MLB Offseason Analysis Series: New York Yankees

yank27

For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the off-season and offer some insights to what would make sense.

We now move to the AL East, which is very top heavy and looks to be a boring off-season free agency-wise for most of the teams.  The Orioles are the epitome of a dumpster fire, the Rays don’t/can’t spend money, the Blue Jays trade for two infielders every year and they don’t pan out, and the Red Sox and Yankees get into a dick-measuring contest.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best AL East memes on our Facebook and keep the discussion going.

New York Yankees

Departing FAs:

J.A. Happ SP
Zach Britton RP
David Robertson RP
Neil Walker 2B
Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Lance Lynn SP
Andrew McCutchen OF

 

Budget:

  • ~$49M

 

Biggest Needs:

  1. SP
  2. 1B
  3. 2B/SS

 

Top FA Targets:

  1. Patrick Corbin, SP

In one of the worst kept secrets, Patrick Corbin would like to play for the Yankees… and the Yankees need SP help.  If they can line up the dollars and years, this is almost a sure thing.

  1. Manny Machado, SS/3B

With Didi Gregorius set to miss much of 2019 and it being a walk year, the Yankees could go ahead and sign Machado to a record deal.  Machado could occupy SS for now and then shift to 3B in a few years (or sooner depending on Didi’s future in NY and Andujar’s defensive progression).  Manny would benefit greatly from some protection in the lineup and form a “murderer’s row” with Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Torres, and Andujar.

  1. Andrew Miller, RP

The Yankees haven’t had a dominant LHRP since they traded Miller away… wouldn’t it be scary seeing that 3-headed monster of Betances-Miller-Chapman again?

  1. Kelvin Herrera, RP

With David Robertson a free agent, the Yankees could look to another RHP with closing experience in Herrera.  Herrera had great numbers in the AL prior to the trade to Washington and could be a bargain coming off an inury.

  1. Garrett Richards, SP

Same as the Red Sox… Looking ahead to 2020, as Richards is likely to miss all of 2019. Yankees can sign him to a 2 year deal and maybe he can make a postseason appearance in the pen before gearing up for 2020.  CC Sabathia will retire after 2019 and he could fill the void in 2020.

 

Top 3 Trade Possibilities:

  1. Yankees trade SP Sonny Gray to the Reds for 2B Scooter Gennett

Sonny Gray is as good as gone… but to where?  His $8.75M walk year is palatable for almost any team for a change of scenery.  I predict the Evil Empire moves him to Cincy, who is hell-bent on adding pitching.  With Gennett set to make $9M this year, the salary matches up well and the Reds can hope the change of scenery does well for Gray.  If he turns it around, he would likely fetch a nice return at the deadline.  For the Yankees, they add some LH pop to 2B and allow Torres to move to SS.

  1. Yankees trade OF Jacoby Ellsbury and OF Clint Frazier to the Phillies for 1B Carlos Santana

Jacoby Ellsbury has 2 years/$47.85M remaining and Carlos Santana has about 2 years/$41.5M remaining… pretty close in money.  The Yankees have no place to play Ells with their current roster and the Phillies need to free up 1B for Hoskins.  The Phillies receive former top prospect Clint Frazier in return for taking on the extra money for the worse player.

  1. Yankees trade OF Estevan Florial to the Mariners for SP James Paxton

This one is fairly straightforward.  The Mariners need to rebuild and the Yankees need a couple SP.  In Paxton, they snag a solid one with 2 years of team control for their top position prospect.  Florial doesn’t have a clear path to the majors right now and the Yankees don’t have time to wait.

 

Bold Prediction:

  • Yankees trade RF Giancarlo Stanton to the Giants for 1B/OF Brandon Belt & 2B Joe Panik

The Stanton experiment never made sense on paper and after one year, it would be better for the Yankees to move him.  The fans never fell in love with him and the Yankees don’t need two RFs.  The Giants are starting a quick rebuild and could form a somewhat competitive team around Stanton during Posey’s twilight years.  As mentioned in previous articles, the Giants need to free up 1B for Posey and would love to unload Belt and the $17.2M/yr for the next 3 years.  On the flip-side, Belt would add some balance to a RH-heavy lineup and could thrive with the short porch in NY.  Panik is set to make $4.5M this year (with one more run through arbitration in 2020) and could play a solid 2B for the Yankees until Didi returns.

 

Other MLB Offseason Predictions

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MLB Offseason Analysis Series: Boston Red Sox

giphy

For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the off-season and offer some insights to what would make sense.

We now move to the AL East, which is very top heavy and looks to be a boring off-season free agency-wise for most of the teams.  The Orioles are the epitome of a dumpster fire, the Rays don’t/can’t spend money, the Blue Jays trade for two infielders every year and they don’t pan out, and the Red Sox and Yankees get into a dick-measuring contest.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best AL East memes on our Facebook and keep the discussion going.

Boston Red Sox

Departing FAs:

Nathan Eovaldi SP
Craig Kimbrel RP
Joe Kelly RP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Steve Pearce UTIL
Drew Pomeranz SP
Brandon Phillips 2B

 

Budget:

  • ~$15M

 

Biggest Needs:

  1. RP
  2. SP
  3. OF/DH

 

Top FA Targets:

  1. Cody Allen, RP

The Red Sox have a big void to fill at closer and I don’t think they can afford/want to spend the amount of money it would take to bring Craig Kimbrel back with their financial constraints.  Insert Cody Allen who should come at a discount and shorter-term than Kimbrel, coming off a rough 2018.

  1. Andrew Miller, RP

The Red Sox could elect to spend more money on the pen and adding a “fireman” like Andrew Miller.  The once-dominant LHP came off an injury shortened 2018, but the talent should still be there for a couple years.

  1. Tyson Ross, SP

Fresh off winning a ring, the Red Sox need some upside for their #5 spot in the rotation.  I don’t anticipate them matching the offers Eovaldi will get, so they should turn to a cheap option (or 2-3 like the Padres always do) and hope to get some production.  Trevor Cahill, Matt Moore, and Tommy Milone also fit this mold.

  1. Garrett Richards, SP

Looking ahead to 2020, Richards is likely to miss all of 2019 but sign him to a 2 year deal and maybe he can make a postseason appearance in the pen before gearing up for 2020.  This is of note because Rick Porcello and Chris Sale both become free agents after next year.

  1. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/SS

Boston had issues filling voids at 2B and some depth issues throughout the season.  If they are unable to get Pearce back at a reasonable rate, they would do well by adding Asdrubal.  He can help at 2B if Pedroia isn’t healthy and fill in at SS and 3B as needed.

 

Top 3 Trade Possibilities:

  1. Red Sox trade OF Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Braves for SP Julio Teheran

The Red Sox need a reliable 5th starter and have Chris Sale and Rick Porcello reaching free agency after the 2019 season.  The Braves have a void in the OF and no use for Teheran.  Also of note, J.D. Martinez actually hit better when he played the field.

  1. Red Sox trade UTIL Brock Holt & C Sandy Leon to the Nationals for RP Koda Glover

With Eduardo Nunez and Christian Vazquez already under contract, these become mildly expensive bench pieces for a team well over the luxury tax threshold.  Combining to make about $6.5M in 2019, it would make sense to move them for a cheaper piece.  The Nationals with holes at 2B and C, could look to plug those positions cheaply and unload struggling RP Koda Glover.  With the Nats already having bullpen spots locked down by Doolitte and guys like Sammy Solis and Justin Miller… plus the additions of Barraclough and Rosenthal, there is a roster & 40 man crunch looming.

  1. Red Sox trade SP Rick Porcello to the Cardinals for SP Michael Wacha & UTIL Kolton Wong

Purely money-motivated, the Red Sox shave about $7M off their 2019 financial obligations in return for a bench piece with a bad contract ($6.5M in 2019 and $10.25M in 2020) and a SP in a walk year with a rich injury history.  That $7M doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a lot more when you factor in the repeater tax the Red Sox will be facing.  The Cardinals take on a little of bit of money this year, but get a proven workhorse and clear Wong’s salary from their 2020 books.

 

Bold Prediction:

  • Red Sox trade RF Mookie Betts to the Mets for SP Jacob DeGrom and OF Michael Conforto

In one of the boldest moves in recent memory, the Red Sox move Mookie Betts fresh off an MVP (assuming here).  Mookie and the Red Sox have been battling on money since before arbitration and there may be some bad blood as he nears free agency in two years… well the Mets have a plethora of SPs and DeGrom himself is two years from free agency.  As mentioned earlier, the Red Sox stand to potentially lose Sale and Porcello to free agency after the season and could hedge their bets here.  They also add Conforto who can spell everyone in the outfield and rotate at DH with JDM.  The Mets make a splash and can spend the next two years trying to convince Betts to stay.  Once healthy, a Cespedes/Nimmo/Betts outfield would be pretty dynamic.  One the other hand, could you imagine facing Sale, DeGrom, and Price in a playoff series?  … game fucking over.

 

Other MLB Offseason Predictions

MLB Offseason Analysis Series: Miami Marlins

Marlins.jpg

During the 2018 MLB Offseason, we will be doing an in depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what we believe would make sense.

We start off with the NL East, which looks to have one of the more fascinating winters upcoming.  With the Phillies, Braves, and Mets all possibly having large spending budgets, the Nationals facing a franchise-altering decision, and the Marlins being… well… the Marlins, it has all the makings of absolute chaos that hasn’t been seen since OJ decided to fire up the ol’ Bronco.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best NL East memes on our Facebook post and keep the discussion going.

Miami Marlins

Departing FAs:

None

 

Budget:

  • ~$15M

 

3 Biggest Needs:

  1. C
  2. 1B
  3. Talent

 

Top 5 FA Targets:

  1. Robinson Chirinos, C

The Marlins will need a catcher once they trade Realmuto and they won’t be shopping anywhere near the “top shelf”.  Matt Wieters could also be a low-cost option in hopes he plays well and can be traded at the deadline.

  1. Devin Mesoraco, C/1B

Although he’s not an everyday catcher, Mesoraco could be a solid piece to catch half the season if healthy and perhaps get some reps at 1B and DH.

  1. Logan Morrison, 1B

The Marlins need a 1B and someone the fans can root for to have some people show up to the games for a change.  Logan Morrison had a lot of fans in Miami and could be another buy-low option for the last place team.

  1. Logan Forsythe, INF

Speaking of buy-low… it doesn’t get much lower than Forsythe at this point.  Once a hot commodity on the trade market, he goes to the bargain bin and just looking for regular playing time.  Lucky for him, the Marlins have zero talent at basically every position he plays and he can go bat clean-up for them.

  1. Jeremy Hellickson, SP

One of the biggest needs on this Marlins team is a reliable starter that can eat some innings.  Hellickson has been solid in the NL, eats innings, and is probably going to come cheap… a match made in heaven.

 

Top 3 Trade Ideas:

  1. Marlins trade 2B Starlin Castro to the Angels for RF Kole Calhoun

For the second straight offseason, the Angels trade for a 2B on the back-nine of his career.  Both players have one year + a club option left and the money almost lines up perfect.  The trade shaves ~$1.5M off the Marlins payroll and the Angels are able to make room for the eventual Jo Adell call-up.

  1. Marlins trade UTIL Derek Dietrich & SP Jose Urena to the Twins for CF Byron Buxton and INF Ehire Adrianza

In true Marlins fashion, they move about $7.25M in salary to the Twins for buy-low candidate Byron Buxton and middle infielder Adrianza.  The move saves Miami a little over $3M in salary and the Twins upgrade their roster and rotation.  And most importantly, Derek Jeter works towards maximizing his bonus!

  1. Marlins trade 3B Martin Prado and SP Dan Straily to the White Sox for RF Avisail Garcia

See a pattern here?  The Marlins trade $19.5M in outgoing salary to the White Sox for Avisail Garcia and his $8.5M 2019 salary.  Both Prado and Garcia are expiring contracts, but the White Sox gain a reliable arm to add to their young rotation for a couple years.  Additionally, the White Sox open up RF for Eloy Jimenez to eventually take over when he’s “ready”… aka August of this past season.

 

Bold Prediction:

  • Marlins trade C J.T. Realmuto to the Yankees for C Gary Sanchez, 1B Luke Voit, and SP Domingo Acevedo

I know you were wondering where Realmuto trade would be… I’m going bold-ish.  The Marlins are clearly moving Realmuto and the Yankees seem to be growing tired of Sanchez, so they form the basis for this deal.  The Marlins also snag SP prospect Domingo Acevedo and Luke Voit, who can fill the gap at 1B and be a cheaper ogre-clone of Justin Bour.

 

More Offseason Predictions

 

 

MLB Offseason Analysis Series: New York Mets

Mets

During the 2018 MLB Offseason, we will be doing an in depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what we believe would make sense.

We start off with the NL East, which looks to have one of the more fascinating winters upcoming.  With the Phillies, Braves, and Mets all possibly having large spending budgets, the Nationals facing a franchise-altering decision, and the Marlins being… well… the Marlins, it has all the makings of absolute chaos that hasn’t been seen since OJ decided to fire up the ol’ Bronco.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best NL East memes on our Facebook post and keep the discussion going.

New York Mets

Departing FAs: 

Jerry Blevins RP
Austin Jackson OF
Devin Mesoraco C
AJ Ramos RP
Jose Reyes INF
Jose Lobaton C

 

Budget:

  • ~$27M

 

3 Biggest Needs:

  1. 3B
  2. RP
  3. 1B

 

Top 5 FA Targets:

  1. Josh Donaldson, 3B

With David Wright retiring (as if he really contributed anything on the field the last handful of seasons), the Mets need a 3B and what better fit than Josh Donaldson.  With his injury history, he fits the mold perfectly… but if he stays healthy, that would be quite the middle of the order to get through.

  1. Jeurys Familia, RP

The Mets bullpen was bad… real bad.  They ranked 28th last year in bullpen ERA and a huge reason why DeGrom couldn’t get many wins.  I think the Mets sign 2 high quality arms this offseason and Familia represents the first of those.  A familia(r) face… booooo, bad joke… he would come moderately priced and has experience in the NL East.  As Kelvin Herrera showed last year with the Nats, it doesn’t always translate over.

  1. Cody Allen, RP

The second of the two arms being Cody Allen.  Coming off of a down year, he fits into the Mets price range and gives them two RPs with closing experience.

  1. Yasmani Grandal, C

The Mets need a catcher and some pop in their lineup… check and check.

  1. Mark Reynolds, 1B

Nothing fancy here.  The Mets need a 1B and he could form a solid platoon with Dominic Smith… if Smith ever decides to impress in the majors.

 

Top 3 Trade Ideas:

  1. Mets trade OF Jay Bruce to the Indians for 2B Jason Kipnis and P Danny Salazar

Jay Bruce is making $28M over the next 2 seasons and the Mets need to get younger and have a pretty full outfield with Conforto, Nimmo, and eventually Cespedes.  So rather than paying him to play at 1B most of the time, it would be wise to reallocate those dollars.  In come the Indians with their own payroll constraints and needs.  With a potential need for a RF and a bad contract of their own in Kipnis, the money works out almost perfectly.  Kipnis makes $14.7M next year (followed by a $2.5M buyout in 2020) and Salazar is set to pull in the range of $6.5M in his last year thru arbitration.  End story, the Indians save ~$7M this year and fill a need from a surplus and the Mets fill 2 needs at a modest price increase.

  1. Mets trade OF Juan Lagares & SP Jason Vargas to the Giants for 1B Brandon Belt

The Mets have no space, need, or want for Lagares for the $9.5M he has remaining on his contract thru 2019 in New York.  Vargas has $10M left (including his buyout for 2020) and could easily be replaced internally.  The Giants have some payroll constraints and need to open 1B up for Buster Posey soon with Joey Bart coming up the system.  Belt is due $17.2M/year for the next 3 seasons and could provide some stability at 1B/OF in New York.

  1. Mets trade 3B Todd Frazier to the Cardinals for 2B/OF Kolton Wong + $5M cash

Todd Frazier is making $9M in the last year of his contract while Wong has 2 years and $17.75M remaining (including 2021 buyout).  The Cardinals could use some pop at 3B and shift Carpenter elsewhere, while the Mets could use some help at 2B and defensive versatility.

 

Bold Prediction:

  • Mets sign SP Jacob DeGrom and SP Noah Syndergaard to long term extensions + sign SS Manny Machado

The Mets and their new GM decide to make a splash and lock up their two aces long term and sign Manny Machado to a record deal.  To help alleviate some of the financial constraints of such a deal, the Mets will backload the deal to coincide with Cespedes and Wright coming off the books after the 2020 season.  With a core of DeGrom, Thor, Manny, Nimmo, Conforto, and some of their near-MLB ready prospects… the Mets could actually be relevant again.

More Offseason Predictions

 

MLB Offseason Analysis Series: Washington Nationals

Nationals

During the 2018 MLB Offseason, we will be doing an in depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what we believe would make sense.

We start off with the NL East, which looks to have one of the more fascinating winters upcoming.  With the Phillies, Braves, and Mets all possibly having large spending budgets, the Nationals facing a franchise-altering decision, and the Marlins being… well… the Marlins, it has all the makings of absolute chaos that hasn’t been seen since OJ decided to fire up the ol’ Bronco.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best NL East memes on our Facebook post and keep the discussion going.

Washington Nationals

Departing FAs:

Bryce Harper OF
Kelvin Herrera RP
Mark Reynolds 1B
Jeremy Hellickson SP
Matt Wieters C
Joaquin Benoit RP
Greg Holland RP
Tim Collins RP

 

Budget:

  • ~$20M

 

3 Biggest Needs:

  1. RP
  2. SP
  3. 2B

 

Top 5 FA Targets:

  1. Bryce Harper, RF

The franchise icon is up for a new contract and the Nationals would love to keep him… but with Eaton, Robles, and the Childish Bambino all on the roster, they probably have a breaking point when it comes to price.  On the flip side, Harper may look at this roster and see little opportunity for growth for the duration of his contract.  With Rendon a free agent after the 2019 season, Scherzer nearing the end of his contract, and guys like Trea getting very expensive in arbitration… he may be more interested in a team with a brighter long-term outlook if he’s going to sign a 6-14 year contract.

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B

With Daniel Murphy gone and no real internal replacements, the Nationals will need to hit the free agent market.  Dozier represents one of the top 2B on the market and would be the type of “win-now” moves that the Nationals are accustomed to making.

  1. Lance Lynn, SP

Behind Mad Max and Strasburg, there are a lot of question marks in the rotation.  However, the Nationals never shop in the upper-tier market for SP and Lance Lynn fits that mold… a solid starter with past success and wouldn’t cost much.

  1. David Robertson/Adam Ottavino, RP

It seems every year, the Nationals avoid signing anyone in the offseason to shore up their dreadful bullpen and then make a trade midseason to address those struggles (i.e. Papelbon, Doolittle/Madson, Herrera, Kitzler, etc).  I think this year they decide to wise up and sign a proven arm to set up Doolittle and Robertson or Ottavino seem like solid candidates.

  1. Marwin Gonzalez, UTIL

With holes at 2B in 2019 and potentially 3B in 2020, the versatile Marwin Gonzalez would be a perfect fit to start 120+ games for the Nats.

 

Top 3 Trade Ideas:

1. Nationals trade SP Tanner Roark to the Reds for 2B Scooter Gennett

Due to make around $8.5-9M in his last trip thru arbitration, the Nationals could elect to use that money elsewhere and sign a SP on a lower cost deal.  Gennett would fill in nicely at 2B for the Nats and the Reds get a groundball pitcher that could do well in homer-happy Cincinnati.

2. Nationals trade OF Adam Eaton to the Indians for SP Carlos Carrasco and C Yan Gomes

If the Nats can get Harper back on-board, it would make sense to move Eaton and let Robles cover CF for defensive efficiency.  The Indians are losing Brantley to free agency and probably aren’t looking forward to a Leonys Martin/Bradley Zimmer/Tyler Naquin outfield in 2019.  Carrasco and Gomes both have 2 years of team control remaining, while Eaton has 3 years.

3. Nationals trade OF Victor Robles to the Orioles for SP Dylan Bundy and C Chance Sisco

In a similar move as the one prior… with holes in the rotation and a potential logjam in the outfield if they are able to resign Harper, Robles could fetch more in return.  Baltimore has a dire need for OF and Bundy has 3 years remaining on his contract and Baltimore won’t be good in any of those 3 years.  As for Sisco, he had a rough year all around and may be worth moving before his value drops any more (i.e. Blake Swihart).

 

Bold Prediction:

Nationals trade 3B Anthony Rendon to the Yankees for OF Jacoby Ellsbury, SP Justus Sheffield, OF Clint Frazier, and a Low-A prospect

Bare with me here, guys.  If Harper walks, Rendon in a very expensive contract year (roughly $18M) gets a little pricey.  The Yankees need help (defensively) at 3B and Rendon is one of the best.  Additionally, getting out of the roughly 2 years and $47M remaining on Ellsbury’s contract would be ideal for their financial flexibility as Judge, Sanchez, and Severino are looking at big arbitration paydays in 2020.  The price to move that contract and acquire an elite 3B is going to be their prized prospect Justus Sheffield and rebound candidate and former top prospect Clint Frazier.

More Offseason Predictions

 

MLB Offseason Analysis Series: Philadelphia Phillies

During the 2018 MLB Offseason, we will be doing an in depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what we believe would make sense.

We start off with the NL East, which looks to have one of the more fascinating winters upcoming.  With the Phillies, Braves, and Mets all possibly having large spending budgets, the Nationals facing a franchise-altering decision, and the Marlins being… well… the Marlins, it has all the makings of absolute chaos that hasn’t been seen since OJ decided to fire up the ol’ Bronco.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best NL East memes on our Facebook post and keep the discussion going.

 

Philadelphia Phillies

Departing FAs:

Asdrubal Cabrera INF
Wilson Ramos C
Jose Bautista 3B/OF
Aaron Loup LHP

Budget:

  • ~$30M

3 Biggest Needs:

  1. SS
  2. OF
  3. RP

Top 5 FA Targets:

1. Manny Machado, SS

Shortstop has been a revolving door of little to no production since Jimmy Rollins was in his prime.  This time, the Phillies have money and a glaring need with JP Crawford seemingly a bust and Kingrey is playing out of position there.  As good of a fit this is on paper, it would be interesting to see what happens if the city of “brotherly love” starts to turn on him for not hustling.

2. Bryce Harper, RF

Similarly, the Nationals could use some LH power in the middle of their lineup to offset Hoskins and Franco (if he remains on the team)

3. Adam Ottavino, RP

A Phillies team that finished 18th in bullpen ERA could definitely use some help at the end of games.  Ottavino would be a solid addition thanks to his reliability and his closer experience.

4. Wilson Ramos, C

Ramos knees held up for 91 starts at catcher last season and his bat was as good as ever.  He seems like a good fit for a Phillies team with young catchers that haven’t performed as well as hoped but needs production to get over the hump.  

5. Zack Britton, RP

The Phillies could use some experience at closer, but it isn’t a priority.  With so many elite arms on the market this year, they may get a deal on the second tier of arms.

Top 3 Trade Ideas:

1. Phillies trade 1B Carlos Santana to Orioles for SP Alex Cobb

It’s no secret that the Phillies need to make room at 1B for Rhys Hoskins and no one wants Carlos Santana and the 2 year and ~$41.5M remaining on his contract thru 2020.  However, the Orioles would probably also like to get a do-over on their mistake signing of the previous offseason and unload Cobb and his 3 years and roughly $44M remaining

2. Phillies trade 3B Maikel Franco, 2B Scott Kingrey, and a Low-A Prospect to the Pirates for CF Starling Marte & 3B Colin Moran

The Pirates are looking at a quick rebuild and could get two solid players for 3 or more years each for an OF with one year left plus an option and a bench bat capable of playing 1B/3B.  With Josh Harrison on his way out and Adam Frazier being the only other potential option at 2B currently on the roster, Kingrey would be a great buy-low candidate.

3. Phillies trade 2B Cesar Hernandez to the Rockies for OF Raimel Tapia

The Phillies could use some help in the OF at the MLB level if they can get Hoskins to 1B and Tapia has no path to playing time in Colorado with Blackmon signed long-term and Dahl’s emergence.  The Rockies will need a 2B to replace Lemahieu and Cesar Hernandez would be a great fit to score some runs in Colorado.

Bold Prediction:

  • Phillies trade SP Jerad Eickhoff, SP Sixto Sanchez, 3B Alec Bohm, & OF Mickey Moniak to the Indians for SP Corey Kluber

Facing some payroll constraints, the Indians could entertain the thought of trading Corey Kluber… and the price will be higher than Rickey Williams.  If the Phillies can add Kluber to a rotation with Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, they’d have quite the playoff rotation. Obviously losing Kluber would hurt immensely for the Indians, but adding 3 top prospects and a replacement SP could persuade them.  Sixto has the ceiling to make Cleveland drool and could very well be the greatest trade of a franchise ace since they moved Bartolo.

More Offseason Predictions

 

 

MLB Offseason Analysis Series: Atlanta Braves

During the 2018 MLB Offseason, we will be doing an in depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what we believe would make sense.

We start off with the NL East, which looks to have one of the more fascinating winters upcoming.  With the Phillies, Braves, and Mets all possibly having large spending budgets, the Nationals facing a franchise-altering decision, and the Marlins being… well… the Marlins, it has all the makings of absolute chaos that hasn’t been seen since OJ decided to fire up the ol’ Bronco.

Comment below, hit us up with questions/thoughts on Twitter (@TheCombineBlog), or post your best NL East memes on our Facebook post and keep the discussion going.

Atlanta Braves

Departing Free Agents

Nick Markakis OF
Kurt Suzuki C
Anibal Sanchez SP
Brad Brach RP
Brandon McCarthy SP
Ryan Flaherty INF
Peter Moylan RP
Lucas Duda 1B
Rene Rivera C


Budget:

  • ~$50M

Biggest Needs:

  1. RP
  2. RF
  3. C

Top FA Targets:

  • Bryce Harper, RF

I have been predicting for 2+ years now that the Braves sign Bryce Harper and I can’t go back on it now.  They have money to spend, a window to compete, and need a RF that can boost their offense… Harper checks all those boxes.  His bro-mance with Freddie Freeman could prove beneficial as Freeman nears the end of his respective contract, his bat would instantly make Atlanta fans forget about hating him, and his youth would make him about as good of any long-term, big money deal in MLB history.  The cherry on top is it will make the Nationals cringe every day as he resumes his potential Hall of Fame career on their divisional rival’s team. Braves GM Anthopoulos loves to make big splashes and it doesn’t get much bigger than this cannon-ball.

 

  • Craig Kimbrel, RP

The Braves need a closer and their old friend is available, fresh off winning a ring.  

 

  • Martin Maldonado, C

A defensive-minded catcher (postseason notwithstanding) would be great for a team developing young pitching.  If he can steal some strikes and gun down some baserunners, it could help those walk-happy kids avoid some damage.

 

  • David Robertson, RP

A reliable RP that avoids putting runners on base and has some closing experience would fit the Braves needs perfectly.  With his age, a 2-3 year deal wouldn’t handcuff the Braves financially if he begins to regress.

 

  • Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/SS

The Braves got excellent production from Charlie Culberson in 2018, but they can’t expect that to repeat next year.  The bench would benefit from an experienced, versatile INF that can actually hit… no offense to Ryan Flaherty, but they need an upgrade.  Teams never know what can happen in a long season but depth never hurts.

 

Top 3 Trade Possibilities:

  • OF Cristian Pache, LHP Kolby Allard, and LHP Ricardo Sanchez to San Francisco for LHP Madison Bumgarner

The Giants have to trade MadBum and won’t find much better offers than the ace-needy Braves can offer.  MadBum is a country boy and could find himself with an extension in Atlanta. The Giants would be doing well to grab an excellent defensive player (Pache) to cover their enormous outfield, a LHP prospect (Allard) born in California, and a LHP prospect (Sanchez) that could be a solid bullpen piece if starting doesn’t pan out for him.

 

  • LHP Luis Gohara, LHP Kyle Muller, and C William Contreras to the Marlins for C JT Realmuto and INF Martin Prado

It’s no secret the Braves want Realmuto and it’s no secret Jeter is trying to trim payroll to maximize his bonus.  The Braves can take advantage of that and give up lower quality prospects in return for taking on Prado’s $15M 2019 salary.  Prado is a clubhouse leader that would mesh well with the youth movement and he is still a fan favorite in Atlanta.

 

  • Julio Teheran to San Diego for Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, and Kirby Yates

With Julio Teheran clearly not having a role in the postseason and so many young arms on hand, it’s time to take advantage of a pitching needy team with surplus players you can buy low on.  In come the Padres with Hunter Renfroe in a logjam to fill Markakis position, Austin Hedges hits arbitration for the 1st time, and RP Kirby Yates with 2 years of team control left.  If you pair Renfroe with a LH bat in RF, say Carlos Gonzalez for example, you have a solid platoon to help an inconsistent offense.  Additionally, they add a reliable RP, a good defensive catcher, and boost the bench in the process. For the Padres, they receive a reliable arm that should fit in well in Petco Park at a very reasonable price.

 

Bold Prediction:

  • Braves trade SP Julio Teheran, SP Kevin Gausman, and a Low-A player to the Diamondbacks for SP Zack Greinke and $20M ($10M/yr for 2020 and 2021)  

With Teheran and Gausman projected to make about $20.5M in 2019, the Braves could clear 2 spaces in their rotation and add Greinke at a net cost of about $14M in 2019.  The Diamondbacks are losing SP Patrick Corbin and may be entering a make-or-break year before Goldschmidt hits free agency himself. Teheran is controlled thru 2020 season and could prove useful trade bait if they are unable to compete in 2019.

 

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