MLB Trade Scenarios: Creating the Best Possible Trade Offer for Every Top Target
The MLB offseason has already seen a flurry of activity in the way of trades, with one in particular that drastically changed the course of both teams involved.
Major League Baseball officially approved the trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins on Monday, a trade involving 12 players that instantly made the Jays contenders in the AL East.
It was the second blockbuster trade in four months, and one that will lead to much speculation about how the rest of the offseason will play itself out.
There's no doubt that further trades will occur, especially with the recent changes in the collective bargaining agreement relative to free-agent compensation. But could there be more deals like the Jays-Marlins trade?
Anything is possible at this point.
While mega-deals may occur, there are also several trade targets out there that have piqued the interest of teams.
In the following slideshow, I will identify those targets that have been rumored to be available and make proposals based on teams who have been linked to them.
Shin-Soo Choo: New York Mets
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Cleveland Indians Trade: RF Shin-Soo Choo
New York Mets Trade: RHP Cory Mazzoni, 3B Aderlin Rodriguez
Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is entering his final year of arbitration, and there is every indication that the Indians are willing to part with him.
The Mets could certainly use the outfield help, and Choo is a solid OBP guy who won't break the bank. Mazzoni could develop into a useful rotation piece, while Rodriguez could serve as insurance at third in case the Mets fail to extend David Wright this winter.
Chris Perez: Cincinnati Reds
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Cleveland Indians Trade: Closer Chris Perez, RHP Danny Salazar
Cincinnati Reds Trade: CF Drew Stubbs
This is a deal involving two players who may just need changes of scenery.
For the Indians, Perez took a lot of flak last season for his comments about Indians fans, the front office and former manager Manny Acta. General manager Chris Antonetti has indicated that he will listen to offers for several of his players if they make sense.
For the Reds, Stubbs has regressed in his last two seasons, but the potential to bounce back is certainly there considering he is just 27 years old.
The Reds could address their issue with who will close in 2013 as they seek to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation. Perez would also be under team control for two more seasons.
Salazar posted a 2.36 ERA in 22 starts between advanced Single-A and Double-A ball last season just two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
Denard Span: Atlanta Braves
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Minnesota Twins Trade: CF Denard Span
Atlanta Braves Trade: RHP Zeke Spruill, RHP Mauricio Cabrera
Just two weeks ago, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggested the Twins and Braves could partner up to meet some needs.
The Twins are clearly on the hunt for pitching help, and the Braves could be looking to replace Michael Bourn in center field if he signs elsewhere.
Minnesota would replace Span with speedy outfielder Ben Revere and pick up two young prospects who are both ranked in the top 20 in the Braves organization.
Jason Vargas: Boston Red Sox
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Seattle Mariners Trade: LHP Jason Vargas
Boston Red Sox Trade: OF Brandon Jacobs, 3B Kolbrin Vitek
Jason Vargas would fit nicely into a Red Sox rotation in need of help. With the uncertainty of John Lackey and his effectiveness coming back from Tommy John surgery, acquiring an established starter is, without question, a goal for GM Ben Cherington.
The Red Sox showed interest in Vargas at the trade deadline last season, and it's likely that interest hasn't waned.
Jacobs is a toolsy young outfielder with potential. Vitek shows promise as well, but with Will Middlebrooks manning third base for the foreseeable future, his path to the majors is blocked in Boston.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Arizona Diamondbacks
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Cleveland Indians Trade: SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Arizona Diamondbacks Trade: LF Jason Kubel, RHP Chase Anderson
Change is going to be afoot in Cleveland, especially after a 68-94 season. General manager Chris Antonetti has stated he'll listen to offers for several veteran players, including Cabrera.
The Diamondbacks are looking for a shortstop, and the Indians are looking for outfield help—especially in left field, a black hole for the past two seasons.
Justin Upton: Texas Rangers
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Arizona Diamondbacks Trade: RF Justin Upton
Texas Rangers Trade: 3B Mike Olt, CF Craig Gentry
The Texas Rangers will be searching for outfield help in the event that Josh Hamilton departs via free agency.
In his column for ESPN.com, Jim Bowden suggested a trade with the Diamondbacks, who would ship Upton to Texas for prospects Mike Olt and Martin Perez.
I'll throw a little kink into that one.
I suggest Olt and Craig Gentry, because if the Diamondbacks part with both Upton and Jason Kubel, they will need a fourth outfielder to supplement returning outfielders Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton and prospect A.J. Pollock.
While it's unlikely that Towers would entertain giving up both Kubel and Upton, an outfield consisting of Gentry, Parra, Eaton and Pollock would be young and athletic.
The Rangers, in turn, would trot out Upton, David Murphy and Nelson Cruz with Leonys Martin in reserve.
J.P. Arencibia: Texas Rangers
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Toronto Blue Jays Trade: C J.P. Arencibia
Texas Rangers Trade: RHP Barret Loux, RHP Tanner Scheppers
The Toronto Blue Jays now have three catchers on their 40-man roster, and MLB.com reporter Gregor Chisholm tweeted on Monday that the Rangers definitely have interest in Arencibia.
With the possibility of Mike Napoli not returning, the Rangers only have Geovany Soto, who might actually be a non-tender candidate at this point.
The Blue Jays get help for their bullpen in Scheppers and a future rotation possibility in Loux.
Jeremy Hellickson: Los Angeles Dodgers
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Tampa Bay Rays Trade: RHP Jeremy Hellickson
Los Angeles Dodgers Trade: SS Dee Gordon, OF James Baldwin
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has made no secret of the fact that starting pitching is one of his biggest priorities this offseason.
The Rays seem reluctant to part with any of their core starters, especially David Price and James Shields. However, given the shot to land a shortstop with potential, maybe Hellickson would become available.
Alex Gordon: Boston Red Sox
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Kansas City Royals Trade: LF Alex Gordon
Boston Red Sox Trade: RHP Allen Webster, LHP Franklin Morales
The Red Sox would benefit greatly with the addition of Gordon, whom the Royals have said could be made available in return for pitching.
The Royals receive a 26-year-old fireballer who showed flashes of excellence as a starter last season and a young starting prospect who may not be far from major league-ready.
Michael Morse: Seattle Mariners
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Washington Nationals Trade: LF Michael Morse
Seattle Mariners Trade: RHP Stephen Pryor, INF Brad Miller
If the Nationals are successful in re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche and obtaining a center fielder, that would likely make Morse the odd-man out in the Nats outfield.
Morse would bring instant offense to a Mariners offense in dire need. In return, the Nationals get a terrific young bullpen arm in Pryor and a solid middle-infield prospect in Miller.