Analyzing 5 Under-the-Radar MLB Trades That Will Have Huge 2013 Impact

Doug MeadCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2012

Analyzing 5 Under-the-Radar MLB Trades That Will Have Huge 2013 Impact

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    The art of predicting under-the-radar MLB trades is a tricky proposition.

    With modern-day baseball, salaries have to be considered for each player, along with length of contract, whether a player is under team control and other factors as well.

    Several trades have recently been proposed, some by members of the media and some by respected bloggers.

    Bleacher Report will examine some of those trade proposals and determine whether they would have impact for each team in 2013 and beyond.

Dexter Fowler to Cincinnati Reds for Homer Bailey

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    The Cincinnati Reds are still searching for a leadoff hitter. The Colorado Rockies are on the hunt for starting pitching.

    How about Dexter Fowler for Homer Bailey?

    That was a deal suggested by Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

    In what he termed an "old-fashioned" trade, it's a straight-up deal of one star for another, not often seen in present times.

    Morosi argues that not only is the fit there for both sides, it's close to even financially as well.

    The only problem is that the Rockies would have to be overwhelmed in order to deal Fowler.

    Bailey alone certainly won't accomplish that.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Chicago White Sox

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    The Boston Globe beat reporter Pete Abraham must have had some spare time while he was at the MLB Winter Meetings.

    He came up with this trade on Twitter:

    Trade that could make sense: #RedSox send Saltalamacchia, RHP Alex Wilson and prospect to #WhiteSox for Floyd + Thornton

    — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 6, 2012

    Saltalamacchia is a free agent at the end of next season and is scheduled to make approximately $3.5 million-$4 million next year through arbitration.

    Wilson is a 25-year-old prospect who was 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 40 appearances last year for Triple-A Pawtucket.

    Floyd is scheduled to make $9.5 million in the final year of his contract next season, and Thornton will make $5.5 million with a team option of $6 million for 2014.

    Here is Abraham's reasoning for the trade:

    Red Sox get a starter, White Sox get a catcher and lose an onerous contract. No idea whether it's even possible.

    — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 6, 2012

    The trade does make sense for the White Sox. They save a bundle by acquiring Saltalamacchia and passing on free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

    However, the Red Sox pick up $15 million in additional salary, but do fill holes in their rotation and bullpen. The trade does make sense, but it's doubtful that it would come to fruition.

Justin Upton to Seattle Mariners in Three-Team Trade

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    Here is a trade that was suggested two weeks ago by David Schoenfield of ESPN.com.

    Arizona Diamondbacks Trade: RF Justin Upton and RHP Trevor Bauer and receive SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RHP Vinnie Pestano and OF Michael Saunders

    Cleveland Indians Trade: SS Asdrubal Cabrera, OF Shin-Soo Choo and RHP Vinnie Pestano and receive RHP Trevor Bauer, LHP Danny Hultzen and RHP Hector Noesi

    Seattle Mariners Trade: LHP Danny Hultzen, OF Michael Saunders and RHP Hector Noesi and receive RF Justin Upton and OF Shin-Soo Choo

    Schoenfield supplies his reasoning for the deal as well:

    OK, we couldn’t avoid Upton and there’s nothing more creative than a good three-way deal. This trade works for all three teams. The D-backs get the shortstop they need and also part ways with Bauer, whom ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported earlier "has fallen out of favor" with some in the organization. Saunders gives them a starting outfielder to hedge against the production of Gerardo Parra and prospect Adam Eaton and Pestano provides a killer right-hander for the bullpen alongside J.J. Putz and David Hernandez.

    The Indians are desperate for starting pitching, and with this deal they pick up the second and third overall picks of the 2011 draft. Choo has one year left until free agency and is unlikely to re-sign with Cleveland.

    The Mariners need offense, and although it wouldn’t be easy parting ways with Hultzen and Saunders, they get a desperately needed power bat for right field and at least one year of Choo.

    The Indians are giving up a lot in this deal. Yes, they're receiving two phenomenal prospects who have the chance to be special. But they're also looking for major league-ready pitching. Neither Hultzen or Bauer are at that point right now. Sacrificing Pestano is a big blow to one of the strengths of the Indians as well.

    It's just an okay deal for the Diamondbacks. Yes, they get a shortstop, but one who's a defensive liability. If prospect A.J. Pollock shines in the spring, Saunders may actually be a fifth outfielder in Arizona.

    The Mariners get screwed on this one. They get Upton on a down year and who is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons. If Upton can't bounce back and put up numbers similar to 2011, that's an expensive buy.

    Choo would fill in nicely in right field and might be worth an extended look beyond next season if he can build on last year's production. However, he'll be 31 at the end of next season, so it's possible he's already peaked.

Trade R.A. Dickey and Ruben Tejada for Jose Reyes and J.P. Arencibia

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    Here is a trade suggested by Howard Megdal of capitalnewyork.com:

    The Mets would trade R.A. Dickey and Ruben Tejada to the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays would trade Jose Reyes and J.P. Arencibia to the Mets.

    Now, before you blow the trade out of the water outright, Megdal does raise some interesting points.

    First, Reyes' contract is backloaded thanks to the Miami Marlins. Reyes will only cost the Mets $7 million next year with the Marlins picking up $3 million. His salary jumps to $16 million in 2014.

    In addition, Reyes never wanted to leave New York. He still makes his home there, in fact.

    In Arencibia, the Mets get the right-handed hitting catcher they wanted to complement Josh Thole, and he's under team control until 2017.

    The Blue Jays in turn get another impact pitcher for their rotation and a shortstop with plenty of promise.

    This is a deal that makes sense. While the Mets would take a hit for trading Dickey anywhere else, trading for him for a man who starred in New York for nine years softens the blow.

Wil Myers to Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Moore

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    In a column he wrote on Monday for Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci opined about a potential deal that would see the Kansas City Royals trade top prospect Wil Myers to the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher James Shields.

    Verducci wrote:

    It's baffling to hear the Royals dangle top prospect Wil Myers on the trade market. Myers hit 37 home runs at age 21 in the minors last season -- across Double-A and Triple-A. (He turns 22 next week.) Scouts have compared him to former two-time NL MVP Dale Murphy. Are the Royals that bothered by his 140 strikeouts last year? Are they still unconvinced he can play center field?

    Unless you want to trade him for a pitcher like Matt Moore or Dylan Bundy -- a front-of-the-rotation pitcher just starting his service clock -- I can't see cashing in six years of major league service from one of the top hitting prospects in baseball for, as have been mentioned, two years of Jon Lester or two years of James Shields, when such a veteran pitcher is not putting Kansas City in the postseason next year.

    It's hard to remember a prospect this close to the big leagues put on the trade market. Jesus Montero in 2010? Andy Marte in 2005? Kansas City has too much to lose by giving up Myers.

    Verducci is spot-on with his comments.

    Moore is only 18 months older than Myers. In addition, with his team options factored in, Moore would be property of the Royals for the next seven years. The most Moore would make in any one year would be $11 million with incentives, and that's not until 2019.

    Moore absolutely has a shot to be a front-line rotation guy for years to come, not just two for Shields.

    Myers gives the Rays that power bat they crave and would be under team control for at least six years.

    This is deal worth exploring, but certainly not for Shields alone.

     

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.