By: Marisa Ingemi
Yoenis Cespedes. Chris Davis. Justin Upton. The Major League Baseball hot stove has cooled down despite several key players still being available. More above average players remain available and teams have needs that have to be filled. I came up with a few potential moves that may still be to come.
Colorado Trades an Outfielder
After signing Gerrardo Parra (in my opinion, an excellent move), the Colorado Rockies have a surplus of outfielders. For a team who doesn’t want to commit to Cespedes or Upton, the Rockies could potentially become a trade partner. After trading Troy Tulowitzski last summer, its clear this team is rebuilding. While Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon are excellent in their own right, moving Carlos Gonzalez would net the biggest return for the Rockies. There are two years left on his deal, and while his stats come from Coors Field, he is a much more attractive option than a six or seven year deal for Cespedes.
Justin Upton Signs a One Year Deal in Detroit
For whatever reason, the market for Upton has been awful. He has barely gotten consideration from teams like Baltimore and Anaheim. This comes despite a solid season in a pitcher’s ballpark where he posted 26 home runs, 19 stolen bases, and a .336 OBP. Maybe Upton isn’t the star we expected in Arizona, but he’s beyond a serviceable major league outfielder. Meanwhile, the Tigers are in a strange position going into 2016. Kansas City are the favorites and Cleveland is much improved. Where does that leave the Tigers? Potentially, their offense could mash, with Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera in there, but they still have to replace Cespedes. Tyler Collins is projected to be their starting left fielder, and Upton would look a lot better there on a short, one year agreement. Their biggest competition might be the Indians, who need one more outfielder and are going all out this off season.
Tampa Bay and the Cubs Match Up as Trade Partners
The Tampa Bay Rays are in active trade conversations and can offer pitching to teams who need it. Jake Odorizzi would be the most tradeable piece that could get a return. Meanwhile, the Cubs are not exactly desperate for pitching, but in a competitive NL Central division, there is never too much help. Chicago is stacked with young talent and long term deals after signing Jason Heyward, blocking many of their prospects. The Rays have always been excellent at rebuilding through trading for prospects, and this seems like it could be another example.
Angels Can’t Help Themselves
What’s an MLB off season without the Angels making a huge, overpriced move? I’m not convinced that the baseball team from
Los Angeles Anaheim wants to stick with a left field tandem of Craig Gentry and Daniel Nava. Not when they have Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun out there and have the potential to have more. Cespedes is still out there, and he seems exactly to be the kind of players the Angels could use in the middle of their lineup.
Astros Land Chris Davis
This was the prediction I had from day one of this off season and it still makes perfect sense. Houston needs a first baseman. Despite a power-heavy offense in 2015, they never were quite able to figure out that position. With Davis as a left handed compliment to fellow masher Evan Gattis, the Astros lineup would have even power distributed throughout. Davis is still on the market, but these two are so perfect for each other, I don’t understand how they haven’t come together already.
Underrated Free Agents Make Impact
There are some decent free agents that could make an impact that we are overlooking. One of them that interests me is David Freese. In fact, the Angels could use him, so they should probably just resign him. He or Howie Kendrick would be nice fits in Kansas City instead of Omar Infante. Cleveland could also be a nice spot for Freese since they don’t have many holes.
Padres Sign Desmond, He Does Nothing
I follow baseball more than anybody I know. I do not know much information about the San Diego Padres off the top of my head. In fact, when writing this, this was the first thing I had to research on to start and couldn’t get away with writing it based on my own knowledge. One thing I do know about the Padres, however, is they are often full of unexciting, underperforming players, and Ian Desmond seems like the perfect fit. Desmond had a strong second half to last season, but often goes into prolonged slumps and would be in a pitchers park, especially with a 29% strikeout rate.