MLB Trade Predictions: 10 Trades That Will Happen Before Spring Training
The MLB offseason trade market has started to pick up steam and thus, I give you 10 trades that are very possible before pitchers and catchers report. I will include the prospects involved possibly as well.
We have already seen Mat Latos and Sean Marshall go to the Reds, but does that mean Cincinnati is done? Probably not, but read on to find out who may go where.
1. Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers
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Dodgers Get: Brandon League
Mariners Get: Scott Elbert and Alex Castellanos
The Dodgers were intrigued with League during the Winter Meetings but nothing much transpired. League would fit nicely at closer for the Dodgers, who right now have Kenley Jansen holding down the fort. Jansen has nice upside, but he is more of a middle-relief guy and not a closer.
The Mariners get a promising prospect in Scott Elbert and a future fourth outfielder in Alex Castellanos. The deal makes sense for both organizations and should be watched closely over the next couple of days.
2. Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals
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Nationals Get: Gio Gonzalez
Athletics Get: Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Steve Lombardozzi and Seth Bynum
The Nationals are desperate for a front-of-the-rotation starter to counter Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez may be the best on the market. You have to imagine the Athletics will ask for Bryce Harper, but that request will be to no avail.
The Athletics make off pretty good in this deal with a future star in Brad Peacock and a solid starting catcher in Derek Norris. Steve Lombardozzi could be a nice pickup and could turn into a decent middle infielder. Seth Bynum has potential, but he may just be a throw-in guy if the Athletics cannot pry another strong prospect like Cole Kimball in the deal. Kimball, who is likely out until the summer, may be what the A's truly want, but there is always uncertainty with injuries.
3. Andrew Bailey to the Texas Rangers
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Rangers Get: Andrew Bailey
Athletics Get: Michael Kirkman, Engel Beltre and Tommy Mendonca
I do not believe the Rangers fully trust Joe Nathan as the closer, so Bailey becomes the option here. The Rangers want to move previous closer Neftali Feliz into the rotation, which means Kirkman is out for sure. The A's could ask for Matt Harrison or Alexi Ogando as well.
The deal really revolves around Engel Beltre, who has tremendous upside if he can put it all together and should be a valuable prospect for the A's. Kirkman provides a solid starter candidate for Oakland but projects more as a relief pitcher. Tommy Mendonca is a guy no one talks about, but after seeing him play, he certainly has ability to become an everyday third baseman.
4. Adam Jones to the Atlanta Braves
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Braves Get: Adam Jones
Orioles Get: Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
This deal was reportedly shot down earlier in the week, but I fully expect it to get done at some point this offseason. The Braves would get the long-coveted Adam Jones, who would push Michael Bourn to left field. Jones has been an underrated but talented outfielder over the last few years and would certainly help the Braves' offense.
The Orioles get a superb return for Jones with a top-of-the-rotation guy in Jair Jurrjens and one of the best utility men in baseball with Martin Prado. There are a bevy of pitchers to throw in here and Randall Delgado certainly has starting rotation stuff. He did not look overly impressive in 2011, but he is young and may be key to this deal. The Braves may have to throw in one more prospect to get this done, but it is going to be a wait-and-see deal.
5. A.J. Burnett to the Padres
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Padres Get: A.J. Burnett and Cash
Yankees Get: Jedd Gyorko and Robbie Erlin
The Padres are now short on starting pitching, and A.J. Burnett provides a solid, middle-of-the-rotation type arm. Burnett would benefit from playing at Petco as opposed to under the brutal lights of New York. Burnett can veto a trade, but I think he would accept a chance to get out of the pressure in New York.
The Yankees get two solid prospects in Jedd Gyorko, who could be the heir apparent to Alex Rodriguez, and Robbie Erlin, who has some surprising talent as a southpaw. The Yankees will probably ask for more, but this should be able to get the job done.
6. Eric Young Jr. to the Mets
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Mets Get: Eric Young Jr.
Rockies Get: Justin Turner
This trade may not seem like much on paper, but both players have massive potential. Young has had opportunities to impress, but he's failed to deliver. He may benefit from an organizational change and could really develop into a star if given the right situation.
Justin Turner turned some heads last season, but he has not got the playing time he should. Turner was once a top-ranked prospect in the Reds and Orioles organizations and should help facilitate this deal. Turner is also a player with tremendous potential if given the right tools to help him. This deal is a wash for both teams and should happen soon.
7. Wandy Rodriguez to the Blue Jays.
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Blue Jays Get: Wandy Rodriguez
Astros Get: Adeiny Hechavarria, Travis Snider and Luis Perez
Wandy Rodriguez has been on the trading block for about two years, and this deal should finally go down. New ownership in Houston is trying to make something happen before they move to the American League, and the Blue Jays, after missing out on Yu Darvish, would love the chance to snag Rodriguez.
The Astros will more than likely ask for Brett Lawrie, but there is no way the Blue Jays part with him, so Travis Snider and Adeiny Hechavarria become the cogs. Hechavarria is talented and could become the Astros' starting shortstop within a year. Snider has struggled since his monster year in 2009 and could be looking at a change of scenery. Snider could fill in great as a designated hitter when the Astros move to the AL in 2013. Luis Perez had a coming out party as a reliever in 2011 and could really help stabilize the Astros' bullpen in 2012.
8. Brett Myers to the Boston Red sox
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Red Sox Get: Brett Myers
Astros Get: Ryan Lavarnway and Stolmy Pimentel
The Red Sox will need pitching at some point this season, and Myers could definitely fill the void. Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard will struggle and John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka probably will not return for most of the season. The Red Sox may have to part with their catcher of the future, but it is the Red Sox and they always seem to reload.
The Astros have had trouble getting a solid catcher on the field, and I am not so sure they believe in Jason Castro as the everyday guy. Lavarnway could start the season in Houston and ultimately win the starting job during the season. Pimentel has promise, but he's a few years away from making an impact and the Astros are in full-on rebuilding mode.
9. Carlos Lee to the Indians
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Indians Get: Carlos Lee and Cash
Astros Get: Matt LaPorta, Thomas Neal and Jeanmar Gomez
The Indians would require a hefty sum of money from Houston to pull this deal off, but Houston is desperate to unload Carlos Lee. Carlos Lee could provide some depth for the oft-injured players in Cleveland and may benefit from a change in scenery. Lee does not have a whole lot left in the tank, but what he does have may work in Cleveland. This deal is my longest shot of happening, but it could still very well take place.
The Astros gain much-needed depth with the deal. The Indians have all but given up on LaPorta living up to the expectations he was given as a prospect. Thomas Neal is the diamond in the deal and could provide instant help to the Astros' depth. Fans in Houston may have a guy to look forward to in the future. Gomez is a tweener between starting and relief, but he would help Houston fill out its pitching depth. The Astros need depth and young talent to help rebuild.
10. B.J. Upton to the Nationals
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Nationals Get: B.J. Upton and cash
Rays Get: Roger Bernadina, A.J. Cole and Tyler Moore
The Nationals have coveted Upton for about 10 years now and may finally be able to pull the trigger. While there are a bevy of players the Nationals could throw in here, Bernadina makes sense. He is starter-caliber, but with an addition of Upton, he becomes expendable.
The Rays would use Bernadina to replace Upton for the time being, and he would provide speed and excellent defense. The Rays are known to not want to spend money and remold itself every season. Upton has struggled since he came up, but the potential is through the roof. The Rays get three guys who can become stars in the league. Tyler Moore projects out nicely and could be a starting first baseman in the league within a couple of years. Cole is highly touted and would be a key addition for Tampa. Bernadina has hit his ceiling as a player but provides a boost on the bases and brings 110 percent hustle.