5 Blockbuster Deals That Could Happen This Off-Season
The following list of players is one that sits currently in “what if” land as the players’ respective teams are saying “hands off” to three of these names, those being Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista and Chris Sale. I believe it’s important to keep in mind that this tactic could simply be a ploy to let other teams know that it will take quite a package to pry these stars away. The chances of the other two names, those being Matt Kemp and David Price, I think offer a little more than just possibilities of actually transpiring. While I wouldn’t say it’s a foregone conclusion that these deals will happen, it’s fun to think of the scenarios where two teams can come together and pull off a blockbuster comprising of these big names.
So here goes:
Giancarlo Stanton – Stanton represents the pre-eminent young power bat that could be had if a team blows the Marlins away with an offer. Darkhorse teams that have been rumoured to be interested in Giancarlo are the Pirates and Mariners, and while those cities certainly have the need and young prospects to at least entice the Marlins into listening, a big market club like the Red Sox could swoop in and steel him away quite easily given the prominence of their farm system. The question is though, does Boston want another young star? Umm, duh.
Matt Kemp – Everyone knows LA wants to move an outfielder and here are their remaining salaries: Carl Crawford, 4 years at $81.5 M; Matt Kemp, 6 years at $128 M; Andre Ethier, 4 years plus an option at $69 M; and Yasiel Puig, 5 years at $26 M. If the Dodgers are truly desperate to clear some outfield space in addition to future payroll commitments so that they can extend Clayton Kershaw, they could eat some of the money for Kemp and trade him to a team that needs OF pop. The Rangers, for instance, could use him in LF if his knees are still wobbly. Even the Giants could use a power bat like Kemp, however something tells me an intra-division trade is unlikely. Seattle though…
Jose Bautista – If Bautista gets moved, which I personally think is rather unlikely, the two favoured teams that jump out at me with having enough resources to send to Toronto are the Rangers and Cardinals. Their stacked farm systems and young major league depth would be attractive to any team, pieces that Toronto could use to fill needs at 2B, the starting staff, and more.
Chris Sale – While news on the street says the White Sox won’t trade Sale, it behoves me why Chicago won’t entertain the idea. It’s also been rumoured that Arizona is trying to acquire a top-notch starting pitcher like a David Price or Max Scherzer (whom the D’backs had at one point), so if Sale is made available, the White Sox could make out with an attractive package that includes Tyler Skaggs, Adam Eaton, and Chris Owings, which would only compliment their current re-tooling effort. Why not, I say?
David Price – While dealing Price automatically makes the Rays less competitive in 2014, it may set them up for sustained success in the future. Just thinking about the assets that could be had would excite any Rays fan to no end, but it’s also not fun to see home-grown talent leave year in and year out. Alas, that’s the reality of the Tampa Bay Rays. The 28 year old really ended up with an impressive 2013 campaign after he battled a strained left tricep in the first half. He posted his best WHIP to date, had the lowest BB/9 ratio and the best SO/BB ratio of his career. Surely suitors like the Rangers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Giants and Cardinals would knock on the Rays door with an outside chance falling to the Cubs, however a question needs to be asked of the interested teams, are they ready to give up a significant portion of their top prospects for two years of Price?