs last season in Double-A, for a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation starter.

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6. Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays

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Although he has only reached High-A ball, Aaron Sanchez has progressed since he turned pro at age-17. At 20-years-old, he is a top prospect in the organization and will receive a lot of interest around the league. The organization wants to compete right now, and unless they do a major overhaul, including getting rid of Jose Bautista, Sanchez is a prospect that they have to move in order to get a missing part of their puzzle.

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5. Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles

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With the Baltimore Orioles trading for Jemile Weeks, a second baseman, the whole infield is set going into 2014. That leaves out Schoop, the no. 4 prospect in the organization. Schoop can be included in a trade with the next prospect on the list for a huge trade opportunity.

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4. Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

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Bundy is the top prospect in the Orioles system and can be major trade bait if the team is looking to make a major splash for either Chris Sale or David Price. I see him being swapped for either of those two aces, along with a few other prospects.

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3. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

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With Brian McCann locked up for five years, there is no place for Gary Sanchez, the top prospect in the Yankees organization. He should be swapped in a deal for starting pitching help or for a third baseman. Productive catchers are hard to come by, and he is a promising talent.

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2. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

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Baez hit a combined 37 home runs and for a .282 average between high-A and double-A in 2013. However, the Chicago Cubs have a lot of money invested in Starlin Castro, and have other high-end prospects coming up in the next few years. Baez can be a part of a deal that brings two or three high-end prospects at different needed positions to the club.

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1. Eduardo Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles

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The Orioles need a closer now that they traded Jim Johnson away. Eduardo Rodriguez makes sense to ship away, as they would most likely be able to acquire an established closer, like perhaps Steve Cishek from the Miami Marlins.