Thursday, December 27, 2012
5 best moves yet to be made
By Jim Bowden
Texas is hesitant to trade Jurickson Profar, but a certain slugger could change their mind.
We've already seen plenty of wheeling and dealing this winter, but there are some teams with holes still to fill. Here are five moves out there to be made that would change the fortunes of a few contenders.
The Rangers need to find a way to replace the 70 home runs they lost when both Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli left via free agency. The Rangers have tried to acquire Justin Upton, but want to build the deal around Olt and Perez and have refused to include Profar in a deal for him. The Rangers' target list includes Stanton of the Marlins, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
However, I could see them parting with Profar in a deal for Stanton, as he is younger, cheaper and better than Upton. Additionally, the Rangers need another starter, and Nolasco would fit in nicely in the back end of their rotation while Stanton would provide the power in the cleanup spot lost when Hamilton departed to the Angels.
The Marlins would solve the left side of their infield for years to come and Perez would be a cheaper version of Nolasco for the rotation. Stanton desperately wants out of Miami but they could never trade him unless they were getting back a prospect at the level of a Profar.
The Rockies have said they don’t plan on trading Gonzalez, but they also know if they don’t do something drastic to address their starting rotation woes, it could be a few long summers in Denver.
Gonzalez would give the Cardinals the best and most balanced lineup in the National League. To put Gonzalez in the middle of Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig and David Freese sets them up for the short- and long-term as they wait for Oscar Taveras to take over for Beltran in 2014. CarGo is locked up through 2017 at less than $15 million per year, which is very reasonable for a player of his caliber. And before you say that Gonzalez is simply a product of Coors Field, remember that people used to say the same thing about Holliday, and he has proven that theory incorrect in St. Louis.
Rosenthal and Miller are both close to the majors and have upside. They are the kind of talented arms the Rockies lack. Jay is a solid outfielder, and he would be a nice fit in Colorado.
D-backs give up:Justin Upton Acquire: Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Brandon Jacobs
The D-backs have made it clear they are willing to move Upton in the right deal, and after acquiring Didi Gregorius in the Trevor Bauer deal, they still need a long-term answer at third. Although Bogaerts is a shortstop now, many think he will outgrow the position and end up at third, where his power will play. Matt Barnes would give them a solid starting pitching prospect who would fill the inventory void left after the Bauer deal, while Jacobs would give them a decent outfield prospect back as well.
The Red Sox would then have an outfield of Upton, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino with Jonny Gomes as a fourth outfielder and part-time DH. It would also prepare the Sox for the eventual loss of Ellsbury at the end of this year when he is expected to depart via free agency. Upton will make $39.5 million over the next three years and wouldn't even need to match his 2011 performance to be a bargain.
The Orioles took a 93-loss team in 2011 and turned it into a 93-win team in 2012. However, for the Orioles to make it back to the playoffs they could really use a proven starter to slot at or near the front of their rotation.
Lohse, 34, has a 3.11 ERA in 399 1/3 innings over the last two seasons and would give the O's rotation some much-needed innings and reliability until top prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman arrive. The AL East is wide open, and the Orioles can't sit around and let someone else take the division.
The Blue Jays have made two huge blockbuster trades this offseason that have give the team a complete makeover and made them the division favorites. It would only make sense now to make one more move to put them over the top.
Soriano's market has fallen and he might be willing to take a one-year “pillow” deal -- a phrase coined by Scott Boras -- at approximately $14 million. To put Soriano in the ninth inning and move Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos to the seventh and eighth innings would give the Blue Jays one of the best and deepest bullpens in the league.
With the Yankees and Orioles doing little to improve this winter, it would only make sense to try and put a clamp on the division. This move would do it.