MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 8 News, Rumors and Speculation

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2016

MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 8 News, Rumors and Speculation

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Week after week, we take the juiciest trade rumors and speculation making the rounds on MLB's rumor mill and try to concoct deals that make sense for both teams. Unfortunately, not every rumor lends itself to such an endeavor.

    Take, for instance, the news this week, courtesy of MLB Network's Jon Morosi, that the New York Yankees have interest in Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox. Could the Yankees use a pitcher like Quintana? Of course they could. Nobody disputes that.

    But the cost of acquiring Quintana is prohibitive. As ESPN.com's Andrew Marchand notes: "The White Sox want a boatload of prospects. The Yankees have been disinclined to trade any of [theirs]." There's just not a deal that makes sense for both sides—so you won't find that deal on the pages that follow.

    What you will find, however, are a pair of deals involving the other team in New York, along with two American League contenders bolstering their respective rosters for what they hope will be deep playoff runs in 2017.

    Keep in mind these proposed deals are only ideas and speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there's no indication any of them have actually been discussed.

Jarrod Dyson Gets Traded to the Orioles

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    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Baltimore Gets: OF Jarrod Dyson

    Kansas City Gets: RHP Jason Garcia and 1B/OF Christian Walker

        

    Rumor/Speculation

    Baltimore was among the teams that Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball listed as having interest in Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson earlier this month. Dyson would fill the team's desire, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, for a defensive upgrade with speed who can play the outfield corners.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Orioles

    Is there an available outfielder who fits Encina's profile better than Dyson? His game-changing speed (30-of-37 in stolen base attempts) and terrific defense at all three outfield positions is exactly what the Orioles need.

    Entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, Dyson isn't going to command a hefty salary and there's no long-term commitment required. That's important for the Orioles, who will have to work out new deals for key players, including Zach Britton, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman, sooner rather than later.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Royals

    Kansas City isn't going to get a massive return for Dyson but does well in this deal, adding a pair of prospects who are nearly ready to contribute.

    Christian Walker provides Kansas City with some insurance should the team fail to work out a long-term extension with Eric Hosmer, as the 25-year-old is a smooth fielder at first base. But he's also athletic enough to play an outfield corner and has the requisite power to serve as a regular designated hitter.

    Jason Garcia's stuff has always been better than his numbers, largely due to his continued lack of command. But the 24-year-old is still young enough to get himself straightened out mechanically. He's been developed as a starter but his electric fastball and improving slider scream future closer.

Andrew McCutchen Gets Traded to the Mets

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Pittsburgh Gets: OF Jay Bruce and LHP Steven Matz

    New York Gets: OF Andrew McCutchen and LHP Tony Watson

        

    Rumor/Speculation

    On Monday night, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the New York Mets are working the phones in an attempt to find a center fielder, adding that they're not interested in a one-year rental like Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain, but that they have spoken with Pittsburgh about Andrew McCutchen.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Mets

    Giving up Steven Matz isn't easy, but in doing so the Mets solve three issues: They add the center fielder they need, the late-inning relief help they seek and, perhaps most importantly, get rid of Jay Bruce, a player they never seemed to actually want after trading for him.

    As MLB.com's Michael Clair recently pointed out, talk of McCutchen's demise, even in the wake of a career-worst season, may be premature.

    "Though McCutchen never went on the DL in 2016, he struggled with a nagging thumb problem and a lingering heel injury, among other minor ailments. Add those together, and it's not surprising that McCutchen saw his walks dip and strikeouts spike to a career-high 21.2 percent." 

    McCutchen's strong finish, when he hit .284/.381/.471 with 19 extra-base hits (nine home runs), 36 RBI and nearly as many walks (34) as strikeouts (36) over the season's final two months, suggests that a return to his usual level of excellence is 2017 is at least possible, if not probable.

    Under team control through 2018 for a combined $28.5 million, he'd be a relative bargain if he's back to playing like an All-Star. Tony Watson is entering the final year of his deal but provides the Mets with much-needed insurance at the back of the bullpen.

    After all, closer Jeurys Familia is likely to receive at least a 30-game suspension under baseball's joint domestic violence policy, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Watson can fill in as closer during his absence and then return to a setup role, in which he's pitched to a combined 2.08 ERA since 2014.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Pirates

    Under team control through 2022, Matz is the kind the controllable young pitcher that Rosenthal says they're looking for in a McCutchen deal.

    He's not without his warts: Matz has never tossed more than 140 innings or made more than 25 starts in a season as a professional, which raises some questions about his durability. But when he's healthy, he's nasty.

    Over 28 career starts spanning 168 innings of work, he's gone 13-8 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 41 walks and 163 strikeouts.

    Taking Jay Bruce is part of the price the Pirates have to pay, but the slugger isn't completely useless to the team. With Starling Marte taking over in center field, Bruce can fill the void in left field—at least until top prospect Austin Meadows is ready to contribute.

Ervin Santana Gets Traded to the Houston Astros

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Houston Gets: RHP Ervin Santana

    Minnesota Gets: RHPs David Paulino and Brady Rodgers, LHP Reymin Guduan

        

    Rumor/Speculation

    Teams have been asking Minnesota about veteran starter Ervin Santana, tweets Heyman, adding that the Twins don't deem anyone on their roster untouchable.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Astros

    Giving up a trio of young, controllable arms for Santana might seem counterproductive, but with the Astros looking to make a World Series run in 2017, it's the kind of move that makes a whole lot of sense.

    Under team control through 2018 at a reasonable $13.5 million annual salary and with a $14 million team option for 2019, the 34-year-old is more than a short-term rental and would give Houston another durable, reliable innings-eater to slot in its rotation.

    With Lance McCullers Jr. likely to be working on an innings limit after an injury-filled 2016 season, Santana's addition becomes all the more important. Unless, of course, you're comfortable with Charlie Morton picking up the slack, that is.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Twins

    Minnesota loses its only reliable starter but adds a trio of young arms with considerable upside, including a pair who are potentially ready to step in and contribute on Opening Day.

    David Paulino, the centerpiece of this package, isn't one of them, as injuries and a suspension have limited him to just 196 innings of work over parts of five minor league seasons. While he needs more time to develop, the 22-year-old has all the makings of a front-of-the-rotation arm.

    Brady Rodgers may ultimately find success working in relief, as his stuff could play up in short stints, but the 26-year-old still has a chance to carve out a career as an innings-eater at the back of a big league pitching staff.

    There's no question about where Reymin Guduan and his electric fastball belong—at the back of a team's bullpen. The 24-year-old routinely hits triple digits with his heat and has an improving slider to compliment the pitch, but has had issues with controlling both in the past. With a bit more fine-tuning, Guduan could quickly find himself working the late innings for Minnesota.

Curtis Granderson Gets Traded to the Blue Jays

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    Adam Hunger/Getty Images

    New York Gets: LHP Angel Perdomo and RHP Francisco Rios

    Toronto Gets: OF Curtis Granderson

        

    Rumor/Speculation

    Toronto continues to discuss a deal for Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson with the Mets, tweets Morosi.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Mets

    For the Mets, this deal is more about creating regular playing time for Michael Conforto and creating more payroll flexibility by shedding Curtis Granderson's $15 million salary than the actual return from the Blue Jays.

    That said, New York isn't about to just give the Grandy Man away, and the Mets wind up with a pair of intriguing young arms in 22-year-old Angel Perdomo and 21-year-old Francisco Rios.

    Should the Mets decide to continue developing the pair as starting pitchers, it'll be at least another year before either one is potentially ready to contribute in the big leagues. That said, both could move quickly through the minors if the Mets shift them to relief roles, where their stuff would play up.

        

    Why It Makes Sense for the Blue Jays

    Toronto has glaring needs in the outfield corners, with Ezequiel Carrera, Steve Pearce and Melvin Upton Jr. their best internal options. Granderson might be past his prime, but the 35-year-old is certainly an upgrade over the team's current options.

    He may not be the on-base machine teams typically like to have leading off, but Granderson can serve as a table-setter atop the lineup while helping to replace some of the power the Blue Jays lost with the free-agent departures of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who both remain unlikely to return.

        

    Unless otherwise linked/noted, all statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.

    All contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts (via Baseball Prospectus).

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