MLB Trade Talk: Breaking Down the 5 Best Bats That Could Be on the Market
With Jose Reyes sent packing across the border in a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, the trade market for big bats got much weaker. However, that is not to say there aren't any quality bats out there for the right price.
Justin Upton is the top bat available and looks like he could be moved at some point this winter. The market does not end with him, either. Here are some other players available on the trade market that could help teams at the plate.
It may be surprising, but the Miami Marlins may not be done trading this offseason. They already shipped Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and a few others to Toronto, and Logan Morrison could be next.
According to the Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi, along with pitcher Ricky Nolasco, outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison could be on his way out of South Beach.
Morrison struggled last season, mainly because of injuries. While his value may be low, there are probably teams out there that will pull the trigger on a trade because of his potential.
Last season, Morrison only hit .230 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI in 93 games. The Marlins will most likely point to his 2011 season during trade discussions, when he hit 23 home runs and 72 RBI in 123 games.
The writing seems to be on the wall. Shin-Soo Choo is in the final year of his contract, plays for a small-market team and has Scott Boras as his agent. It wasn't for a lack of trying on the Indians' part, either. They have attempted on two separate occasions to extend Choo, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The timing of a trade, either this offseason or at the trade deadline, will come down to whether or not the Indians believe his value is at its highest point right now. Choo is the type of player who isn't great at one thing, but can beat teams in a number of different ways. Last season, he hit .283 with 16 home runs, 67 RBI, 73 walks and 21 stolen bases.
Denard Span may not carry the name recognition of a Justin Upton, but if a team is able to swing a trade for the center fielder, it could wind up being a great move.
He doesn't have as much power as Upton, but he can hit for average and run the bases well. He has a career batting average of .284, decent speed and above-average defensive skills.
John Bonnes of the Star Tribune believes that Span will be traded and provides a pretty compelling argument as to why.
The Twins could be in the market to move some other players, such as Justin Morneau, but Span seems like the likely candidate because of his age and the fact the Twins have a replacement waiting in the wings to play center field.
Elvis Andrus is on the trade block for the Texas Rangers basically because they have a number of good players at the same position.
With Adrian Beltre enjoying a great season at third, Ian Kinsler at second and a superstar prospect in Jurickson Profar, Andrus becomes expendable.
Andrus only has two years left on his contract and the Rangers could be worried that his agent, Scott Boras, will want him to test free agency. Even though the steals were down—only 21 this past season—the shortstop saw career highs in hits, doubles, triples, RBI, walks and batting average.
At only 24 years of age, he could be exchanged for a couple of top prospects or a similar young player on the verge of breaking into his prime.
A trade between these two teams makes a lot of sense, especially if the Rangers lose Josh Hamilton this offseason. Both have young players on the verge of hitting their prime and both need help at these respective positions. However, the Rangers will not be the only team calling the Arizona Diamondbacks. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the New York Yankees would also have some interest.
Unlike Andrus, Upton is coming off a down year in which he only hit 17 home runs and 67 RBI. He still had a batting average of .280, which is pretty close to his career average of .278. The positive for Upton is that he is only 25 years of age and still has time to develop into a top-tier outfielder.