On Deck Circle
Five More Big Trades That Would Help All Involved
1. Zack Greinke (Brewers) for Bryce Brentz, Henry Owens, and Sean Coyle (Red Sox).
This trade would give the Red Sox one of the top pitchers in baseball. Greinke had a league-best 2.60 xFIP. He is by far the most underrated pitcher in baseball. This trade would give the Brewers a helping hand at rebuilding their farm system. The reason they would do this trade is because they will be faltering since they lost Fielder and Braun has his pending suspension.
2. Matt Garza (Cubs) for Kyle Drabek, Anthony Gose, and Deck Mcguire (Blue Jays).
This trade would give the Jays one of the top rotations in baseball. They would have a great top two of Ricky Romero and Garza. The move would put them one step closer to contention.
It would be the first major step in the path of rebuilding. It would give them three players with enormous potential who could help the Cubs down the road.
3. Adam Jones (Orioles) to the Rays for Wade Davis. B.J. Upton (Rays) sent to the Nationals. Destin Hood and Robbie Ray (Nationals) to the Orioles.
This trade would give the Nationals the player they have been trying to get for over a year. He would be their starting center fielder who would make a potent lineup of:
- Ian Desmond SS
- B.J. Upton CF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Michael Morse 1B
- Ryan Zimmerman 3B
- Jayson Werth LF
- Danny Espinosa 2B
- Wilson Ramos C
It would allow the Orioles to start the rebuilding process with two top prospects and get them a starter who could be their ace or number two starter. This trade would let the Rays get that bat they’ve been looking for. Jones could be that middle-to-top of the order bat who can steal a base, be a plus defensively, hit a homer, and hit for average. Upton can only hit a homer and steal a base.
4. Matt Cain (Giants) for Jacob Turner, Daniel Fields, and Drew Smyly (Tigers).
This deal would give the Tigers a front-end rotation starter who would fit in nicely in their #2 spot. Cain could give the Tigers quite a nice rotation. He would be rewarded with a 114 million dollar six year (19 per year) contract. This trade would be a typical move by the Giants because they will often unload a pitcher to acquire someone who could quickly replace him and the replacement would have more potential. The Giants’ high potential replacement would of course be Jacob Turner. Along with Turner, there are two others who should be successful major-leaguers.
5. Alexei Ramirez (White Sox) for Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill (Braves).
This trade would help the White Sox rebuild and get better pitching. They would get a top prospect in Delgado who could immediately come in and grab the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. Spruill could come in next year and do the same as Randall. The trade would help the Braves get a quality starting shortstop who would fit into their lineup nicely. The Braves would then have a much better offense.
Eleven Deals That Almost Happened
2010: Zack Greinke (Royals) to the Nationals for Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa, Derek Noris, and Eury Perez
This trade would have made the Nationals better than they had ever been before, with a real chance for contention in 2012. Who knows what kind of season Greinke would have had in D.C.! Now the Royals would have a true closer in Drew Storen who would end up being their set-up man for Joakim Soria. Espinosa would just add to the unbelievable mass of top prospects/rookies the Royals have. It would also allow Johnny Giavotella to become expendable. Derek Norris could fight with Salvador Perez for the catching job.
Would be winner: Royals
2003: Alex Rodriguez (Rangers) to Red Sox for Manny Ramirez
This trade would have given the Sox one of the games’ premier shortstops. He was coming fresh off an MVP season. This trade would have probably made the Sox give up Garciaparra that off-season in which they might have still traded him to the Cubs (maybe straight up for Aramis Ramirez). Manny would have been an interesting, unorthodox fit with the Rangers. Sadly, in the long run, he would have cost them back-to-back World Series appearances because with him they would not have traded for Josh Hamilton who was a key factor in their success.
Would be winner: Red Sox
2004: Carlos Beltran (Royals) to Red Sox for Kevin Youkilis and Kelly Shoppach
This trade doesn’t really make sense since at the time the Sox already had Johnny Damon in center and Trot Nixon in right, so Beltran might have to move to left. Beltran still would have been a nice addition. The Sox would have been giving to much up for a half year of Beltran. Youkilis would have made the Royals contenders sooner.
Would be winner: Royals
2005: Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson (Tigers) to the Marlins for Dontrelle Willis
If this trade had gone down, it would have been one of the most lopsided ever. In hindsight, the Marlins would have acquired an MVP ace, and one of the top players in the game for a bust. Here would be their projected lineup (don’t look at the other Marlins’ trade when you read this). That is a World Series team:
- Jose Reyes SS
- Curtis Granderson CF
- Hanley Ramirez 2B
- Miguel Cabrera 3B (he would not have moved to first)
- Mike Stanton RF
- Gaby Sanchez 1B
- Logan Morrison LF
- John Buck C
- Justin Verlander
- Josh Johnson
- Mark Buehrle
- Anibal Sanchez
- Carlos Zambrano
Would be winner: Marlins
2004: Ryan Howard (Phillies) to Blue Jays for Ted Lilly
This would have been an amazing trade for the Blue Jays. It would have given them the one thing they don’t have right now: a good first baseman. If you look below, you will see their lineup. That lineup would have made a World Series. I can imagine the headline: Marlins vs. Blue Jays. I don’t know who to place my bet on. Well actually, I’d place it on the Blue Jays. The Phillies, meanwhile, would have seen a WS ring go down the toilet. Their whole offense is built around Howard.
Would be winner: Blue Jays
2002: David Wright (Mets) to the Blue Jays for Jose Cruz, Jr.
While Jose Cruz Jr. was never anything special (just an everyday player like Aaron Hill), he did merit one prospect. The Jays would have gotten a player they never would have imagined. Wright might have pushed Mets’ fans to the brink of insanity. They have waited so long for something actually good to come, but no, they would have traded a star for a utility player. Business like normal.
Would be winner: Blue Jays
2000: Albert Pujols (Cardinals) to Montreal for Britt Reames for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline
If this trade had gone down, the Expos might never have left Montreal. Pujols would have offered something special for the Expos, but Pujols would have cost them both Strasburg and Harper since they would not have had the number one overall picks. In the long run, it would have hurt Montreal. The Cardinals would have gotten trash for a star. None of those players has ever amounted to anything.
Note: This trade happened with Fernando Tatis. The Cards were debating who to send.
Would be winner: Expos/Nationals
1995: Mariano Rivera (Yankees) to Tigers for David Wells
This trade at the time would have appeared to be in the Yankees’ favor, but it would not have been. The Tigers would have gotten a future Hall of Famer, and the best closer in the history of baseball. Meanwhile, the Yankees would have gotten a mediocre pitcher. The Yankees might have had 2 more WSs. They also could have had two less. They could have won 2004 if Rivera hadn’t blown those saves. They would have won in 2001 if Rivera hadn’t blown the game 7 save. They also could have lost other vital games. Who knows?*
Would be winner: Tigers
1992: Barry Bonds (Pirates) to Atlanta for Keith Mitchell, Alejandro Peña and a player to be named later
This trade might have made the Braves one of the most storied franchises in baseball. The one problem is: they would have been in a bad situation like the Giants were, once people started criticizing Bonds. They would still have gotten (arguably) the best player ever. Except for steroids. The Pirates, meanwhile, would have gotten nothing in return for their star.
Would be winner: Braves
2007: Miguel Cabrera (Marlins) to the Cardinals for Jaime Garcia, Colby Rasmus
The Cardinals would have gotten one of the best third basemen in the game, a guy who has been an extremely consistent star. Can you imagine a lineup with Pujols and Cabrera? That line-up would be intact for four years. The Marlins would have gotten a quality mid-rotation pitcher in Jaime Garcia. They also would acquire a top-end defensive center-fielder who had/has a boatload of potential.
Would be winner: Close, but Cardinals
2007: Tim Lincecum (Giants) to the Blue Jays for Alex Rios
This trade at the time would have seemed very even. Both players were budding young stars who seemed like they were going to win many awards. Rios, in the meantime, has been a bust while Lincecum has won two Cy Youngs and a World Series ring. The Blue Jays might have won that ring if they had Lincecum. Look down at my list. Lincecum wouldn’t have even been their ace!
- Colby Rasmus CF
- Yunel Escobar SS
- Jose Bautista RF
- Ryan Howard DH/1B
- David Wright 3B
- J.P. Arencibia C
- Adam Lind 1B/DH
- Kelly Johnson 2B
- Anthony Gose LF
- Roy Halladay (They wouldn’t have been in rebuilding mode. Drabek and D’arnaud would be Phillies)
- Tim Lincecum
- Ricky Romero
- Shaun Marcum (He never would have been traded for Lawrie because they already have Wright)
- Brandon Morrow
Would be winner: Blue Jays
* The Yankees would have still made the playoffs in 2001, if you trust WAR, but they would have had less momentum. In 2004, they would have made the playoffs but as a Wildcard. That would have put them at a disadvantage throughout the post-season. They would no longer have home-field advantage.
A mock draft of the first 50 people taken
This draft is based off an ESPN standard 4-man league.
- Albert Pujols, 1B
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, OF
Jose Bautista, 3B/OF
Justin Verlander, SP
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, SP
Justin Upton, OF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
Ryan Braun, OF
Roy Halladay, SP
Carlos Gonzalez, OF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Jered Weaver, SP
Tim Lincecum, SP
Evan Longoria, 3B
Cliff Lee, SP
Josh Hamilton, OF
Hunter Pence, OF
Cole Hamels, SP
Curtis Granderson, OF
Jose Reyes, SS
Josh Johnson, SP
Carl Crawford, OF
Mike Stanton, OF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Stephen Strasburg, SP
Ian Kennedy, SP
Andrew McCutchen, OF
Felix Hernandez, SP
Mark Teixera, 1B
C.C. Sabathia, SP
Michael Bourn, OF
David Wright, 3B
Jon Lester, SP
Josh Beckett, SP
Victor Martinez, C/DH
Zack Grienke, SP
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Matt Cain, SP
Ian Kinsler, 2B
David Price, SP
Paul Konerko, 1B
John Axford, RP
Craig Kimbrel, RP
A late round steal from every team
This draft analysis is based off an ESPN 4-man league
- Bobby Abreu (Angels) 17-22th BNCH
- Josh Reddick (Athletics) Not Drafted
- Ian Kinsler (Rangers) 6th 2B
- Justin Smoak (Mariners) 14-22th UT/BNCH
- Paul Konerko (White Sox) 7th UT/1B
- Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) 11th 4out
- Aaron Crow (Royals) 18th RP/SP
- Danny Valencia (Twins) 19th BNCH/3B
- Doug Fister (Tigers) 13th 3or4SP
- Clay Buchholz (Red Sox) 13 3or4SP
- Nick Swisher (Yankees) 16th Out5/BNCH
- Ricky Romero (Blue Jays) 12th 2or3SP
- Nick Markakis (Orioles) 13-15th 4out
- Jeremy Hellickson (Rays) 10-14th 4SP
- Carlos Ruiz (Phillies) 13th C/BNCH
- Eric O’ Flaherty (Braves) 8th RP
- Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) 8th 4or5SP
- Josh Johnson (Marlins) 5th 1or2SP
- David Wright (Mets) 5th 3B
- Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) 7or8th 2or3SP
- Corey Hart (Brewers) 13th 4out
- Starlin Castro (Cubs) 7th SS/2B
- Wandy Rodriguez (Astros) 24-25th BNCH
- Johnny Cueto (Reds) 16th 4SP
- Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) 13th RP
- Madison Bumgarner (Giants) 9th 3or4SP
- Daniel Hudson (Diamondbacks) 18th 5SP
- Todd Helton (Rockies) 18th BNCH
- Huston Street (Padres) 18th RP
- Kenley Jansen (Dodgers) 18th RP
Honorable Mentions: Jayson Heyward, Shawn Marcum, Anthoney Rizzo, and Alex Avila.
Anonymous asked: Thought provoking and very well reasoned posts! I'm impressed (though I don't necessarily agree) with your trade suppositions. After unloading Adrian Gonzalez to get him, the Padres aren't going to give up on Anthony Rizzo that fast, and certainly not for such a small return. Same with BJ Upton. The Rays see him as a potential MVP candidate, so it'll take a lot more than Tyler Clippard to pry him away. Finally, Montero is the anchor of the Yankees' future. He's not going anywhere.
I see your points, but that article’s trades aren’t supposed to be that realistic. In the Lincecum/Hamilton trade, the Rangers would have a large advantage because Lincecum is under contract til 2013 to Hamilton’s 2012. Also Rizzo may be traded because of the Mat Latos trade (they acquired top prospect Yonder Alonso who is a first baseman). It shows the Padres have more faith in Alonso than Rizzo. That makes Rizzo excellent trade bait. Upton is not realistically an MVP candidate. The Rays are once again needing a brand new bullpen, and Clippard is one of the game’s best set-up men. I think that trade makes sense. Upton is a free agent after next year and Clippard isn’t a free agent until 2016. Finally, Montero is perfect trade bait for someone like Matt Cain or Matt Garza. I see Manny Banuelos as the Yanks’ future. Montero is a defensive liability at catcher and is blocked at first base by Teixeira, and the DH spot needs to be open for the aging veterans (Jeter, Rodriguez, Swisher and maybe Granderson). The reason he is blocked at catcher is because the Yankees have two top catching prospects (Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez) who are great defensively other than Montero.
Thanks for reading!