As you may remember, a trade between the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates nearly transpired at this year’s trade deadline, as the Pirates were dangling OF Starling Marte in exchange for Shin-Soo Choo.
Well, considering that Choo will enter free agency after the 2013 season, it should come as no surprise that Choo’s name is back on the trade block.
However, because the return for a player of Choo’s caliber has the potential to be substantial, the organization will surely have numerous options when they’re finally ready to move him.
After rumors that he’s fallen out of favor with the Arizona Diamondbacks, there’s a chance that top prospect Trevor Bauer may be available this offseason.
Only time will tell whether there’s any substance to said rumors, but the Indians would clearly welcome Bauer and his front-of-the-rotation upside.
While both RHP Taijuan Walker and LHP Danny Hultzen are off limits, it seems as though LHP James Paxton is not.
The southpaw has some command issues stemming from inconsistent mechanics, but two plus pitches and a durable frame make him a viable mid-rotation starter.
Rumored to be heavily interested in the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton, the Texas Rangers have a surplus of both middle-infield and pitching prospects.
Martin Perez, who will pitch as a 22-year-old next season, got his feet wet in the major leagues this season and will hopefully continue to make the necessary adjustments.
Since he doesn't have front-line starter upside, I’d expect the Rangers to sweeten the deal by including a pitcher such as Wilmer Font.
Because the Oakland Athletics don’t have a legitimate, top-notch pitching prospect, the Indians could target multiple arms in exchange for Choo. While they’ll likely have their choice from a handful of prospects at Double-A or above, I could see them asking for a package of RHP Dan Straily and RHP Sonny Gray.
Straily, who fanned 190 batters in 152 minor league innings in 2012, showed glimpses of his potential in seven starts with the A’s late last season. Gray, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2011, struggled in 26 starts at Double-A last season.
While it’s conceivable that the Indians would attempt to land RHP Julio Teheran for Choo, at this point he’s far from a sure-fire big-league starter.
Therefore, as I suggested with the A’s, they could hope to acquire at least two of the Atlanta Braves' more advanced pitching prospects in RHP J.R. Graham and LHP Sean Gilmartin—both of whom could be ready for the major leagues in late 2013.