The Cubs have recently traded for former Marlin Kevin Gregg. Because of the move, Kerry Wood will not be back. Jose Ceda will be the prospect heading over to the Fish. I like this deal for both teams. The Marlins clear some more salary while getting a solid bullpen prospect in Ceda. They’re probably already done and free agency hasn’t even started yet. No more salary would have to be moved and all their young players have opening now. Overall, a solid deal for the Marlins.
I think it was a smart trade for the Cubs, but as a fan I am very upset that Woody won’t be back; he was one of my favorite players. It was a good idea, though, mainly because they needed to clear salary. There was no way that the Cubs were going to be able to afford Ryan Dempster, Wood, and Bobby Abreu. Gregg can come in for a cheap 4 million and be a solid set-up man for Carlos Marmol. So they will have about 16 million to spend on Dempster and Abreu while filling the void that Kerry Wood left in the bullpen. I feel very bad for Kerry. He took so many discounts to stay with the team and would have this time, also. But he doesn’t get the same loyalty back. Poor Wood.
Now that he won’t be back with the Cubs, he’ll be going to a different team this offseason. With so many good options suddenly out there at closer like Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Trevor Hoffman, and now Wood there probably won’t be a huge market for Kerry. The Mets, Cardinals, Indians, Tigers, Brewers are all in need of a closer. I think that the Rangers could enter the picture for Wood, however. He is from Texas and I don’t think the Rangers are nor should they be sold on CJ Wilson. They seem like the best fit to me.
So the Cubs replace Wood with Gregg, the Marlins clear more salary, and Wood could go to any team, but I like him with the Rangers.
It is known that the Indians could look to trade catcher Kelly Shoppach this offseason. The reasoning is to improve one of their holes while keeping Victor Martinez behind the plate. Then, they could either give Ryan Garko another shot at first base, or they could sign a free agent like Jason Giambi. They’re looking for a veteran starting pitcher, a late inning reliever, and an infield bat. The Reds, Red Sox, Tigers, and Marlins are possibilities for Shoppach. How about Bronson Arroyo and cash from the Reds for Shoppach? I favor the Reds a bit in this trade, but it still makes sense. The Reds would replace Arroyo with Homer Baily. The Red Sox could offer a young pitcher like Michael Bowden, but that’s if the Indians would accpet a young pitcher in return. I have no idea what the Tigers could offer. They don’t have anything the Indians want, and their in the same division. The Marlins make the most sense to me. They could fill two of the Indians holes easily. Kelly Shoppach for Kevin Gregg and Scott Olsen. The Indians bring in a verteran starter to add a bit more depth to their rotation. Gregg is a solid, cheap closer. The costs of all combined would probably only equal about an extra 5 million for the Tribe. So that would leave them with 10 million to sign a big infield bat through free agency. This trade makes sense for the Fish, too. They cut 10 million in salary between this trade and the Mike Jacobs deal, as well as open up a spot for prospects Chris Coghlan and Andrew Miller. Kevin Gregg wasn’t a necessary part of this team because of all the other bullpen talent on their team. The best part about it is that they can fill their weakest link last year: catcher. I like this trade for both teams.
MLB.com is reporting that the Marlins have traded Mike Jacobs to the Royals for Leo Nunez. I like this deal a lot for both teams. The Marlins will add speed, defense, and pitching to their team all in one move. That is what they said they wanted to build around, and they didn’t lie. They now can call up Chris Coghlan, move Dan Uggla to third base, and Jorge Cantu to first base. That would help the defense. Coghlan’s speed would give them more versatility on offense. Nunez is a big addition to the bullpen and could help replace Kevin Gregg should he be traded this winter. On top of all that, the Fish are able to cut salary, something they had to do. The Royals did well, also. Some would have argued that they should’ve given Kila Ka’aihue and Ryan Shealy a full shot before trading for Jacobs, but the latter can come in and fill a big void in their lineup. Bringing him in, as well as a possible free agent bat could give them a solid lineup next year. If certain guys do well in the starting rotation, the Kansas City Royals might become the Rays of 2009. Overall, I think this was a good way to start off the 2008-2009 offseason.
With only four good closer options on the free agent market: Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, and Trevor Hoffman, and with the latter two likely to resign, some teams might be looking to make trades to fill a closer position rather than free agents. The Indians, Angels, Cardinals, Brewers, Tigers, and Mets are the other teams in search of a closer. The closers available could be BJ Ryan, George Sherrill, Huston Street, and Kevin Gregg. Ryan will not cost many prospects because of his salary, Gregg should be fairly cheap, and Street and Sherrill are signed cheaply but will need good prospects. Teams with large pockets like the Mets and Angels could consider Ryan a better option than Brian Fuentes because Ryan will have a shorter term. The Tigers would probably target Gregg because he’ll come cheap. The Brewers, Indians, and Cardinals will probably look into Sherrill and Street. If the Cards miss out on better middle infield options, then they might trade for Ryan. They’d still have 10 million to spend on cheaper middle infield options. The Oriols will probably target a young shortstop in a Sherrill trade, much like they did at the trade deadline. I don’t see the A’s trading Street unless they get a good left-side-of-the-infield player or just get a great offer. One possible idea is Street to the Cardinals for Bryan Anderson, then the A’s trade Kurt Suzuki to a team in need of a catcher for a shortstop or third baseman. Example: the Marlins with a pitcher for Matt Dominguez. Another idea would be to package Street with Justin Duchscherer to the Brewers to get either Mat Gamel or Alcidies Escobar. There are several possibilities. Who knows, we might even see a different team jump in.
I am going to make a trade market post, where I put down all the meaningful players on the trade block. I will put this in order of how good the players are the same way I did it in the Free Agent Market series. There will be a link on the players I have done in my player market series. Any player already traded will be underlined. This will be a sidebar link.
- Bengie Molina
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- Gerald Laird
- Kelly Shoppach (If the Indians keep Victor Martinez at catcher)
- Ramon Hernandez
- Prince Fielder
- Ryan Howard
- Mike Jacobs
- Garret Atkins
- Dan Uggla
- Brian Roberts
- Kelly Johnson (Only if Braves rebuild)
- JJ Hardy
- Jack Wilson
- Matt Holliday
- Rick Ankiel
- Randy Winn
- Josh Willingham
- Juan Pierre
- David DeJesus
- Rick Ankiel
- Randy Winn
- Juan Pierre
- Brian Giles (Only if the club option gets picked up)
- Rick Ankiel
- Randy Winn
- Roy Halladay (Only in the Blue Jays decide to rebuild)
- Jake Peavy (Only if blown away)
- Zack Greinke (Only if blown away)
- Matt Cain (Only if blown away)
- Nick Blackburn (Only for a good, young hitter)
- Edwin Jackson (Only him or Sonnanstine)
- Jonathan Sanchez (Only for a good, young, hitter)
- Andy Sonnanstine (Only him or Jackson)
- Scott Olsen
- Huston Street
- George Sherrill
- Ron Mahay
- Kevin Gregg
- BJ Ryan
You can see there are not many so far. I will update this as I think of more.