Sunday, December 2, 2012
Trade candidates for all 30 teams
By Jim Bowden
Not every team will make a trade at this week’s winter meetings in Nashville, but every team could. With that in mind, let’s take a look at one player (or more) who could be on the trade block this week from each of the 30 teams.
Baltimore Orioles Player:Brian Matusz, LHP
Reason: There are several teams that believe what Matusz did in relief for the Orioles down the stretch he can also do in the starting rotation if given another opportunity. The Orioles want a corner guy/DH, and they might have to use Matusz to fill that hole.
Possible trade partners: Mets, Padres, Indians, Cubs
Boston Red Sox Player:Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Reason: The Red Sox are loaded at catcher with Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross behind Salty. If the Red Sox sign Mike Napoli for first base, then it is likely they’ll move Saltalamacchia for pitching help and give Lavarnway and Ross the opportunity to share the bulk of the duties, with Napoli as a fallback. The Red Sox listened at the July deadline and now could be ready to deal Saltalamacchia for the right pitcher.
Possible trade partners: Rangers, Indians, Mets, White Sox, Yankees
Chicago White Sox Player:Gordon Beckham, 2B
Reason: Beckham has never lived up to expectations and a change of scenery might be helpful to both parties at this point. Of course, the White Sox couldn’t trade him unless they were either getting a second baseman back or were able to acquire an upgrade in another trade.
Possible trade partners: Giants (if they don’t re-sign Marco Scutaro), Royals, Rays
Cleveland Indians Player:Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Reason: He is entering his walk year and with Scott Boras as his agent he’s sure to test the free-agent market rather than commit to a long-term deal with the Indians. In addition, with the Indians' tight budget constraints, it’s unlikely they would commit the type of years and dollars it would take to retain Choo.
Possible trade partners: Mariners, Red Sox, Phillies, Orioles, Giants, Rangers, Reds, Braves
Detroit Tigers Player:Brennan Boesch, RF
Reason: The signing of Torii Hunter coupled with Boesch’s inconsistency means his days in the Motor City are numbered. Rick Porcello is another Tiger who could be on the block, but only if the Tigers re-sign Anibal Sanchez, which would make Porcello expendable.
Possible trade partners: Mariners, Indians, Cubs, Astros
Houston Astros Player:Brett Wallace, 1B
Reason: The Astros have top prospect Jonathan Singleton almost ready to take over at first, and Wallace has never put together his offensive potential, which he might actually reach when he's traded to what will be the fifth team of his career.
Possible trade partners: Indians, Rays, Mariners, Orioles
Kansas City Royals Player:Luke Hochevar, RHP
Reason: The Royals have been waiting for Hochevar’s feel for pitching to improve, but it never has. They tendered him a contract, which means they are prepared to keep him, but they will shop him with hopes that someone will take a chance on the former No. 1 overall pick.
Possible trade partners: Padres, Pirates, Astros, Indians
Los Angeles Angels Player:Vernon Wells, OF
REASON: The Angels are prepared to go with an outfield of Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos for 2013 and would like to cut ties with Wells, who is owed $21 million in each of the next two seasons. The Angels realize they’ll have to pay almost his entire contract in any deal.
Possible trade partners: Anyone willing to make a bad contract swap
Minnesota Twins Player:Justin Morneau, 1B
Reason: The Twins have said that they’re not going to trade Morneau. However, they also know they’re not going to sign him to another multiyear deal and they might be able to get a decent prospect if they move him now, due to the shortage of good first basemen on the free-agent market. They also will probably have to pay part of the $14 million he is owed in 2013, the final year of his contract.
Possible trade partners: Rays, Orioles, Rangers, Mariners
New York Yankees Player:Brett Gardner, OF
Reason: The Phillies, Braves and Reds are looking for an outfielder who can lead off, and now that Denard Span is off the board and Michael Bourn’s asking price is beyond reasonable, most of those clubs are focusing on free-agent outfielders Angel Pagan and Shane Victorino. Whoever loses out might be willing to make a significant offer for Gardner. The Yankees want to keep their payroll below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold over the next two years, and to accomplish that they have to improve via trade rather than free agency.
Possible trade partners: Phillies, Braves, Reds
Oakland Athletics Player:Coco Crisp, CF
Reason: The A’s trade with the Diamondbacks that netted center fielder Chris Young has made Crisp available in trade. With the amount of clubs in need of center field and top-of-the-lineup-type hitters, I won’t be surprised if he’s moved.
Possible trade partners: Braves, Reds, Phillies, Giants
Seattle Mariners Player:Justin Smoak, 1B
Reason: The Mariners have been aggressive in the free-agent market, and are hot after Napoli, who would play first for them. If they upgrade over Smoak at that spot, expect them to turn around and move Smoak to a team in need of an inexpensive first baseman.
Possible trade partners: Rays, Indians, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays Player:Jeremy Hellickson, RHP
Reason: The Rays are in desperate need of offense, and without having the resources to buy a bat on the free-agent market or prospects ready to contribute, they have no choice but to accomplish this by trade. Expect Hellickson, David Price, Matt Moore or James Shields to be dealt for an inexpensive impact bat.
Possible trade partners: Royals, Indians, Nationals
Texas Rangers Player:Mitch Moreland, 1B
Reason: The Rangers would like more production from first base than they’ve been getting from Moreland. If they don’t re-sign Josh Hamilton, they’re expected to pursue both Adam LaRoche and Nick Swisher. If they sign LaRoche then Moreland is sure to be packaged in another deal.
Possible trade partners: Indians, Rays, Twins
Toronto Blue Jays Player:J.P. Arencibia, C
Reason: The Blue Jays' top prospect is catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who could be ready for the majors this season. They also reacquired John Buck from the Marlins in the blockbuster last month, which makes Arencibia trade bait. The Rangers would love to get Arencibia and might be willing to trade from their depth of pitching to get a deal done.
Possible trade partners: Rangers, White Sox, Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks Player:Trevor Bauer, RHP
Reason: There are some uniformed personnel in Arizona who don’t believe that Bauer will ever have the command and control in the zone to live up to his potential, while others are frustrated by his stubborn nature. If the D-backs have an opportunity to trade him for a long-term solution at shortstop or third base, they’re sure to listen.
Possible trade partners: Indians, Rangers, Nationals
Atlanta Braves Player:Julio Teheran, RHP
Reason: The Braves continue to love Teheran’s repertoire and potential, but there are several Braves evaluators who don’t believe he’ll ever live up to the hype. If they can find a replacement for Chipper Jones at third, or a left fielder, they’ll listen.
Possible trade partners: Royals, Rangers, Indians, White Sox, Cubs
Chicago Cubs Player:Alfonso Soriano, LF
Reason: The Cubs will have to eat most of the $36 million left on his contract, which expires after the 2014 season, but if they can get a solid prospect, they’ll have to deal him and adhere to their blueprint of rebuilding.
Possible trade partners: Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles
Cincinnati Reds Player:Mike Leake, RHP
Reason: The Reds are planning to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation to join Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo, which makes Leake available. Although the Reds would like to keep Leake as insurance against injury, they won’t let that stand in the way if they get a chance to improve left field or the bullpen.
Possible trade partners: Padres, Astros, Rockies, Indians
Colorado Rockies Player:Dexter Fowler, CF
Reason: Fowler had a breakout season in 2012 and is presently the Rockies' most valuable trade piece. It will take a significant package to get Fowler as the Rockies are not desperate to move him. However, if they can get significant pitching prospects back they would pull the trigger.
Possible trade partners: Phillies, Giants, Reds, Braves
Los Angeles Dodgers Player:Dee Gordon, SS
Reason: The Dodgers aren’t looking to move Gordon because they like the speed, defense and depth he gives them in the infield behind Mark Ellis, Hanley Ramirez and Luis Cruz. However, several Dodgers evaluators aren’t convinced he’s going to hit enough to be a top-of-the-order table-setter, and if they can get an inexpensive starter in return, they will move him.
Possible trade partners: Pirates, Diamondbacks, Padres, Cardinals
Miami Marlins Player:Logan Morrison, 1B/LF
Reason: The Marlins have moved just about every player who has given them headaches over the past couple of years -- except for Morrison, who’s probably next. Morrison is a solid hitter with 15-20 home run power and has the ability to play first and left.
Possible trade partners: Mets, Astros, Orioles, Rays, Indians
Milwaukee Brewers Player:Corey Hart, 1B/OF
Reason: The Brewers need to upgrade their starting rotation, and the lack of good corner outfielders available via free agency could make Hart available. Once Nick Swisher and Cody Ross sign, the Brewers could offer Hart to any suitors who missed out.
Possible trade partners: Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox
New York Mets Player:R.A. Dickey, RHP
Reason: The Mets continue to work toward signing the NL Cy Young Award winner to a multiyear contract, but they’ve been working even harder to try and find out what his trade value is. Once Zack Greinke, Kyle Lohse and Anibal Sanchez sign, the contending teams that missed out will be considering a deal for Dickey. A top prospect or two good prospects would certainly help the Mets in their rebuilding program, just like when GM Sandy Alderson traded Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler at the trade deadline in July 2011.
Possible trade partners: Angels, Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies Player:Vance Worley, RHP
Reason: The Phillies are looking for a stopgap at third base, a long-term solution in center and an eighth-inning reliever. Their preference is to solve their holes via free agency. However, if they have to go the trade route they realize they’ll probably have to move either Worley, Tyler Cloyd or Kyle Kendrick.
Possible trade partners: Padres, Rangers, Indians, Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates Player:Joel Hanrahan, RHP
Reason: Hanrahan has developed into one of the game’s best closers and his future salaries will quickly follow suit, so the Pirates have been dangling him to clubs in need of ninth-inning help. The Pirates would love to be able to package him for a shortstop or younger/inexpensive pitching.
Possible trade partners: Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Giants
San Diego Padres Player: Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B
Reason: The Padres are convinced that Gyorko will be able to hit and play an adequate second base. However, he’s better at third, and they have Chase Headley there. With the shortage of third basemen in baseball, the Padres realize that they have to listen to offers for Gyorko, especially if they can improve their starting rotation.
Possible trade partners: Phillies, Diamondbacks, Braves, Indians, Yankees
San Francisco Giants Player:Hector Sanchez, C
Reason: The Giants don’t want to trade Sanchez because they love the fact he allows them to put Posey at first base once or twice a week because of the confidence they have in Sanchez behind the plate and with the bat. However, with so many teams looking for inexpensive catching, they might be given an offer they can’t refuse.
Possible trade partners: Yankees, Rangers, Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals Player:Jake Westbrook, RHP
Reason: Westbrook remains a solid back-of-the-rotation innings eater and the Cardinals have young pitchers Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller ready to replace him in their rotation. They also will probably have to eat part of his contract ($8.75 million for 2013 with a mutual option for 2014) to move him.
Possible trade partners: Giants (extra starter), Padres
Washington Nationals Player:Michael Morse, LF
Reason: The Nationals' trade for Denard Span means that Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth will be the team's corner outfielders and Morse will either be moved to first base or traded. The Nats' first choice is to re-sign Adam LaRoche to play first and trade Morse because LaRoche is a better defender at first and more importantly his left-handed bat gives their lineup some balance
Possible trade partners:Rays, Reds, Orioles, Braves, Giants, Mariners, Indians