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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Anthony Castrovince: 10 bold Winter Meetings predictions

These rumors are all wet.

1. Justin Upton to the Orioles

While their hesitance to go to a fourth guaranteed year for Nelson Cruz is understandable, the immediate fact of the matter is that the reigning home run champ now resides elsewhere. Even with Matt Wieters and Manny Machado getting healthier, and even if you believe that Chris Davis is going to rebound, the O’s have some potential for major offensive regression if they don’t make some moves this winter.

In Upton, the O’s can reel in a corner outfielder who has a history of getting on base roughly 35 percent of the time, and can give you a 30-plus-homer season at Camden Yards. This is the kind of move the O’s need to make to maintain their top spot in an AL East in which the Red Sox and Blue Jays are obviously both dramatically improved.

Here’s the rub: The Braves, who appear more certain than ever to move Upton now that they’ve signed Nick Markakis, are looking for young, controllable arms in their bid to build a contender for 2017. There was a time when a top-tier pitching prospect such as Dylan Bundy would have netted far more years of contractual control than Upton, a pending free agent, provides. But in this starting-saturated market - and with Bundy re-establishing himself following Tommy John surgery - I’m not so sure that’s the case. Would the O’s be willing to part with Bundy’s long-term potential for some short-term thump? Hard to say, but their free-agent options have thinned in a hurry.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Jim Bowden: Potential winter meetings trades (PAY)

BODES

Seattle Mariners | Los Angeles Dodgers | Milwaukee Brewers

Dodgers acquire: James Paxton from Seattle; Jean Segura from Milwaukee

The Dodgers have a lot of outfield depth and are looking to build with younger players as they seek a World Series title in the near future. Not an easy formula to make transactions. Matt Kemp has five years and $107 million remaining on his contract, and although I think it would be a mistake to trade him, the fact is that the Dodgers are listening to offers. The Mariners could offer them one of the best young left-handed starters in the game in Paxton to put in their rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. If they could pick up Segura in a three-way deal with the Brewers, they would have their stopgap shortstop until top prospect Corey Seager is ready for the majors (or is moved to third base). Segura, 24, had a down year, but should return close to his 2013 form, when he hit .294 with 12 home runs and 44 stolen bases. The Dodgers would still have Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier in their outfield.

Mariners acquire: Ryan Braun from Milwaukee

If the Mariners want to win the AL West next year, they have to acquire a big right-handed hitter to hit between Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager in their lineup, and Braun would be the perfect fit. GM Jack Zduriencik’s claim to fame when he was with the Brewers was his drafting of Braun, and he’d love to get reunited with him in Seattle. The Mariners have Chris Taylor—who could take over shortstop for Brad Miller, who would go to Milwaukee in this potential deal—and would still have a strong starting rotation with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and Roenis Elias, even if they traded Paxton. Of course, they would have to probably sign a midlevel free agent like Brandon McCarthy or Kyle Kendrick after a trade like this.

Brewers acquire: Matt Kemp from Los Angeles; Miller from Seattle

The Brewers had to be concerned with Braun’s loss of power during the past couple of years. Granted, it’s probably because of the numbness in his right thumb that they now think has completely healed. However, after watching Kemp the last two months of the season, there is no doubt that he would be an upgrade over Braun, and while they may lose some in the swap of shortstops, it would be worth it to have less risk with Kemp than Braun. In addition, the deal would send a wake-up call and be a clubhouse chemistry change to a team that collapsed in September.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals

So, we have Cespedes and Napoli going to Seattle, with the Mariners sending Miller and Hultzen to Washington. What do the Red Sox receive from the Nationals to make the trade work for everyone? Zimmermann is the key piece, obviously, but the Sox are dealing two sluggers and watching the Nationals acquire a potential 11 years of young talent in exchange, so they might not settle for just the one year of Zimmermann’s services and the draft pick they’d get if he left next winter. To even things out, the Nationals probably need to add one more piece to the Red Sox side of things, and it should probably be an arm.

Specifically, the Sox could use a high quality reliever to help pitch the innings in front of closer Koji Uehara, and the Nationals happen to have a strong depth of bullpen arms. Clippard would seem to fit well in Boston, especially given that he’s under contract for only one more season; the Red Sox like short-term commitments to pitchers. And, coincidentally, Zimmermann and Clippard are likely to make about $25 million between them next season, almost exactly the same amount that the Red Sox are currently due to pay Napoli and Cespedes. This would be a payroll neutral deal for Boston, with Seattle absorbing the costs that Washington is cutting.

No Jose Lopez?


 

 

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