One Current or Future Trade Candidate For Each Team in The National League

Every team, whether rebuilding or contending, always has either a surplus of players at one position or a complete hole at others and will want to make a transaction to address those areas. Whether you’re team is looking to cash in on any players they can to get prospects for the future or are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle for a World Series title, every team has at least one player that can be considered a trade candidate or an eventual trade candidate in the near future. Here we will pick one player from each team that could make sense as a current, or near future, trade candidate.

-RHP Julio Teheran(Atlanta Braves)

Teheran has been rumored in trades for the last few years now, however he has not been talked about much in the past year as the Braves have become contenders in the National League. Despite that, Atlanta would still like to deal the 27-year old due to his inconsistencies and the fact that the Braves have plenty of pitching depth as it is with more and more young prospects surfacing to the majors.

-C J.T. Realmuto(Miami Marlins)

This one was a no brainer. As of this writing Realmuto has not been dealt and that may not change anytime soon. Several suitors have had plenty of talks throughout the offseason with the Marlins but with Miami’s significantly high asking price, teams will be patient to wait for the Marlins to lower their demands. The Marlins long rebuild and Realmuto’s two remaining years of control should make the pressure on Miami in dealing him now high.

-LHP Noah Syndergaard(New York Mets)

The Mets will not deal Syndergaard this offseason. GM Brodie Van Waganen has made that clear as the Mets clearly have intentions on contending next season. But if New York falls out of the playoff race again then trade rumors around Thor could surface once again. The Padres were among teams that showed interest earlier in the offseason.

-3B Maikel Franco(Philadelphia Phillies)

Franco has been the subject of trade rumors around Philly for the last 2 years now, and the team would especially look to deal him if they are to land Manny Machado. Franco bounced back after a miserable 2017 season, but that hasn’t changed much regarding the 3rd baseman potentially getting traded at some point.

-OF Michael A. Taylor(Washington Nationals)

Taylor doesn’t really have much playing time ahead of him if the Nationals are going to give the starting nod to Victor Robles in 2019, and if the Nats are to re-sign Bryce Harper, Taylor wouldn’t seem to have a place at all to get at-bats. He’s struggled to hit and could use a change of scenery.

-SS Addison Russell(Chicago Cubs)

Russell is simply the most logical candidate to be traded by the Cubs due to his off-field issues. He was tendered a contract despite his suspension for domestic violence, and the Cubs will definitely want to see if there’s any value left in a player who carries those kind of issues with him.

-2B Scooter Gennett(Cincinnati Reds)

Gennett is a free agent after the 2019 season and the Reds have shopped him in the past. However, due to the fact that Cincinnati is intent on competing in the upcoming season, don’t expect Gennett to be moved. If the Reds fall out of the race though, he could be a hot commodity in the trade market.

-1B Eric Thames(Milwaukee Brewers)

With Jesus Aguilar’s bat emerging over the 2018 season, he has the inside track on the starting 1st base job for the 2019 season and with a full starting outfield for the Brewers, Thames is an expendable piece and will be shopped around by the brew crew. It isn’t a sure thing he gets traded however.

-C Francisco Cervelli(Pittsburgh Pirates)

Cervelli has been mentioned a lot in the offseason as one of the top catching options on the trade market and teams that find the Marlins asking price for J.T. Realmuto too high along with Yasmani Grandal’s high asking price in free agency, could definitely jump at trying to trade for Cervelli.

-1B Jose Martinez(St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals have been shopping Martinez since they acquired Paul Goldschmidt from the D-Backs in the beginning of the offseason, but his horrid defense makes him a better option as a designated hitter in the American League. He looks like a high quality bench bat if St. Louis can’t deal him.

-RHP Zack Greinke(Arizona Diamondbacks)

The D-Backs would still love to find a taker for the majority of Greinke’s massive contract, but with his still above average pitching, Arizona isn’t just going to dump Greinke unless they get prospects along with paying down at least some of the right-handers contract.

-1B Ian Desmond(Colorado Rockies)

Unless the Rockies were to bizarrely change course and try to trade Nolan Arenado, then Desmond seems like the most logical trade candidate. It would be hard for Colorado to trade Desmond due to his sub par numbers and big contract, but they’d surely love to find a taker to get him off the books.

-OF Alex Verdugo(Los Angeles Dodgers)

Although he hasn’t had much time in the big leagues yet, Verdugo has been apart of just about every rumored trade package for players Los Angeles has been talking about acquiring. That doesn’t mean he does get traded though because after sending Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds, the Dodgers may be smarter in keeping Verdugo apart of the mix.

-OF Wil Myers(San Diego Padres)

The Padres have a big surplus in their outfield and while Myers probably won’t be the one who gets traded out of the bunch, he has been apart of trade rumors in San Diego in the offseason. He’s owed a lot of money going forward and is coming off of a less-than stellar season, so San Diego would have a hard time trading Myers right now. Going forward though, with Eric Hosmer entrenched at 1st base and due to the aforementioned outfield logjam, Myers could very well pop back up in rumors if he can’t bounce back in the 2019 season.

-LHP Madison Bumgarner(San Francisco Giants)

He hasn’t been traded this offseason and that will most likely remain the same heading into spring training, but if the Giants aren’t contending for a playoff spot come July, trading Bumgarner would be a smart move, as he is a free agent following the 2019 season and San Francisco could benefit from adding talent to an underwhelming farm system that needs it.

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Giancarlo Stanton Interested In Joining Dodgers

In the latest news of the Giancarlo Stanton saga, the MVP slugger has reportedly submitted a list of teams of which he would accept a trade to to the Miami Marlins front office. Among those teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of MLB Network. He goes on to mention that sources say the Dodgers may be his preferred destination in a trade.

The Dodgers have made contact with the Marlins about Stanton, but it’s not known how deep talks are. To this point, the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are the two teams that are still showing the most interest.

Stay tuned for more as the Stanton situation continues to hold up the hot stove season.

Examining Greg Holland’s Market

Free agent closer Greg Holland enters the market coming off of a solid season in which he racked up 41 saves to go along with a 3.61 ERA in 57.1 IP in a Rockies uniform. He will now try to turn that production into a lucrative multi-year contract with a new team(or if the Rockies are to re-sign him).

It’s easy to see why teams will want to lineup for a player like Holland, as he’s just about always shown he is a reliable option in the 9th inning his entire career to this point. Even pitching in the tough Coors Field in Colorado didn’t do much to decrease his performance. Before signing with the Rockies in the 2016-17 offseason, Holland had just been coming off of a year that was wiped out due to Tommy John surgery, which caused him to sign a 1-year deal with a player option(which he then declined) so no one knew what to expect out of the former Kansas City Royal. He silenced any critics however, and proved he’s the same pitcher he was before, once again pitching brilliantly.

While it’s easy to point to the success he’s had, it’s also easy to point to the blemishes that may impact his market. Holland’s Tommy John surgery history alone will always at least make some teams a little concerned at what to expect going forward in his career and whether that will affect him down the road at some point. It’s also worth noting that despite the fact that he recorded 41 saves, he faded down the stretch for Colorado after pitching amazingly in the first half of the season.

With all of that being said, exactly who will be vying for Holland’s services? The St. Louis Cardinals are the first team to mention, due in part to the gaping hole in the back of their bullpen. The Cardinals are willing to do whatever it takes to land an elite closer and prefer to sign Holland over anyone else that is available. It’s not known exactly how much they are willing to offer Holland, but they will surely be one of the top bidders.

Next is the Rockies, the team he just wrapped up his contract with. While he declined his player option with the team, there is interest between the two sides in a reunion. Colorado will have to cough up a pretty penny to get their closer back though. However, despite Holland’s potentially big asking price, the Rockies are reportedly going to make a play to retain their closer on a long-term deal.

The Minnesota Twins will be in the market for a closer and are plenty familiar with Holland from his time with the Royals. Holland would be a huge boost to the Minnesota relief corps and for a Twins team that is looking poised to contend on top of the fact that they have plenty of money to spend going forward, they could easily make the biggest bid if they are interested enough in Holland.

Other teams that could be linked to Holland this offseason could be the Astros, Cubs, D-Backs, Rangers, and Phillies. Even though he endured a rough second half of the 2017 season, most teams will probably look past that as Holland has always shown he is a capable and elite closer.

Blockbuster Moves Cardinals Could Make At Winter Meetings

The St. Louis Cardinals have been the most frequently mentioned team since the offseason began. Giancarlo Stanton has been the most frequently mentioned name since the offseason began(other than Shohei Ohtani). With that being said we will kick off Stanton and the Cardinals in this post. Before we do that though, it’s worth mentioning that there are other moves that we will be speculating on other than Stanton and the Cardinals, as St. Louis could perhaps be the most active team once the winter meetings begin in a couple of weeks. We will take a look at some moves St. Louis could make that could dominate the transactions front this winter. Lets begin with the aforementioned Stanton/Cardinals potential move.

Cardinals acquiring Giancarlo Stanton:

They have reportedly submitted an early offer to the Marlins for Stanton, but that doesn’t mean much right now as both teams will continue to go back and forth over the coming weeks as Marlins management continues to look for what they will be the perfect offer for their MVP slugger. St. Louis and San Francisco are the top two teams vying for Stanton at the moment, and it’s beginning to look likely that it could come down to those two teams in the Stanton sweepstakes.

The Marlins want both prospects and the acquiring team to pay down a significant portion of Stanton’s contract, which will obviously be the main sticking point in negotiations. Unlike the Giants, the Cardinals have the payroll space to take on more money from Stanton’s contract. I believe St. Louis will get him, as they have the most enticing collection of players and the space to acquire him. Money however, will obviously play the biggest role.

Now here’s one sort of deal I thought of would be both interesting, but difficult to envision. It would be an expanded deal between the two teams. The deal would send Stanton, Dee Gordon, Dan Straily, Kyle Barraclough, and Miami would pay down $150MM total between the Stanton and Gordon contracts to St. Louis. In exchange in the deal, the Marlins would receive outfielder Stephen Piscotty, 2nd baseman Kolten Wong, starter Michael Wacha, and two of the Cardinals top 10 prospects.

The Cardinals in the deal would finally land Stanton, and would also fill two other needs in the rotation with Straily and the bullpen in Barraclough. While the Cards probably don’t need Gordon, they could take him on as a way of being able to trade Wong, who has sort of fallen out of favor at times by the Cards. Money does play a huge role in how much St. Louis would take on in the Stanton/Gordon deals, however.

For the Marlins, they would receive the salary relief they are desperately looking for plus they would get Piscotty who has plenty of upside at a much lesser of a cost(though he will never replace Stanton’s production). They would also fill a need in the rotation by getting Wacha, plus Wong could fill the void left by Gordon at a lesser cost as well. A couple of prospects could also head the Marlins way.

While that type of deal has plenty of flaws(and plenty of people that will call me crazy), some of the players in that speculated trade(not including Stanton) could realistically be in the discussions between the two teams.

Nonetheless, I expect the Cardinals and Marlins to eventually work something out to send Stanton to St. Louis, even if it takes plenty of convincing to get Stanton to waive that no-trade clause. Speaking of their payroll space..

-Cardinals Signing Jake Arrieta

They would like to add a frontline starter, whether through trade or free agency, but I can see them making a real play for Arrieta. Stanton drama aside, Arrieta would fill that frontline starter role, giving the Cards another top rotation piece to what president of Baseball Operations John Moezliak hopes to be a World Series contender. Not to mention they have plenty of familiarity with Arrieta when he was pitching with the Cubs.

-Cardinals signing Greg Holland and/or Wade Davis

Another need and pretty much the biggest need for the Cardinals is a closer. They will be in the market for the top relievers available, and they have already been linked to Holland. But would it be crazy to see them sign Holland then make a bid at another top reliever in Wade Davis? Signing those two would make the St. Louis bullpen as scary as any pen in baseball.

It’s also worth mentioning Shohei Ohtani, as every team in baseball will be linked to him, but it’s a lot less likely St. Louis would land the Japanese phenom due to their logjam in the outfield(where Ohtani has interest in playing on days when he doesn’t pitch) and smaller international bonus pool.

The Cardinals are guaranteed to make at least one big splash at the winter meetings and whether it’s move(s) that involve any of these players, or moves that could involve any other free agents(Yu Darvish) or trade candidates(Brad Hand, Gerrit Cole), President of Baseball Ops John Mozeliak is all but guaranteed to help make this team a World Series contender in 2018.