MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 9 News, Rumors and Speculation

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2016

MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 9 News, Rumors and Speculation

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    Ron Vesely/Getty Images

    The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is typically a quiet one in the Major League Baseball universe. General managers are spending some much-needed time away from the office with their families, more focused on assembling the toys that Santa delivered for their kids than building a roster for the 2017 season. 

    Yet they can't ever fully escape their day jobs. Conversations with other GMs are assuredly taking place, providing the rumor mill with just enough speculation to satisfy ravenous fans who want to know what their favorite teams are doing to improve. 

    That speculation revolves around three big names—two bats and a pitcher—who have been the focus of trade rumors for weeks. We'll delve into potential deals involving that trio of game-changing talent on the pages that follow. 

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

Andrew McCutchen Gets Traded to the Blue Jays

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Pittsburgh Gets: RHPs Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene and Jon Harris, C Reese McGuire

    Toronto Gets: OF Andrew McCutchen 

    Rumor/Speculation

    Toronto has "kicked around" the idea of trading for Pittbsurgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen, per ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

    Why It Makes Sense for Pittsburgh

    This might not be the premier package the Pirates were looking for, but Pittsburgh walks away from this deal with four prospects, one of which it's familiar with.

    Reese McGuire, who was traded part of the ransom Toronto demanded (along with outfielder Harold Ramirez) in the trade salary dump of Francisco Liriano last season, returns to the organization that drafted and developed him. He returns to the position of heir apparent to Francisco Cervelli in Pittsburgh.

    The Pirates also snag a trio of intriguing young arms. Of the three, Sean Reid-Foley has the highest upside (No. 2 starter), while Conner Greene and Jon Harris profile as solid mid-rotation options. Greene is probably the closest to the big leagues, though all three could contribute down the stretch in 2017.

    Why It Makes Sense for Toronto

    This deal only makes sense if McCutchen is the player who hit .284 with a .852 OPS over the final two months of the regular season. If the Blue Jays are getting the guy who hit .241 with a .717 OPS, they can find that kind of production at a much cheaper price. They could simply re-sign Michael Saunders.

    Assuming Toronto is getting the late-season version of McCutchen, he'll fill two needs for the club. Not only will he give the Blue Jays an everyday left fielder (he's not going to bump Kevin Pillar out of center field), but also a dynamic middle-of-the-order bat, someone who can help replace Edwin Encarnacion's production.

Jose Quintana Gets Traded to the Pirates

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    Jon Durr/Getty Images

    Chicago Gets: 1B/OF Josh Bell, LHP Steven Brault, C Elias Diaz and RHP Tyler Glasnow

    Pittsburgh Gets: LHP Jose Quintana

    Rumor/Speculation

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that even after re-signing Ivan Nova, Pittsburgh remains in the lead to obtain Chicago White Sox ace Jose Quintana. The White Sox are believed to be looking for a Chris Sale-like package for the controllable 27-year-old.

    Why It Makes Sense for Chicago

    Chicago gets a quartet of young, controllable, MLB-ready players, including the catcher of the future it's long searched for, in exchange for Quintana, the team's most valuable remaining veteran trade chip.

    It's easy to forget that Josh Bell began his career as a right fielder, a position he can take over for the White Sox until Jose Abreu's long-term future is determined. A switch-hitter with power, Bell and Yoan Moncada will ultimately make for a scary combination in the middle of Chicago's lineup.

    Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow can both step into the White Sox rotation immediately. Glasnow has the stuff and makeup to be the ace of a big league rotation in the near future, while Brault is more of an innings-eating southpaw slotted toward the end of the staff.

    Defense is Elias Diaz's calling card to the majors, but the 26-year-old makes enough consistent contact to contribute offensively. A terrific game-caller with a plus throwing arm, Diaz can, at the very least, platoon with Omar Narvaez behind the plate to start the year.

    Why It Makes Sense for Pittsburgh

    Due just $15.85 million through 2018 and with affordable $10.5 million and $11.5 million team options in 2019 and 2020, respectively, Quintana has the kind of team-friendly deal that Pittsburgh can afford to take on.

    Quintana would join Gerrit Cole and Nova to form an impressive trio atop Pittsburgh's rotation, with some combination of Drew Hutchison, Mitch Keller, Chad Kuhl and Jameson Taillon rounding things out. 

Brian Dozier Gets Traded to the Cardinals

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    Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Minnesota Gets: RHPs Sandy Alcantara, Junior Fernandez and Luke Weaver, 2B Kolten Wong

    St. Louis Gets: 2B Brian Dozier

    Rumor/Speculation

    Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis reported that along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals are "very much in it" for Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, while the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals "remain in dialogue."

    Why It Makes Sense for Minnesota

    In many ways, this could be a preferable deal for the Twins than what the Dodgers could offer.

    Not only does Minnesota get a front-of-the-rotation arm in Luke Weaver, but also an immediate replacement for Dozier in Kolten Wong, who has big league experience, still has significant upside and is signed to a team-friendly deal that pays him $24.25 million through 2020 with a $12.5 million team option for 2021.

    Really, Wong isn't all that dissimilar from Dozier. While he's yet to enjoy his breakout season, the 26-year-old has plenty of pop in his bat and enough speed to cause problems when he gets on base. Wong, however, has a chance to hit for average as well, something that has eluded Dozier so far.

    Of course, that's not all the Twins get, as Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez join the organization. Both have electric fastballs and a legitimate chance to start, but either one could find his development accelerated with a move to the bullpen. Fernandez, 19, has the higher ceiling as a potential ace.

    Why It Makes Sense for St. Louis

    Sure, his right-handed bat does nothing to bring balance to a lineup that's already heavy on righties, and the Cardinals, who led the National League with 225 home runs in 2016, don't necessarily need more pop in the lineup.

    While Wong might be the better player over the long term, Dozier is the superior talent today and can help the Cardinals remain a perennial contender.

    Unless otherwise 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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