I'm so bored. This offseason has been incredibly, stupefyingly dull. Having smart people in every baseball front office SEEMS like a good idea but it means no one is dumb enough to give JD Kong's mitts of stone 200 million AND it takes away the Cardinals' competitive advantage. So I am strongly against this new trend. While trading for Ozuna was a charming move, no one feels like this offseason is complete for El Birdos. That's why before Christmas we kept hearing the same five or so names bandied about: Donaldson, Machado, Archer, etc. a couple weeks ago someone made a comment along the lines of "knowing Mo, he'll pull off a move no one saw coming." That looks increasingly likely given the high demands of the trade market and the still-pressing need of turning roster depth into stardom. So, with that in mind, I went through last years standings and picked out all the teams in rebuilding mode or with terrible records. I tried to pick teams explicitly trying to rebuild (excluding teams like the Blue Jays). Some of these teams are beginning to transition out of the rebuild mode but here is the list:
- Orioles (maybe)
- White Sox
- Rangers (maybe)
This list isn't perfect and there are good teams out there trying to move good players as well ( like the Red Sox with JBJ or the DBacks with Grienke). But we had to start somewhere. Then from this list I went through each teams roster searching for interesting players, an interesting exercise because these teams are bad for a reason. I also wanted to find names that haven't been talked about much, so I excluded people like Brad Hand, Chris Archer, Jose Abreu, Donaldson and Manny Machado. Here are my favorite players that I found who, depending on your personal opinions, MIGHT be worth looking at (if not for any other reason than providing sweet release from this Winter purgatory).
Adrian Beltre. My personal favorite on this list. Dude is ageless, plays some seriously remarkable defense, and seems so fun! Although it might be unfair to rip him away from his best bud, Elvis Andrus. Is he available? Maybe. He is a rental, under contract for one more year at 18 million (about the cost of Machado, funnily enough). The Rangers don't seem to be in rebuild mode but that AL West is stacked, especially with the Angels new look squad and the up-and-coming A's. Trading Beltre would save the Rangers money and offer them a chance to play Profar (another interesting trade candidate). Beltre seems more likely to be moved at the deadline but definitely worth asking about. He might be a little cheaper to acquire due to his injury filled 2017, but you'd be betting on a healthy bounce-back. He's projected to be worth 3.8 WAR next year. He's just a couple letters away from being a Beltran-type addition to the Cardinals.
Beltre was the guy I am most excited about but here are some other names.
Miguel Cabrera: Been talked about a little. Has a contract from hell and probably a declining DH.
Daniel Norris: one of my personal favorite players, but not a superstar addition. Nice lefty piece to have around but you'd have to be willing to pay a significant price and be a big believer that he still has room to grow. A lefty though!
Michael Fulmer: has he been discussed? King's Ransom acquisition cost for a number 2 based on the numbers
Wil Myers: probably not even an upgrade, but expendable if the Padres keep pushing for Hosmer
Kyle Barraclough: Brought back Gregerson, why not bring back one more ex-Cardinal. Doubt the Marlins want to move him though.
Danny Duffy: I think he's been discussed. Similar cost as Archer, similar team trying to squeeze every last drop of value out of trades.
Maikel Franco: fallen out of favor somewhat in Philly but you'd have to be a big believer to get him to supplant Gyorko
Odubel Herrera: another player who might be out of favor in Philly. But his OPS+ is not exciting at all and St. Louis looks fine in the outfield. On the bright side he might make McCarver and Hrabosky quit broadcasting forever
Well, this list pretty much proves that the reason we are all taking about the same players is that there is a very short list of available players who are a) really good and b) available. So this list probably did not inspire any excitement whatsoever. This was more for my personal edification because I am BORED TO TEARS of hearing the same names over and over this offseason.
Get Beltre! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xDwjYwOWV5I
Dude is fun.