The Orioles are considering signing a shortstop this offseason. Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, and Edgar Renteria could all be possible additions. I don’t really like the idea of the Oriols making any big free agent signings, but I understand what they’re thinking. This player would stay around while they’re contending. Orlando Cabrera is the only reasonable target to me. Rafeal Furcal will cost way too much. Edgar Renteria would only want a one or two year deal, so he won’t be around by the time they are competing. Cabrera won’t cost too much and he’s better than Rents. However, I think they should abandoned this idea and continue their rebuilding process. Trade Brian Roberts or sign him to an extension, extend Nick Markakis, and if they have an itch to spend some money, go after AJ Burnett. He would make a lot of sense for them if other teams get out bid.
It seems like the Marlins will make slugging second/third baseman Dan Uggla available this offseason. There will probably be tons of suitors. Lets check them out.
Cardinals (frontrunners) Bryan Anderson for Dan Uggla. This trade just makes too much sense for both teams. The Marlins get a catcher significantly better than Matt Treanor and open up a position for the fast, good defensive Chris Coghlan. The Cardinals get the bat they want to protect Albert Pujols, and Bryan Anderson has no role on their team because of Yadier Molina. I’d be surprised if either team got a better offer for their player.
Indians (frontrunners) They also have a catcher they could trade. They would be reluctant to do it, but Kelly Shoppach could get a deal done for both sides. I explained how it made sense for the Marlins above, and it makes sense for the Tribe, too. They’d have to be 100% sure Victor Martinez is healthy or else they shouldn’t do the deal. Dan Uggla can play either second base or third base, so it gives them even more flexibility as to who they will sign. This trade also makes sense.
Marlins (frontrunners) Unless they can get a good, young catcher in return, it might make more sense to trade Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs instead. Both players could bring back a hard throwing pitching prospect: the kind of player the Fish are looking for. Plus, it improves the defense by moving Jorge Cantu to first base or another team. If they want to build around pitching, defense, and speed it makes sense to move someone other than Uggla.
Twins (possible) If the Marlins are willing to take young pitching for Uggla, then the Twins are a good fit. They could offer one of their young guns and play Uggla at third base. I don’t know if the Marlins would do this trade, though.
Giants (possible) It is pretty much the same thing here as with the Twins. If the Fish will take pitchers, the Giants could trade Jonathan Sanchez for him. If the Marlins don’t accept starters, then Uggla won’t be in a Giant uniform next year.
A’s (possible) It’s possible the Marlins would rather have hard throwing prospects instead of proven young pitchers. If that is the case, don’t be surprised to see Uggla heading down to the bay area. The A’s could play him at second base until Adrian Cardenas is ready, then they could move him to third base. This makes sense for the A’s, but maybe not the Marlins.
Dodgers (possible) They could offer James McDonald. He’s not the best prospect, but could get the deal done with an added player and poor offers for Uggla. Or, the Marlins could decide to keep him and trade someone else.
White Sox (not likely) They would be interested, but I don’t see them giving away their farm for another slow player. I don’t know if they could even pull off a trade. They’d be much more interested in Brian Roberts.
It is possible that the Brewers look to trade Prince Fielder in the offseason. Lets see what team they can get a good pitcher from.
Brewers (frontrunners) I think it’s more likely that they decide to trade JJ Hardy instead. There will be a bigger market for Hardy, they wouldn’t be losing as much offense, and the Brewers could get almost as good a pitcher for Hardy as they could get for Fielder. All in all, Fielder will likely be kept.
Giants (possible) Could a Matt Cain for Prince Fielder trade work? I don’t know if either team would do it. I think it has a slight edge toward the Brewers because Cain is so cheap and far better than any starter they could get for Hardy. The Giants could make that trade, but might not unless they add Sabathia. It might make more sense for them to keep Cain and then trade a different pitcher for a first baseman like Adam LaRoche or Mike Jacobs.
Royals (possible) They could offer Zack Greinke for Fielder. I don’t know if the Brewers would accept this one, because Greinke has one less year under contract than Cain. Maybe the Royals could add a player like Ron Mahay or David DeJesus to finish the deal. I think this scenerio is more likely. The Royals would like to add a big bat to their lineup, and could sign a starter like Oliver Perez or Jon Garland to replace Greinke.
Rays (possible) The Rays need a DH, and want to inject a big power bat into their lineup, but the player has to be under control for more than one year. So Prince Fielder would make more sense than Matt Holliday. The Rays could put together a package of prospects as good as if not better than most teams. If the Brewers demand a proven starter, they could part with Matt Garza. Yes, he has been great for them this year, but then they could keep both Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine. Plus, if Price steps up they won’t lose much from the rotation. I think this would be a move the Rays have to do. The Brewers would make the trade also, unless Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Cain, or maybe Zack Greinke is offered. If they can get him without surrendering Garza, they could offer Wade Davis, Edwin Jackson, and either Grant Balfour or JP Howell. The Brewers get a solid closer, a good prospect, and a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. Either one of these deals would be good for the Rays in my opinion.
Orioles (not likely) It’s not likely, but the Oriols could enter the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. They could offer a package centered around Jeremy Guthrie. He by himself could get him. I don’t know if they should offer him, though. The Brewers would jump on the deal. If the O’s don’t give up Guthrie, then they could try an offer of Brian Roberts, George Sherrill, and Melvin Mora plus cash. The Brewers would be filling three holes, yet they lose offensive firepower and don’t fix the rotation.
Angels (not likely) If they miss out on Mark Teixera, I could definatly see it. They could center a deal around Nick Adenhart, or even Jered Weaver. If they add Brandon Wood to the trade, it might be enough. I think I would do a Jered Weaver plus Brandon Wood for Prince awap. It makes sense for both sides. Sean Rodriguez could also be added to finish off the trade. Chone Figgins could be part of the deal, too, and play center field in Milwaukee.
Yankees (not likely) They would love to add a young power bat like Prince, but they might not have the pieces to do it. Maybe if they offered Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson something could be worked out. Like with Jake Peavy, it would be smarter just to spend the extra money and sign Mark Teixera. When you have a 200 million payroll, you can’t be cheap.
A’s (dark horse) The A’s have all the pitching in the world to spare. They are in need of a first base/DH type, and most of all they need power. How about a package of Huston Street, Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez, and Justin Duchscherer. The Brewers add a good starter, a good pitching prospect, and a good closer. I like this deal a lot for both teams, but I’m not sure the A’s would want to trade away a young gun like Anderson or Gio. Plus, they would miss Doosh, especially if they are trying to compete next year which a Fielder trade would suggest.
After losing in the first round, the White Sox will try to improve their ball club for a run at 2009. The weakest link on this team is speed. The only problem is that there is no place to add it. All positions are locked in except second base (and third base if you don’t think Josh Fields can handle it). The only speedy second baseman available is Brian Roberts. I don’t know if the White Sox have the pieces to get him, though. Maybe Aaron Poreda and Fields would be enough. With not many contenders in need of a second baseman, and with the possibility that the Oriols could get nothing but draft picks when he leaves, they might have to take it. If the Sox can’t grab him, they could trade for Willy Tavares. They had interest in him in a possible Jon Garland trade back in 2006. Where would he play though. If they found a way to trade Paul Konerko I could see it, but that’s a bad contract and he has a no-trade-clause. Coco Crisp could be a trade target, but the Red Sox might want to keep him as insurance for JD Drew and Mike Lowell. David DeJesus is available, but there are the same problems there are with Tavares. If I squint, I could see the Sox trading Jermane Dye. Maybe to a team like the Braves for a ton of prospects. Then they could turn some of the prospects around in a trade for Brian Roberts, and also trade for Willy Tavares and platoon him with Brian Anderson. Nick Swisher would move to right field, replacing Dye. Or, maybe instead they look to trade Gavin Floyd for Brian Roberts and then sign a starter like Derek Lowe to replace him. I could see them in the market for a starter, even if they don’t trade Floyd, and then trade Jose Contreras. Frankly, I have no idea what they will do, but they’ll do something.
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The Baltimore Orioles finally have some good, young talent, especially pitching wise. There system is pretty loaded there. They have the recent drafted Brian Matusz and another top ten pitching prospect in Chris Tillman. Those two, combined with Jeremy Guthrie give the O’s pitching a bright future. They also ahve mid-tier pitching propsects like Troy Patten, Garret Olsen, and Radhams Liz. Those players can fill out the finale two spots. They could add one starter if need be, but it makes more sense to go after hitters. They have the best prospect in the MLB in Matt Wieters. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones solidify right field and center field. That’s three positions they don’t have to worry about in catcher, right field, and center field. They need a new infield, however. They also need a left fielder. They shouldn’t jump into free agency jusy yet. First, they need an infield. Offer a contract to Brian Roberts, if he declines, then trade him for an infielder. To the Dodgers for Chin-Lung Hu makes sense. They should also flip George Sherrill for an infielder. Maybe if the Angels resign Mark Teixera they’ll trade Kendry Moralas for Sherrill. Deal Ramon Hernandez, Melvin Mora, and Aubrey Huff if you can as salary dumps. Try to get some infield talent, and then in 2010, when all of their bad contracts will be off the books, then they should dip into free agency to fill their remaining holes. This team could be a contender by 2010 if they make the right moves.
I said this in the D’Backs Offseason Plan and will say it again, the winner of this division next year will depend on what the Los Angelos Dodgers do. They have a pretty big amount of needs, but then agian they have a lot of money to burn. They need two starters, a shortstop, a second baseman, and a third baseman. That’s a lot. This team needs to start of by keeping the pitching strong. They will be amoung the top contenders for CC Sabathia this winter. They also will be interested in resigning Derek Lowe, as well as another starter. Preferably, they would sign CC and Lowe. Worst case, I think they sign Jon Garland and Greg Maddux. They need to keep the pitching strong though, so decline the option on Brad Penny. (He is bad, injured, and doesn’t get far into games at all) Then sign two good free agents. Next, find a third baseman. They need to either resign Casey Blake or sign Joe Crede. If they want to become a world series caliber team, they can’t play Blake DeWitt every day at third base. They could consider playing him full-time at second base, but I would rather use him in a utility role. If they want to do that, they need to go out and get a second baseman. Orlando Hudson is the top free agent option, but I think the Indians will overpay for him. On the trade front, they could go after Brian Roberts. They could offer the Oriols shortstop Chin-Lung Hu. Then they would have to get a shorstop, which wouldn’t be that hard considering Rafeal Furcal wants to stay. If they resign him, could you imagine the top of their lineup with Rafeal Furcal and Brian Roberts? It’s almost a givin one of them will get on base in front of the other guys in the lineup. They would be losing Manny Ramirez, but he wouldn’t fit on there team unless they move Jaun Pierre and/or Andruw Jones, two very hard contracts to move. If this team follows my plan, they can win this division. If they waste more money the way they did with Jones, Pierre, Nomar Garciaparra, (thankfully a free agent) ect. ect. they will lose it to the small market D’Backs, again.