8 Trades and Signings That Would Be Best for Baseball
The MLB offseason is almost to the halfway point with multiple signing and trades that keep a conversation going.
Off the market are players like B.J. Upton and Zack Greinke, with players like James Shields and Ben Revere being traded.
While most believe signings and trades will happen the rest of this offseason, there are a few that need to happen for the benefit of baseball.
Here's a look at eight trades or signings that need to happen this offseason.
Astros Sign Lance Berkman
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The Houston Astros are moving to the American League for the 2013 season.
What better way to make their mark than to sign Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter?
Berkman spent his first 12 years in Houston, batting .296 with 326 home runs and 1,096 RBI. He was a part of the Killer B's with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio.
The Astros need a face. While Berkman is up there in age, he is the perfect candidate to be that face as the team transitions to the American League.
Houston is home for Berkman and it's where he got his start. It would also be a great place for the end.
Yankees Trade Alex Rodriguez
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There was too much drama during the playoffs last year when Rodriguez was benched.
Rodriguez is coming off the two worst seasons in his career and New York fans aren't pleased. And, just because he's making $28 million next year doesn't mean they'll let him off the hook.
In fact, they'll be on his case even more because of that fact.
It would be best for both parties to part ways, letting A-Rod garner records in another city.
However, what team would take on that kind of contract?
Rangers Re-Sign Josh Hamilton
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Josh Hamilton is due a big payday, but there are concerns over his injury history and his need to have a support system.
That's why it's best for Hamilton to stay with the Texas Rangers.
Hamilton already has a support system in Arlington and has had success with the Rangers.
With the Rangers having missed out on Zack Greinke and trading for Justin Upton, Hamilton is the next logical choice.
There are injury concerns, but the Rangers have gotten through them before and they can get through them again.
Mets Trade R.A. Dickey
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The Mets are trying to get a large return for Dickey in any trade and haven't been satisfied with any elite prospect teams have been offering. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Sources indicate at least a couple teams have offered one elite prospect for Dickey, but the Mets are looking for multiple players back in a package.
New York needs to get what it can for Dickey and be done with it.
If the Mets aren't careful, they won't get any kind of return for Dickey and he'll walk after the 2013 season.
Teams don't trade two or three elite prospects for a 38-year-old knuckleballer, even if he is coming off a Cy Young season.
Dodgers Don't Sign Anybody Else
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The Los Angeles Dodgers need to stop signing and trading for players this offseason.
With more than $200 million committed for the 2013 season, the Dodgers will easily have the highest payroll in baseball.
Currently, the Dodgers have Adrian Gonzalez ($21 million), Carl Crawford ($20 million), Matt Kemp ($20 million), Zack Greinke ($19 million), Josh Beckett ($15.75 million) and Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million) at the top of their payroll.
Then there's Andre Ethier ($13.5 million), Ted Lilly ($13.167 million), Chad Billingsley ($11 million) and Clayton Kershaw ($11 million) to round out the top 10.
That's almost $160 million for 10 players.
This overspending is carrying on the Yankees' tradition of getting the best free agents in an offseason and overpaying for them.
Luckily, the outfield is full or else we'd probably see Josh Hamilton patrolling the grass at Chavez Ravine.
Blue Jays Trade Emilio Bonifacio
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Emilio Bonifacio is a special player in baseball.
He's fast and can play multiple positions in the field.
Bonifacio was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays, but there's really no room for him in Toronto. The Blue Jays signed Maicer Izturis to play second base, while Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus will roam left and center field.
So, where does that leave Bonifacio?
There are multiple teams look for speed and certain positions, and Bonifacio could provide that. Bonifacio could bring the Jays a return of a top pitching prospect from a team like the Atlanta Braves.
By making a move like this, it will make the Braves even more competitive in the National League East. In turn, that will create an exciting division race with the Washington Nationals.
Nationals Re-Sign Adam LaRoche
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Adam LaRoche has been a staple in the middle of the Nationals lineup for the last few years.
If the Nationals are to make a run at the division title once again, they must re-sign LaRoche.
While moving Michael Morse to first base is an option, there is nobody on the free-agent market that could replace LaRoche (outside of Josh Hamilton).
It seems the hangup to a potential deal is the number of years in the contract. According to James Wagner of The Washington Post, LaRoche wants a three-year deal, while the Nationals won't budge from a two-year deal.
Whether it's tossing in an option year, which is automatically picked up based on performance, or just giving LaRoche a third year, the Nats need to make this happen.
By doing this, their worst-case scenario is they can trade him starting at the trade deadline in 2014 in hopes of getting a good package in return. It's not likely his numbers will go down between now and then.
Braves Trade Top Prospects
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The Braves have a lot of pitching and a lot of elite pitching prospects.
The only problem is, they have too many and aren't doing anything to move them.
With players like Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Sean Gilmartin and others waiting for their chance at a permanent spot in the big league rotation, other teams just sit and wait. The Braves have the pieces to pull off a blockbuster trade. They just have to be willing to let go of two of their top prospects.
It's understandable the desire to not let Andrelton Simmons be involved in any trade. Who would want to let go of arguably the best defensive shortstop?
There are pieces the Braves can trade. And it's not like they won't find more pitching.
Atlanta has always drafted pitching high and been able to develop those players. Losing some of their top pitching prospects won't hurt because they'll just go out and find more.
By trading some of those prospects away, it will give fans a chance to see more of the game's rising stars in action at the big league level.