The Perfect MLB Trade for Each Team in 2020

Martin FennContributor IIIJuly 26, 2020

The Perfect MLB Trade for Each Team in 2020

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Thursday marked the start of the most unprecedented season in MLB history. It also marked the countdown to the 2020 trade deadline.

    Because of the shortened 60-game campaign, the deadline falls about one month after Opening Day, on Aug. 31.

    Front offices are likely doing their due diligence on the players or prospects they should target. Not to mention the players on their own roster they might look to deal to maximize value.

    Whether they are playing for 2020 or the future, every team has a move that can make them better. We've put each club into one of several categories, according to status, and outlined one pre-deadline swap each should consider—we even threw in ideal trade partners in some cases.

Controllable Star: Nolan Arenado

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Colorado Rockies: Time to move Nolan Arenado

    Nolan Arenado is one of the greatest homegrown stars in Rockies history, but it's time for him and the club to part ways.

    The Rockies have done essentially nothing to improve the pitching staff, and in January, Arenado voiced his frustration with the lack of activity.

    The Rockies cannot risk his opting out after the 2021 season without netting a significant return. On the one hand, the star third baseman might be hard-pressed to pass up his contract's remaining $164 million.

    But Mookie Betts' recent extension with the Dodgers might be proof teams will still spend big on stars, despite the financial unknowns. Plus, Arenado will be entering his age-31 season and could probably surpass $164 million in guaranteed money.

    Colorado would have its pick of the litter should it make Arenado available. The Rockies can boost a thin farm while also saving money for a Trevor Story extension in 2022.


    St. Louis Cardinals: Push hard for Arenado

    The Cardinals should make a desperate push for the star third baseman.

    St. Louis had discussions with the Rockies regarding Arenado this winter, to the point where the two sides exchanged names, per Jon Morosi of

    The Cardinals should restart talks immediately. Not only would Arenado give St. Louis another star at an infield corner (opposite Paul Goldschmidt), but he would also solve some positional issues.

    Arenado at third would allow Matt Carpenter to serve as the DH, while Tommy Edman can lean into a super-utility role.

    The Cardinals should avoid giving up top prospect Dylan Carlson at all costs. But they might be able to convince the Rockies to take third baseman Nolan Gorman and left-hander Matthew Liberatore (and maybe an MLB-ready outfielder).

    Arenado provides much-needed production and plays Platinum Glove defense at third. He might be the offensive force the Cardinals need to compete for a World Series and is more likely to opt-in with a perennially competitive club in St. Louis.

Controllable Stars: Josh Bell

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Texas Rangers: Go after Josh Bell

    Josh Bell is just about the perfect trade target for the Rangers.

    The 27-year-old played high school baseball in Dallas, fits a position of need and is under team control through 2022.

    The Rangers desperately need more production from their first basemen. Ronald Guzman had a .723 OPS last year. Texas picked up Greg Bird, but the 27-year-old has struggled to overcome injuries or produce much in recent years.

    Bell had a career year with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019, hitting 37 homers and driving in 116 runs to go along with a .936 OPS. 

    Additionally, the Pirates are an ideal trade partner for the Rangers.

    Pittsburgh likely would not ask for top prospect Josh Jung, because it already has third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes in the farm. But the Rangers can still offer infielder Nick Solak or catcher Sam Huff and maybe throw in an arm like Cole Winn.

    The Rangers are on the rise. They should show as much by aggressively pursuing Bell in the next month.


    Pittsburgh Pirates: Move Bell for future assets

    Is there a good reason for the Pirates to keep Bell?

    Pittsburgh won't be a contender for the foreseeable future. The Pirates overhauled the front office in the offseason, and general manager Ben Cherington would do well to maximize all of his assets, including and especially the star first baseman.

    Aside from his impressive counting stats, Bell ranked in the top 10 percent of the league in exit velocity, hard-hit percentage and xSLG.

    He has superstar potential and is not scheduled to be a free agent until 2023. This makes him incredibly valuable to both current and fringe contenders.

    Pittsburgh has a fairly strong foundation. Perhaps the Pirates feel they can retain Bell and reposition by moving someone like Joe Musgrove.

    However, the smart move—given the Pirates are years from contending—is moving Bell for future assets.

Controllable Stars: Hader and Merrifield

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Milwaukee Brewers: Sell high on Josh Hader

    Trading Josh Hader is not a win-now move. But, Milwaukee is the only organization without a top-100 prospect, and ranked Milwaukee's system as the worst in baseball. 

    This team can compete without Hader in 2020. Yes, the left-hander is one of the best relievers in the game, and his ability to shut down an offense for multiple innings is incredibly valuable. 

    At the same time, the Brewers might demand less of their bullpen with a healthier, more effective rotation in 2020, and the relief corps should be uplifted by the return of Corey Knebel.

    Milwaukee also added David Phelps, and Brent Suter looked terrific in a brief showing out of the bullpen last season.

    Hader would net a massive haul. Especially considering the volatile nature of the relief market, they should capitalize on his value while he still has three-plus years of team control.

    It might seem like a step back in 2020, but this is the kind of move that can help Milwaukee compete over the life of Christian Yelich's contract, which runs through at least 2028.


    Kansas City Royals: Capitalize on Whit Merrifield's value

    Whit Merrifield has a fun story. He did not make his big league debut until age 27, and by age 29 he led the majors in hits.

    He had another fine year at the dish in 2019, again leading baseball with 206 hits while also posting a career-high .463 slugging percentage.

    But here's the thing: There is no reason for the Royals to retain him.

    Yes, Merrifield is on a very team-friendly contract that also has a club option in 2023. However, Merrifield is already 31 years old, and the Royals are unlikely to compete in the AL Central for some time.

    Kansas City has every reason to love the gritty, low-key star. But if the Royals are smart, they will seriously consider moving him while he still has a few peak years remaining.

Controllable Stars: Bryant and Boyd

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Atlanta Braves: Go after Kris Bryant

    The Braves could use starting pitching, given Cole Hamels' struggles to stay healthy and some uneasiness regarding Mike Foltynewicz's exhibition performance.

    But acquiring Kris Bryant makes too much sense.

    Atlanta still faces uncertainty at third base after Josh Donaldson's offseason departure. Austin Riley is better suited to the outfield, and Johan Camargo had an .806 OPS in 2018, but that number fell to .663 (with a 67 OPS+) this past year. Which guy will show up?

    The Braves have the outfield (Cristian Pache, Drew Waters) and pitching (Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright) prospects the Cubs are likely to desire. The question will be whether president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos is finally willing to part with some of these assets.

    Atlanta has the prospect capital, and it's also far enough under the luxury tax to possibly sign Bryant to a long-term extension after 2021.

    Trading for Bryant would not only give the Braves a better chance of winning in 2020 but also extend their championship window for years.


    Detroit Tigers: Flip Matt Boyd

    Like the Royals, the Tigers should lean into being sellers. That means flipping Matt Boyd to a team greedy for another starter.

    Boyd has plenty of upside. The left-hander averaged 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings last season and has a solid 2.8 walk rate for his career. The 29-year-old also posted his best ERA+ last year (105).

    Not to mention, Boyd still has two more years of arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2023. 

    The Tigers are years away from competing and already have arms like Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal knocking on the door.

    Any number of squads will likely want another arm for the stretch run, and the Tigers can also play some hardball with the asking price because Boyd still has those years of arbitration. Regardless, they should find a way to move him while his value remains fairly high.

Controllable Closers: Jimenez and Givens

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Baltimore Orioles: Move Mychal Givens 

    Baltimore, which won't be a contender for at least a few years, has limited MLB assets to flip to bolster the minor league pipeline.

    The Orioles' best option is probably moving Mychal Givens, though demand for the reliever might be on the low end.

    But Givens has decent strikeout stuff, as he recorded 12.3 punchouts per nine innings last season and has a 10.8 K/9 for his career.

    Simultaneously, he just turned 30 and gave up 13 homers in 63 innings last season. Still, his power stuff makes him an interesting candidate as a late reliever, especially if he can find some success over the next month.

    Regardless, the O's should attempt to reap whatever value they can get.


    Oakland Athletics: Bet on Joe Jimenez

    The Athletics could go for the jugular and try to acquire someone like Hader. But it also seems unlikely Oakland would decimate its farm with one move, especially considering how little the A's spend in free agency. 

    But what about someone like Joe Jimenez?

    The 25-year-old rose through the Tigers farm system as one of the most lively relief arms in baseball. Jimenez even made the All-Star team in 2018, finishing the year with a 2.90 fielding independent pitching (FIP) mark. But things went south in 2019.

    He still showed flashes of dominance, striking out 12.4 hitters per nine innings. However, he also gave up 13 homers in 59.2 innings. Hitters also barreled Jimenez up quite often, as he ranked in the bottom 5 percent of that category last year.

    However, Jimenez's fastball has good potential because of its high spin rate—which helps generate swings and misses—and he boasts a wipeout slider.

    Oakland should do its due diligence on Jimenez. If the asking price is too high, perhaps the A's pivot to someone like Ian Kennedy or Andrew Chafin. But if the price is good, they should bet on Jimenez's upside, particularly with closer Liam Hendriks hitting the open market after this season.

Closers on Expiring Deals

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Toronto Blue Jays: Dangle Ken Giles

    Toronto made a number of additions to the starting rotation to complement a young, hungry group of position players, and it hopes to be more competitive in 2020.

    However, the Blue Jays still play in a tough AL East, and a lot would have to go right for them to reach the playoffs. If they struggle to win early, they should unload some veteran assets.

    The most notable of those is Ken Giles, who had a 1.87 ERA and a career-high 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings last year. Giles has reasserted himself as one of the top closers in baseball, and relievers are generally in high demand at the deadline.

    Moreover, Giles will be a free agent at the end of this year. Toronto should sell high and try to get a premium prospect in return, especially if the Blue Jays feel it might be difficult to re-sign him.


    Chicago White Sox: Trade Alex Colome 

    Colome had a strong 2019, posting a 2.80 ERA and converting 30 of 33 save opportunities.

    However, it makes sense for the White Sox to move Colome. The most evident reason is the arm they have in waiting for the closer job.

    Left-hander Aaron Bummer had a 2.13 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in close to 68 innings last year. He also gave up just four homers and ranked in the 99th percentile in barreled balls.

    Not to mention, the White Sox also made some additions to the bullpen in the offseason by signing steady veteran Steve Cishek.

    Colome is in his final year of arbitration before he hits the open market. He is still a quality reliever, to be sure, but the White Sox might be able to cash in on his value while also being able to insert Bummer as their closer.

Flipping Youngsters: Senzel and Frazier

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Cincinnati Reds: See what you can get for Senzel

    The Reds looks like playoff contenders mostly because of the depth in their pitching staff. 

    But Cincinnati also boasts strong positional depth, especially in the outfield. In fact, the extent of Cincy's outfield talent should lead the team to consider trading Nick Senzel.

    Senzel had been regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball before making his MLB debut in 2019. He had a decent rookie season, though it was hardly anything to write home about.

    The 25-year-old slashed .256/.315/.427 with 12 homers and 14 stolen bases. Senzel also had a rather lackluster 89 OPS+ on the year, though he did appear in just 104 games.

    Although the Reds have given no indication they will move Senzel, they should dangle him.

    Cincy just signed Shogo Akiyama, and Nicholas Castellanos is unlikely to opt out of his new deal, given how the coronavirus pandemic could impact revenue and team spending. Throw in Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin, and there are plenty of options.

    Who knows, perhaps Senzel might even be the centerpiece of a deal to land Francisco Lindor—who might put the Reds over the top.


    New York Yankees: Flip Clint Frazier 

    Some might suggest the Yankees should pursue starting pitchers before the deadline. But despite the absence of Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery), New York's rotation is mostly set.

    In fact, the Yankees should sell a piece at the deadline, and Clint Frazier could reap good value.

    In the outfield, the Yankees already have one of the best players in baseball in Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks is productive when healthy. Plus, the Yankees still have Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman, and could also play Miguel Andujar in the outfield while Giancarlo Stanton largely fills the DH role. Even if injuries loom large again in 2020, New York has the depth.

    Frazier had a solid .806 OPS in 246 plate appearances last season, and he has upside as a power hitter. But he will also be 26 in September and does not really have a spot on New York's roster. Plus, top outfield prospect Estevan Florial should be up in the next few years. 

    Frazier has yet to even enter arbitration and might just need the opportunity to get steady at-bats. The Yankees should flip him for future talent.

Veterans with Value

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Boston Red Sox: Move JBJ 

    Jackie Bradley Jr. has had an inconsistent career in Boston.

    There have been impressive runs, such as a 2016 when he hit 26 homers and posted an .835 OPS while also earning his first All-Star nod. 

    But JBJ has been more mediocre than good of late, posting a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 90 in each of the last two seasons, per FanGraphs. He strikes out far too often for a relatively soft-hitting outfielder who does not draw a lot of walks.

    That said, Bradley consistently shines in center field. He won a Gold Glove in 2018 and ranked 13th among all center fielders in outs above average last year (OAA), per Baseball Savant.

    Bradley will be a free agent after this season, so the Red Sox are unlikely to get anything substantial in return for his services. But they should still look to move him for whatever they can get as chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom begins to restock a shallow farm system.


    Seattle Mariners: Get value from Dee Gordon

    The Mariners will struggle in 2020 but also lack tradable assets. Their best move in this scenario? Flip a veteran on an expiring contract.

    Dee Gordon (who has a 600-plate-appearance vesting option for 2021 but won't reach it in the shortened season) does not slug, nor does he walk a lot. But he still hits for decent average and can steal bases.

    The two-time All-Star stole 22 bags in just 117 games last season, and speedsters might be in demand this year given teams have more space to carry them on expanded rosters.

    It seems likely Seattle will give Shed Long Jr. every opportunity to earn time at second base after he had a .787 OPS in 42 games last year.

    With that in mind, the Mariners might as well try to see what they can get for Gordon, who offers speed and still rates as an average to above-average defender.

Contender Needs: Relief Pitching Pt. 1

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Houston Astros: Relief help needed

    Believe it or not, the defending AL champs are in somewhat dire straits with their bullpen.

    Will Harris signed with the Washington Nationals in the offseason, depriving the Astros of their most reliable high-leverage arm.

    As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted, both Brad Peacock (shoulder) and Austin Pruitt (elbow) are injured, and Joe Smith is on the restricted list. Plus, closer Roberto Osuna is "behind in his preparation."

    The Astros need more bullpen arms, especially with Josh James now in the rotation. Ryan Pressly is a tremendous weapon, but Houston is still waiting on others to live up to their potential.

    Bryan Abreu had an excellent spring after a solid debut in 2019, but it might be asking a lot of a rookie to carry so much of the burden.

    Perhaps the Astros make a move for a veteran, such as Kennedy. A guy like Craig Stammen would be another interesting option for Houston, though it would have to give up something extra, considering San Diego re-signed him to a two-year pact this past offseason.

    Braves right-hander Shane Greene might also be available given he is on an expiring deal and Atlanta has tons of bullpen depth.


    Washington Nationals: Another Daniel Hudson-like move

    Remember last July, when the Washington Nationals bullpen was seemingly in shambles?

    The Nats did not make a marquee move, instead acquiring the likes of Daniel Hudson and Roenis Elias. By October, Hudson was on the mound to close out Game 7 of the World Series.

    Washington should make another move to add a veteran reliever this year. The Nationals did well to steal Harris from the Astros, but they could use a dependable arm for the middle innings.

    Kennedy seems like an ideal candidate. He had a nice 2019 after moving to the Royals bullpen, posting a 3.41 ERA and 30 saves to go along with 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

    The rebuilding Royals will be looking to move Kennedy in the final year of his deal, and he would be another reliable arm in the Nats bullpen.

Contender Needs: Relief Pitching Pt. 2

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Philadelphia Phillies: Bullpen depth

    Philadelphia's bullpen was decimated by injuries last season, and there are plenty of uncertainties entering 2020.

    Hector Neris resettled into his role as the team's closer last year, and both Adam Morgan and Jose Alvarez are in the fray. But both David Robertson (Tommy John surgery) and Seranthony Dominguez (elbow) are likely to miss the season due to injury.

    As such, the Phillies need to pursue bullpen depth. One interesting target could be Pirates right-hander Keone Kela.

    The 27-year-old posted a 2.12 ERA in close to 30 innings last season, and he has a career 11.0 K/9. But he was also suspended last July for an incident with a staffer, per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic.

    Kela will be a free agent in the offseason and will all but assuredly be traded before the deadline. The character issues might be a concern, but Joe Girardi is a no-nonsense manager, and Kela will likely toe the line before he looks for a new deal.


    Chicago Cubs: Add relief experience...perhaps a new closer

    The Cubs are in a similar position to the Brewers.

    Chicago has a controllable superstar—Bryant—whom it might move at the deadline, but it is also looking to be competitive this year.

    This team still has the talent to compete for a World Series and might just be a move or two away.

    So, let's say the Cubs are in the mix ahead of the deadline. That would necessitate pitching help.

    Chicago's rotation is set. The bullpen, on the other hand, is filled with question marks. The most notable among those is closer Craig Kimbrel.

    While Kimbrel was the best reliever of the 2010s, he ended the decade on a sour note, posting a 6.53 ERA while being limited to 20.2 innings because of a late signing and a knee injury. Kimbrel also looked fairly shaky in summer camp.

    The Cubs might want to push for a late-game reliever like Kennedy, Colome or (if they can afford him) Giles. If not, it might be wise to grab another left-handed reliever, such as Chafin.

Contender Needs: Starting Pitching Pt. 1

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Minnesota Twins: Rotation depth

    The Twins had one of the more prolific offenses in baseball last year, and the unit gets a boost from the addition of Josh Donaldson and a full year of Luis Arraez.

    Their starting pitching, on the other hand, might prove to be an Achilles heel, just as it was against the Yankees in last year's ALDS. 

    The Twins acquired Kenta Maeda and signed both Rich Hill and Homer Bailey in the offseason, but they could stand to add another starting-caliber arm before the deadline passes.

    Hill has had a late-career renaissance but is also 40 years old and coming off elbow surgery. Meanwhile, Bailey's recent track record is shaky outside a decent 2019. Plus, Michael Pineda will still be serving a performance-enhancing-drug-related suspension early on.

    Minnesota should leap at the opportunity to acquire any number of starters who might become available by late August. Whether it is veterans like Tanner Roark and Jose Quintana or left-hander Robbie Ray, the Twins could find themselves with a vital opportunity to upgrade the rotation.


    Los Angeles Angels: Add an arm for now or for the future

    The Angels are building something more competitive around Mike Trout, but they still need starting pitching.

    Los Angeles could go a few different directions with this angle. Either the Angels struggle early and look for a controllable starter like Boyd or Jon Gray, or they find themselves competing and try to land someone like Robbie Ray, a talented lefty on an expiring contract. Quintana could be a perfect option if he becomes available, given the shortage of assets in L.A.'s farm system.

    Regardless, the Angels must bolster the rotation. Shohei Ohtani will be limited. Andrew Heaney and Dylan Bundy have yet to show prolonged consistency in their careers, and Griffin Canning is still mostly an unknown.

    Gray would be an especially intriguing target for L.A. The 28-year-old will still be under team control next year and is coming off a season in which he had a strong 135 ERA+. He also might not cost as much as Ray or Boyd.

    Perhaps Gray would thrive away from Coors Field, though he actually has a better home ERA for his career. In any case, he might be the ideal upside arm for GM Billy Eppler.

Contender Needs: Starting Pitching Pt. 2

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    New York Mets: In desperate need of a starter

    New York's starting rotation was supposed to be a strong suit entering the 2020 campaign after the Mets added Marcus Stroman at last year's deadline—even after Zack Wheeler signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

    But Noah Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery, and Stroman suffered a left calf tear that might keep him on the shelf for weeks.

    Suddenly, New York's staff looks quite shallow. Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha appear to be the No. 3 and No. 4 starters, respectively. This is hardly a winning group for a team that's trying to compete in a crowded NL East. 

    The Mets need to scour the starting pitching market. The issue: New York has limited prospect capital.

    Maybe the Mets make early inquiries for Miami Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith, who'll be a free agent after 2024. They would probably prefer a controllable asset given Stroman will be a free agent after this year. But again: not much to work with on the farm.

    Thus, the Mets might have to take a chance on someone like Roark, given his familiarity with the NL East.


    San Diego Padres: Grab best starter available

    The Padres could move closer Kirby Yates in the event they struggle out of the gates. It is also possible Wil Myers could be on the block, though his salary has made shopping him difficult in the past. 

    But the Padres are on the rise, and GM A.J. Preller is aggressive in his pursuits to upgrade the roster.

    The Padres' most pressing need is another reliable starter. Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet have immense promise, but the likes of Garrett Richards and Zach Davies are hardly the best options in the middle of the rotation. 

    Granted, top prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino are on their way to the bigs. Still, the Padres could benefit from adding another starter.

    Ray would be an excellent option, though Arizona is unlikely to trade him within the division. Gray also plays in the NL West but might be a better choice given the Rockies are not expected to contend and would be interested in any number of the Friars' assets

    Brewers left-hander Brett Anderson could be an interesting option, if Milwaukee struggles. Anderson is on an expiring contract, and the Brewers are in desperate need of young assets.

Repositioning Pt. 1

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Tampa Bay Rays: Keep adding young assets

    Much like the Yankees, the Rays are deep across the board, and Kevin Cash is a genius in terms of managing his personnel.

    Tampa Bay could look for another run producer in the outfield after acquiring Hunter Renfroe during the offseason, but it is possible Brandon Lowe will move from the infield, particularly if top prospect Wander Franco gets some at-bats and excels early.

    Thus, the Rays should continue to add prospects to one of the deepest farm systems in baseball.

    Perhaps Tampa Bay will take inquiries on shortstop Willy Adames if Franco immediately becomes a star. Infielder Daniel Robertson also appears tradable, and the Rays might be able to package him with any number of bullpen arms to acquire a prospect. 

    Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is another name to watch, considering the Rays acquired Manuel Margot in the offseason.

    In any case, the Rays are already set up to win now, and they can put themselves in a better position by nabbing more young talent.


    Cleveland Indians: Get an outfield bat

    It seems like every year the Indians need more hitting in the outfield. 

    Cleveland acquired Yasiel Puig last year in the hopes of bolstering the group, and it should seek another outfield bat this year after the Cuban became a free agent.

    Oscar Mercado looks like a promising piece, and Tyler Naquin had a nice bounce-back season in 2019. Franmil Reyes has gobs of power, and Domingo Santana has plenty of upside if he can cut down on the strikeouts.

    But the Indians could use a more veteran presence to provide some quality at-bats and drive in runs.

    Might they be interested in someone like Bradley, in the hopes he can bounce back at the plate? What about someone like Shin-Soo Choo, who had an .826 OPS with the Rangers last year?

    Or, perhaps Dexter Fowler would be an interesting option if the Cardinals opt for their youngsters and look to offload him before the final year of his deal in 2021.

    Of course, the nuclear option is trading Lindor. But the Indians still won 93 games last season, and it feels like they should try to make one more World Series run.

Repositioning Pt. 2

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Miami Marlins: Keep trading controllable players with upside

    The Marlins used the offseason as an opportunity to add veterans Jonathan Villar, Brandon Kintzler and Jesus Aguilar, among others.

    Miami will try to hang on for as long as possible in a shortened season. However, this should not preclude the Marlins from capitalizing on potential trade chips.

    Last year, the Marlins moved a very controllable asset in Zac Gallen to the Diamondbacks for prized shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm. They should employ a similar strategy this year.

    Caleb Smith could be an arm teams show interest in, and perhaps the Marlins will find an opportunity to move utility man Jon Berti if he produces and the club is no longer in contention. Berti is 30 years old, but he is also not eligible for arbitration until 2022. 

    Regardless, the Marlins have a few assets they can look to move to net a few prospects.


    Arizona Diamondbacks: Trade Andrew Chafin

    The Diamondbacks are in a pretty good spot.

    Arizona looks to be competitive enough to compete for a playoff spot this season, but it also has some assets who could become quite attractive at the deadline. 

    One player stands out: left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin.

    The 30-year-old is coming off a year in which he posted a career-high 11.6 K/9 and a 3.76 ERA. Chafin also has a 0.5 career homer rate, and he did not allow a single dinger during the 2018 season.

    Impact lefties tend to be valuable commodities at the deadline, and this year should prove no different. Chafin is on an expiring contract, and the Diamondbacks can move him while staying competitive and adding assets to their pipeline.

Old Rivals Make Pitching Moves

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Los Angeles Dodgers: Find potential Kenley Jansen replacement

    The most obvious thing the Dodgers can do is move any number of their outfielders. They nearly traded Joc Pederson to the Angels in February.

    However, like the Cubs, it is worth wondering whether the Dodgers should acquire another closer. Kenley Jansen had a 3.71 ERA and eight blown saves last year, and has dealt with an irregular heartbeat and, more recently, COVID-19.

    Granted, the Dodgers will give him the chance to return to dominant form. But they should also keep his health in mind. Perhaps acquiring another closer would take some of the onus off him.

    Los Angeles has the farm to swing a deal for any number of closers who might be available. The San Diego Padres might not want to trade Kirby Yates to a team in their division, but the Dodgers could look to acquire Giles from the Blue Jays.

    Regardless, finding another closing option would be a smart move for L.A., especially considering Jansen will be a free agent after next season.


    San Francisco Giants: Move Jeff Samardzija

    The Jeff Samardzija era has not gone as planned in the Bay Area, but the Giants could squeeze value from dealing him.

    Aside from an injury-riddled 2018, the right-hander has been one of the more reliable innings-eaters in the game. The 35-year-old has thrown at least 200 frames in five different seasons.

    Samardzija had a respectable 2019, posting a 3.52 ERA in over 181 innings, albeit with a mere 6.9 K/9 and questionable peripherals.

    However, the Giants should be able to exploit the demand for starting pitching. San Francisco will not get much of a return for him, but the team might as well take what it can get as the rebuild begins in earnest.


    All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant or FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.