5 MLB Trade Proposals That Would Be a Win-Win for Both Teams
This strange, pandemic-tinged baseball offseason is fast coming to a conclusion, with pitchers and catchers soon getting ready to report to spring training sites. Yet because of the uncertain nature of this offseason, even the best teams are beginning the 2021 season with big positional needs.
In terms of offseason trades and transactions, the biggest dominoes have already fallen, especially now that Trevor Bauer has found his free-agent home with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies have traded Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.
But that doesn't mean teams are done making moves. So, we put together a list of five trades that would be win-win scenarios for the involved sides.
But as with any trade, someone could say no. So we'll explore that, too.
SS Trevor Story to the Cincinnati Reds
The Trade: Colorado Rockies send SS Trevor Story to the Cincinnati Reds for 3B Jonathan India (No. 5) and OF Austin Hendrick (No. 3)
Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich is public enemy No. 1 in Denver after sending the face of the franchise, Nolan Arenado, to the St. Louis Cardinals for a package of prospects that many in talent evaluation felt was less than what the third baseman was worth.
Bridich has insisted the Rockies are not going to undertake a complete teardown. He said they're simply retooling with the hope of being competitive again soon, and he'd like to sign shortstop Trevor Story to a long-term contract extension as part of the club's future.
But at this point, the Rockies should probably just tear it down and start over. Teardowns are arduous for the front office and coaches and painful for the fans, but it's a better long-term plan for a team in the same division as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the upstart San Diego Padres.
The Cincinnati Reds have a good chance to compete in the NL Central, but they badly need a shortstop. They could get one of the best in Story, who will be a free agent after the 2021 season, if they're willing to give up a prospect package centered around someone like third baseman Jonathan India.
Who says no? Probably the Rockies since they want to include Story in their retooling. But at this point, he may not want to stay in Colorado through the prime years of his career.
CF Harrison Bader to the New York Mets
The Trade: St. Louis Cardinals send CF Harrison Bader to the New York Mets for OF/3B J.D. Davis and RHP Yennsy Diaz (No. 30)
The New York Mets need help in center field after missing out on free-agent outfielder George Springer. They recently made a few minor moves to bolster their outfield and infield depth, signing outfielder Albert Almora Jr. and utility infielder Jonathan Villar, but they've made it known they want to contend for a pennant this year.
Depth is good, but they need some stars.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader would be a solid option at center field and give the Mets the right-handed bat they need. The 26-year-old is a local product out of Bronxville, New York, so he knows what it takes to succeed in the Big Apple. This would also open up a spot for Dylan Carlson in center field for St. Louis.
J.D. Davis is only a year older than Bader but has an extra season of team control. He can produce offensively (career OPS of .795, slashed .307/369/.527 in his first season as an everyday player) and fill many roles as an infielder and outfielder. Defensively, he's better as an outfielder, and he's better than current left fielder Tyler O'Neill.
This is a win-win-win since it would open up a spot at third base for the Mets to sign Justin Turner, in whom The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported they have interest. There was some bad blood when Turner left New York. But it's a new era, and if the Los Angeles Dodgers decide to move on, he could help his old team knock them off their throne in October.
Who says no? Turner could say no and take a shorter deal with the Dodgers. The Cardinals could say no thanks to Davis and his defense. But it sure would be a fun series of events.
3B Kris Bryant to the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Trade: Chicago Cubs send 3B Kris Bryant to the Los Angeles Dodgers for OF DJ Peters (No. 11) and OF/UTIL Chris Taylor
This scenario would not be fun for the New York Mets—or for anyone else in the National League, for that matter. But the Los Angeles Dodgers are going after all the best players they can find, so why not add the 2016 NL MVP to the mix?
If the Dodgers fail to sign Justin Turner, they could turn to Kris Bryant, who will be a free agent after the 2021 season.
Bryant is coming off the worst season of his career, so a chance to play with the best team in baseball could be a good opportunity to start enjoying the game again, which he said he hasn't been doing in Chicago during recent seasons. The Dodgers have the depth to withstand a so-so season from him, as well.
The Dodgers have several players capable of playing many positions, and Bryant fits that mold. The Cubs would get help at multiple positions with Taylor in the fold, and Peters' path to the big leagues would no longer be blocked in Chicago.
Who says no? The Dodgers are already over the luxury-tax threshold and owe a tax of $9.9 million next season, so they may be hesitant to continue blowing past it.
RF Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees
The Trade: Texas Rangers send RF Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees for OF Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier has been looking for a full-time opportunity to show what he can do for a few years.
He's been buried in the Yankees' depth chart as they've had a collection of some of the game's most dynamic outfielders. But if the rebuilding Texas Rangers get rid of Joey Gallo, they could give him a chance to play every day.
The Yankees probably don't need another right fielder, but they could replace Frazier with Gallo in left field or use him as a DH.
Though Gallo is the textbook definition of a three-true-outcome player, there is no doubt his big left-handed bat would work well with that short porch in New York's right field. The Yankees would be able to remain underneath the luxury tax with his $6.2 million salary in 2021.
Who says no? The Yankees might since Frazier is younger and $4.1 million cheaper. Plus, his four years of team control are twice as many as Gallo's.
LHP Josh Hader to the Philadelphia Phillies
The Trade: Milwaukee Brewers trade LHP Josh Hader to the Philadelphia Phillies for OF Mickey Moniak (No. 12), RHP Adonis Medina (No. 5) and C Rafael Marchan (No. 7)
If the Milwaukee Brewers want to trade their fiery reliever, they should do it now while his value is high. They don't have a ton of outfield options at high levels of their system, so they could get someone like Mickey Moniak from the Philadelphia Phillies in a package of prospects.
The Phillies badly need bullpen help after their relievers posted a league-worst 7.06 ERA last season.
The club did the right thing by signing J.T. Realmuto, a two-way catcher and one of baseball's best position players, to a five-year, $115.5 million contract. Now it needs to capitalize on his best years. Hader is still under team control for three more seasons, which should hopefully be more than enough time for the Phillies to get Realmuto to the playoffs.
Who says no? The Brewers themselves also might want to try contending in the National League. Knocking off the Los Angeles Dodgers will be no easy task, but keeping Hader in his prime may be needed if they think it's possible.