Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Offseason Trade Candidates

Monday, November 19, 2007


I waited until the Monday right before the winter meetings to do an article on trade candidates last winter, but there's been too much activity this month to delay it that long this year. As a result, I'm doing that column now, with the Arizona Fall League wrap-up to follow the next two weeks.

FYI - Most of the trade possibilities listed below are not legitimate rumors and should not be taken as such.


Trade Candidates

Miguel Cabrera (Marlins) - Hall of Fame-type talents don't usually come available at age 24, but Cabrera can be had in return for three or four top youngsters. Since he's going to make about $25 million in arbitration the next two years and then become a free agent, the Marlins might have to lessen their asking price just a bit. It doesn't help that teams are quite wary about Cabrera's weight gain and defense at third base. He makes more sense at first right now, though he could probably handle left field okay. He's just entering his prime on offense and should turn in his first 40-homer season in 2008 or 2009. The Angels, Dodgers and Giants appear to be the top candidates to land him, with the Red Sox potentially coming out of the shadows if they don't re-sign Mike Lowell.

Possibilities
To Angels for 3B Brandon Wood, RHP Nick Adenhart, C Jeff Mathis and RHP Jose Arredondo
To Angels for 2B Howie Kendrick, RHP Ervin Santana and C Jeff Mathis
To Dodgers for LHP Clayton Kershaw, OF Matt Kemp and 2B Tony Abreu
To Giants for RHP Tim Lincecum, 3B Angel Villalona and LHP Jonathan Sanchez
To Red Sox for OF Jacoby Ellsbury, LHP Jon Lester and 2B Jed Lowrie
To White Sox for LHP John Danks, 3B/OF Josh Fields and LHP Gio Gonzalez

Prediction - Traded to Angels


Johan Santana (Twins) - Santana, who is due $13.25 million in his last year before free agency, lost his full no-trade clause by finishing out of the top three in the Cy Young balloting this month, but he can still block trades to 12 teams and he'll likely choose the teams most likely to deal for him. Right now it looks like the Yankees are the favorites, with the Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets and Mariners in the background. The Bombers would probably be forced to give up Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain to get a deal done. The Twins, though, may have to allow for a three-day negotiating window in order to maximize their return for Santana. If the Yankees are going to surrender Hughes and Robinson Cano, it will be for more than just one year of Santana. I think there's a good chance that the Twins end up holding on to him, at least until July.

Possibilites
To Yankees for 2B Robinson Cano and RHP Phil Hughes
To Yankees for RHP Phil Hughes, OF Melky Cabrera and OF Jose Tabata
To Dodgers for LHP Clayton Kershaw, 3B Andy LaRoche and SS Chin-Lung Hu
To Red Sox for OF Jacoby Ellsbury and LHP Jon Lester
To Red Sox for RHP Clay Buchholz, OF Coco Crisp and 2B Jed Lowrie
To Mets for OF Lastings Milledge, RHP Mike Pelfrey and OF Carlos Gomez

Prediction - Stays


Jake Peavy (Padres) - The Padres don't seem to think they'll be able to re-sign Peavy, who is due $6 million in 2008 and $11 million in 2009 before becoming a free agent. Still, they do intend to try, and even if they fail, it's unlikely that they'll trade him. Sure, he has even more value now than he'll have in a year, but look at the market for Santana. As affordable as Peavy is next year, the Padres should keep him and make another run at an NL West title.

Possibilites
To Yankees for RHP Phil Hughes, OF Melky Cabrera and RHP Alan Horne
To Mariners for OF Adam Jones, RHP Brandon Morrow and SS Carlos Triunfel
To Indians for RHP Adam Miller, LHP Cliff Lee, C Kelly Shoppach, 2B Josh Barfield and OF Trevor Crowe

Prediction - Stays


Carl Crawford (Rays) - Crawford's average increased for a fifth straight year in 2007, though for the first time, his OPS didn't follow, dropping from 830 to 820. Just 26, he still has the ability to take his game up another notch. However, that his K/BB ratio went from 85/37 in 600 AB in 2006 to 112/32 in 584 AB last season was hardly an encouraging sign. The Cubs are the team that keeps coming up in connection with Crawford, though he'd also make sense for the White Sox, Giants, Angels, Dodgers, Rangers, Brewers, Mets, Braves and Padres, among others. Since he's under control through 2010 at just $23.5 million, the Rays appear to be leaning toward holding on to him, at least for one more season.

Possibilities
To Cubs for LHP Rich Hill, LHP Donald Veal and SS Ronny Cedeno
To White Sox for LHP John Danks, RHP Faustino De Los Santos and RHP David Aardsma
To Giants for RHP Matt Cain

Prediction - Stays


C.C. Sabathia (Indians), Ben Sheets (Brewers), Scott Kazmir (Rays), A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays) - A group of top pitchers, all of whom have already come up in rumors but remain long shots to be traded. Sabathia and Sheets are both free agents after next season, while Burnett is likely to opt out of the final two years of his deal if he puts together a healthy 2008. Kazmir is arbitration eligible for the first time and won't be a free agent until after 2010. Burnett is the best bet of the group to be moved, though the opt-out clause should mean that the Jays won't get close to full value for him.

Possibilities
Sabathia to Red Sox for OF Manny Ramirez and RHP Manny Delcarmen
Sheets to Dodgers for OF Matt Kemp and RHP Jonathan Meloan
Kazmir to Yankees for RHP Phil Hughes, RHP Ian Kennedy and INF Wilson Betemit
Burnett to Mariners for C Jeff Clement

Prediction - All Stay

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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot



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